ORIA, THE SALENTO & PUGLIA....
La Masseria Terra di Marina is a beautiful mansion, located just 2 miles from the medieval town Oria in the heart of the Salento di Puglia. It was the manor house of the whole contrada and the beautiful church attached to the house welcomed locals for Sunday services and weddings until very recently. This is without doubt one of the most lovely regions of Puglia, steeped in rich medieval tradition, this ancient town offers fabulous restaurants, markets, and wonderful local festivals throughout the year. It has a magnificent restored Frederic II castle which dominates the city and a beautiful imposing Cathedral. People travel for miles to have their wedding photos taken here as it is so picturesque. The cathedral is home to a unique set of mummified monks which are quite extraordinary. We are also pretty sure that we have the best gelato in Italy, if not the world! There are countless cheap and delicious restaurants too!
For lots of info and images of Oria, please visit http://www.visitoria.it
ORIA AND SALENTO MUSIC
The Salento region is home to the amazing tradition of the Pizzica Pizzica music and dance and Oria has one of the best traditions of this music in Italy. Many a summer evening can be enjoyed in the piazza watching these mesmerising bands with the passionate folk music and sensual entrancing dancers. If you have not seen it before, have a look at this:
It is amazing and once you find yourself in the middle of it you will find yourself on your feet and hooked in no time!
ORIA, SURROUNDED BY NATURAL BEAUTY
It is also surrounded by the loveliest countryside, bursting with citrus groves and rich vineyards. The whole region is very Italian and unspoilt. Thanks to the vast local production of olive oils, pastas and fruit and vegetables - the best of which are kept for local use - the region is known as the breadbasket of Italy.
The beaches of the Ionian and Adriatic coastlines are equidistant (about 25 mins away) and both are stunning. Puglia boasts 500 miles of sandy coastline with stunning nature reserves and blue flag beaches.
Best of all, Oria is not part of the tourist trail so you can enjoy real Italy with real Italians. As it does not rely on tourism there is a great vibrant atmosphere all year round.
A SHORT DRIVE AWAY...
The bustling town of Francavilla (pictured right) is less than 10 minutes away. We are also close to the famous wine producing town of Manduria (home of the Primitivo grape) and the beautiful town of Mesagne. We love Oria so much that it takes a lot to make us leave but these towns are all worth a visit.
Ostuni – known as 'the white city'. Just walk and walk. Every corner you turn holds another breathtaking view. Fabulous panorama down to the sea, great al fresco restaurants and a huge Saturday market. Stunning. Our favourite church is next to the town hall in the Piazza. Tourist hotspot Ostuni is about 25 minutes from the Masseria.
Alberobello (pictured below) – remarkable world heritage site and a must see while you are here. Home of the Trulli. Good to combine a trip with a trip to the amazing Castellano caves nearby.
Lecce is about 45 minutes drive. It is known as the Florence of the South, but I prefer Lecce any day! Wonderful Baroque architecture. Elegant university city. Masses to see and lots of shops!
FOR THE KIDS...
For kids, there’s a big ten pin bowling/amusement arcade on the road out of central Ostuni to Pilone.
There is also a fabulous Zoo safari with huge funfair + theatre in Fasano.
We have 3 fabulous water parks nearby, and there are some amazing massages on offer for the grown ups!
The caves in Castellano are huge and very impressive. They are a great rainy day option. Guided tours are available in English.
FOOD AND DRINK...
Puglia is known as the breadbasket of Italy due to the wonderful supplies of oil, pasta and fresh fruit and vegetables it produces. Locals will boast that the best is kept in Puglia. There are an abundance of fantastic restaurants in the area from romantic cave restaurants to fabulous fish restaurants on the beach. Puglia is renowned throughout Italy to offer the best fresh produce, and the Salento is particularly renowned for its wines and citrus crops.
FLIGHTS AND TRANSPORT...
The nearest airport, and our personal favourite (25 mins drive) is Brindisi. The next best thing is Bari airport which is about an hour away. Some of our guests fly to Naples or Pescara and then drive (3-4 hours) or Rome (4-5 hours).
The best choice of direct flights are with Ryanair to either Brindisi or Bari. Alitalia also fly to either Brindisi or Bari or BritishAirways fly direct to Bari. Alternatively you can tailor make your own travel package with internal connections with Myair.com, Easyjet, KLM and Air France.