Hotel Life: Masseria Trapana
As soon as we found ourselves lost on a single lane dirt road inside a thick grove of ancient olive trees I knew our trip was off to a good start. One thing Andrew and I have found to be true in travel is that if it is difficult to get to, then you know it will be good. We had just landed that morning in Puglia and we were trying to find Masseria Trapana, our first hotel stop on our honeymoon road trip through Italy.
Nestled inside 148 acres of unpopulated olive groves, Masseria Trapana was once a 16th century fortified farmhouse typical of the Puglia region. Despite the remoteness, Trapana’s location made for the perfect base. Located just ten minutes outside the bijoux city of Lecce, it was a good starting point for exploring beaches and other nearby towns. Trapana has been fully renovated into a nine room hotel with modern fixings. Keeping the integrity of the original framework intact, the minimal touches serve a purpose of convenience without ever feeling too over the top.
What I loved most about this property was the series of walled in gardens, filled with small groves of lemon trees. The trees became an attraction in itself - breakfast was served underneath, there was always plenty of lemonade to be had by the pool and limoncello to top off a hot evening. There are also plenty of orange, walnut, pomegranate and mandarin trees; some strewn with hammocks. A large plum tree frames a huge saltwater pool flanked by beds topped off with soft blue stripe Italian made peshtemals. It was the perfect spot for watching the clouds go by after a dip.
Two touchstones from the past anchor the grounds. There is an underground olive press still in its original condition and a tiny little church with pastel pink colored frescos. We settled in across from the chapel in the 'Sydney' suite. It wasn’t even Trapana's top tier suite and still it was one of the largest hotel rooms we had during our whole trip. Our space had its own miniature walled in garden that was an extension of the bathroom. The shower opened up to the outside and the alfresco tub was nestled under a tree.
The owner Robb, an Australian expat, was super kind and helped us get our bearings while we were adjusting to a new language and country. He has clearly worked in the hospitality business, offering plenty of thoughtful gestures during our stay. For instance, I loved the turndown service- a bottle of water on the nightstand and a dolce on the pillow. Palazzo Margherita (review coming soon) was the only other place to do this out of the seven hotels we stayed at in Italy. The tiniest of touches like these make a hotel that much extra and worth the efforts of discovering.
From Masseria Trapana, we made day trips out to Lecce, Ceglie Messapica, Cisternino, Ostuni and out to turquoise beaches of Porto Cesareo. A guide to these places coming soon.