Baglioni opens a new Masseria resort in Italy’s hot region, Puglia


As more visitors have discovered in recent years, this region of southern Italy, the stiletto heel of the boot, has a range of truly enticing attractions: fortified hilltop towns with historic centers; the conical, almost fairytale-like stone houses, trulli; coastal cliffs overlooking the turquoise waters of the Adriatic; a rich, agriculture-based gastronomy. Scattered across the countryside are also centuries-old stone masseria farms transformed into intimate, atmospheric resorts. The latest worth checking out is Baglioni Masseria Muzza by Baglioni Hotels & Resorts, which opened in June in the Salento countryside of Puglia, near Otranto, one of the prettiest coastal towns.

The center of the property dates back to the 17e century, it is made of whitewashed limestone and now houses 40 rooms, many with vaulted ceilings and imposing columns. The design is serene and local: a beige and white color scheme complemented by natural fabrics and area ceramics; patios and balconies overlook the olive trees dotted around the five-hectare estate, the resort’s swimming pool or the Alimini lakes of the nearby nature reserve.

On site, the spa uses herbs and flowers grown on the estate for oils and essences in treatments such as a facial with rosemary extract and orange blossom water and a body scrub with calendula flowers. Yoga and meditation sessions are also available, along with other fitness classes.

In keeping with all properties in this region and country, the cuisine of the region is showcased in the three restaurants. The gourmet restaurant Le Site offers selections such as a concoction of Gallipoli red shrimp with Puglian burrata and scorpion fish and shellfish poached in olive oil, garlic, parsley and cherry tomatoes. Specializing in Salento dishes, La Limonaia presents dishes such as toasted wheat orecchiette with tomato sauce and meatballs with ricotta cheese drops, fillet of sea bream baked with zucchini and breadcrumbs with olive oil and wild thyme, along with a range of pizzas, with and without tomato. Breakfast and al fresco lunch are available at the poolside restaurant Mirto serving dishes such as spaghetti with organic tomatoes, Stracciatella cheese, olives and crumbled tarallo biscuits, grilled seared tuna with garden vegetables and pizzas.

Off site, a number of experiences are curated for guests. Among them: a walk through the reserve of the Alimini lakes and a visit to the nearby beach of Baia dei Turchi; horseback riding through the Otranto countryside, meandering along the coastline and an Otranto beach; kayaking along the coast of Otranto; a gastronomic tour in the imposing baroque city of Lecce, the Salentine capital and city often described as the Florence of the south and a tour of Otranto and the trulli of another prominent city of Alberobello, along with a tasting of local mozzarella. Guests can also experience an olive oil tasting in another beautiful town in the region, the white hilltop town of Ostuni, along with a picnic in an olive grove. Or they can sit back and enjoy the scenery aboard a sailboat or yacht cruising the Salento coast, admiring the beauty of the pristine waters and the majesty of the hilltop towns.