travel

{take me away № 35 | the charming farmhouses of italy}

by

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Some sprawling and grand — with central courtyards and expansive pools — surrounded by trailing vineyards and many, many hands to take care; others far more simple, with elegant and rustic details on a smaller scale, fresh vegetables and quaint fields, its owners very much a part of its daily care.

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Nevertheless, their value in history, in the present, in the future of Italy, is, in fact, invaluable. For Italian history is the history of life, and part of such a life is the love and growth of the land that can be accredited to those who carefully and thoughtfully maintain it.

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Indeed, unique harmony in living and land can be found in these gentle parts of Italy — for a hand into the earth gives roots to a deeper sense of living, one of growth and life and possibilities . . .

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One can appreciate the methods that have been traced centuries over — methods that have been shared over early morning works, and again, in the afternoon, and under the evening stars; methods that have been spoken in the roll of the tongue and measured in feeling and estimation. Methods that have been passed down from generation to generation, sacred, and will continue to be told and shared for many years to come.

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And a trip to such a place offers not only a lesson in history, but a new perspective on living — a slower pace of life and an appreciation for the everyday. In fact, your journey and itinerary are left entirely up to you; come along for the picking of fresh vegetables for a delicious meal from the back garden, or help bake rich, warm bread, fingers pressed in flower . . . or walk through the winery, learning and taking in the scents of barrels, grapes and oils . . .

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And so, today we depart from the everyday ways of fast-paced living and embark on a journey to three wonderful farms — to take part in art restoration and lessons, cooking, and gardening, and a rural way of life — as well as a selection of wonderful accommodations just beyond, if one desires to stay in the area, but to stay elsewhere for part of the journey; Join us as we venture the ever-trailing and rolling, sun-kissed lands of the incredible Italian countryside . . .

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Sprinkled across the expansive lands, hugging curves, and atop flat surfaces, amongst trees and plants, and ancient land, are farmhouses — or masseria : a house, an Italian farm, that embodies centuries and centuries of care and respect, of tending to nature, and taking pride in its rich and glorious history. And so, below, you will find three of the most captivating of these:

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01 | Messors, Puglia

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“I had come to the hilltop city of Altamura in southeastern Italy for a working vacation. It turned out to provide more historical and cultural enrichment than a month of guided tours. I would be working with ‘Sinergie’ a group of Altamurans dedicated to revitalizing historic sites in Puglia . . . we all departed with a deep sense of pride, knowing we had helped preserve a bit of history. And more than that, we were now part of it.”
—Ward Lauren, Los Angeles Times

Located in beautiful Puglia, and an hour inland from the coast of Bari, Messors is a stunning farm set on 200 hectares of private land and picturesque rolling hills. Indeed, a visit to [and if you like, a stay at] this treasured secret offers some wonderful opportunities for learning ancient techniques and refining one’s hand and eye. From sessions that are art focused — and include the practice of fresco, canvas, wood, stone, decorative paintings and plaster — to classic and authentic cooking and an array of lessons on the Mediterranean diet, including site visits, lectures and practice — there are many wonderful and memorable experiences to be had here. And for the person who desires a beautiful and serene escape, Messors is most ideal . . .

And if you wish to stay in the region a little while longer, or visit the farm for only the day, a few other recommendations of where to lodge, as well as where to dine:

where-to-stay

01 | Masseria La Selva
02 | Masseria Torre Coccaro
03 | Dimora Intini

where-to-eat

01 | La Peschiera
02 | Porta Nova
03 | The Summer Cave


02 | Villa Chianti

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“When my mother shows our guests around and tells them about the history of the villa, I can see how amazed and happy they are about what this place means to our family.” —Luisa, owner

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Perhaps the most incredible and luxurious of them all, Villa Chianti is certainly not lacking with its trilogy of elegance, grace, and beauty. Within its grand walls lies a home, considerably more a castle, and welcomes guests to stay and take part in life at the masseria. In fact, the grounds feature a lovely vegetable garden where guests are welcome to help themselves to anything they like. In addition, there is a pool, an old bowling court, a ping pong table and a working farm that produces wonderful wine and olive oil. The main large villa is elegantly furnished with traditional antiques, exuding a very aristocratic, yet comfortable living environment. One may enjoy the various sitting rooms, library, ballroom, dining room, inviting kitchen, as well as a private pool and gardens.

And if you wish to stay in the region a little while longer, or visit the farm for only the day, a few other recommendations of where to lodge, as well as where to dine:
where-to-stay

 

01 | Palazzo Brandano
02 | Borgo Santo Pietro
03 | Castello di Vicarello

where-to-eat

01 | Arnolfo
02 | Guelfi e Ghibellini
03 | Caino


03 | Masseria Potenti


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“The courage of following a dream, the constant love given to keep it alive, the enthusiasm brought by seeing it come true, the pleasure of life, but instead exalting them in every possibly way.”

A unique and extraordinarily light and airy escape, set on about 100 hectares of enchanting land, complete with olive trees, a vineyard and Mediterranean thicket. While visiting, one can choose to participate in an array of activities that take place on the property — from the harvesting of grapes, fruit or olives, or in caring after the vegetable garden, as well as packaging jams, vegetables in oil, and sauces. In addition, guests are welcome to attend courses in learning to prepare authentic Mediterranean cuisine, and assist in the process of wine making, of crushing flavourful olives, or of even bread making. Truly an experience for those wishing to learn authentic Italian life, and moreover, life on a farm. Perhaps one of the loveliest and refreshingly simple of all, with light and bright interiors, many thoughtful details, and a treasury of things to bring back home to you.

And if you wish to stay in the region a little while longer, or visit the farm for only the day, a few other recommendations of where to lodge, as well as where to dine:
where-to-stay

01 | Masseria Alchimia
02 | Masseria Montelauro
03 | Villa Pizzorusso

where-to-eat

01 | Ristorante Masseria Spina
02 | Ristorante Il Melograno
03 | Le Zie

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what-to-pack

As the Italian countryside tends to be more on the casual side, shorts, a skirt, or dress is fine for days with silk, cotton, linen and breathable materials a must, particularly while taking part in a number of activities. And if you plan to visit a number of spots each day, flats, sandals or very comfortable heels are often the very best choice for daily excursions . . .

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{what to take home}

Italy is simply brimming with beautifully made local crafts; lovely things for the home and living, that you may not readily find back at home. We suggest a plethora of things: perhaps some wonderfully-designed linen pieces for the table and wardrobe, irresistible olive oil and [a new favorite] balsamic vinegar, handmade pottery in true Italian colors, and of course, memories and notes of recipes and secrets of delectable Italian cooking to re-create upon returning home . . .

Sarah

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p r e v i o u s l y

* take me away № 01 | perfectly packed
* take me away № 02 | luggage to last a lifetime
* take me away № 03 | tips for buying luggage
* take me away № 04 | vintage & antique luggage
* take me away № 05 | the travel file
* take me away № 06 | an equestrian escape
* take me away № 07 | la maison du chocolat
* take me away № 08 | holiday etiquette
* take me away № 09 | st. petersburg, russia
* take me away № 10 | holiday etiquette, part two
* take me away № 11 | travel by train
* take me away № 12 | venice, italy
* take me away № 13 | a wintry escape
* take me away № 14 | the magic of winter gardens
* take me away № 15 | bora bora
* take me away № 16 | valentine’s inspiration for a romantic getaway
* take me away № 17 | the most beautiful rose gardens around the world
* take me away № 18 | a glamorous guide to champagne
* take me away № 19 | barcelona, spain
* take me away № 20 | a tour of a few of the best millinery studios around the world
* take me away № 21 | city guides № 1 : paris
* take me away № 22 | what to pack for paris
* take me away № 23 | dublin, ireland
* take me away № 24 | hong kong, china
* take me away № 25 | the enchanting world of lace
* take me away № 26 | the cherry blossoms of tokyo
* take me away № 27 | mykonos, greece
* take me away № 28 | the lavender fields of provence
* take me away № 29 | city guides № 03 : london, england
* take me away № 30 | sail away with me
* take me away № 31 | gelato tasting in italy
* take me away № 32 | the best beach cottages to stay around the world
* take me away № 33 | lisbon, portugal
* take me away № 34 | city guide № 4 : new york city

[image sources & credits : one // two : bellevue syrene via wildfox // three // four // five : ikea via pinterest // six // seven // eight // nine : scanned by sarah from masseria by mark roskams // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen // fourteen // fifteen : scanned by sarah from masseria by mark roskams// sixteen // seventeen : scanned by sarah from masseria by mark roskams]

Sarah Klassen
Contributor, Vancouver

Even as a girl, Sarah spent hours curling up with her mother in their home library, exploring fashion and décor magazines, reading Jane Austen novels, and looking through beautiful books. Educated in design and marketing, Sarah has a great deal of experience in the realm of design, decorating and retail. She enjoys writing, travel, bike riding, boutique shopping, and exploring her beautiful city with her soul mate. Considered approachable and warm, if you meet her on the street, she’s likely to engage you in lively conversation.
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