A Luxury Farmhouse for Animal Lovers on the Salento Peninsula
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Available as Rooms or Entire property
Luxury boutique hotel and farm Masseria Prosperi, located north of Otranto between the Alimini lakes and the iconic stacks of Sant’Andrea, is a year-round destination for those who like to connect with and appreciate nature. In 2013, husband and wife team Mercedes and Antonio, who share a mutual love of hosting and of horses, opened Masseria Prosperi’s doors to hospitality. The rural chic farmhouse shines with classic Puglian white walls and thoughtfully-picked furniture: every piece was researched, reinvented, or adapted to new life. Most of the beautiful items, from chicken-printed cushions to handmade wicker chairs, were found by Mercedes and Antonio on their travels around Europe, in flea markets, and from antique dealers around Italy. Every detail is in line with the homey, yet luxurious design. Staying at Masseria Prosperi is like staying at the house of your chic best friend…If your best friend has an impeccable sense of style, horses grazing next to the pool, and a husband who knows how to cook the best fish in Puglia.
Masseria Prosperi and its many outdoor spaces are built for recreation, relaxation, and conviviality. Masseria Prosperi, as well as its sister hotel Masseria Montelauro, is as much an experience as it is a place to stay: the masseria adapts to offer the right atmosphere for every season, and no matter the weather, it is easy to engage with the natural offerings of the hotel and of Salento. There are two swimming pools: one outdoors and a heated one indoors in the spa (which also boasts a whirlpool, Turkish bath, and massage room). All year round, you can meet their bees, help harvest in the garden, pick wild herbs on countryside walks and learn to weave wicker, shape terracotta pottery, and cook traditional Puglian dishes. In October, you can harvest olives from the shrubby trees that surround the estate. On certain evenings, Mercedes and Antonio host communal dinners with vegetables from their garden and fresh fish cooked by Antonio himself. Strongly attached to the land and its cuisine, Antonio cares deeply about the garden. All the vegetables are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. Puglia is primarily known for its sea, but the land is so much more: Masseria Prosperi is only 1.5km from the sea, but the history and tradition of the masseria link it firmly to the land. No matter if it’s swimming season, it’s always the right time to visit Masseria Prosperi.
The eight rooms each have a unique style with handpicked antique furniture and decor. The suites are particularly lovely: some gaze out at the countryside and pool, while others have a terrace overlooking the animal paddock. Not only do the rooms embody rural beauty and simplicity, but they are sustainable. All hot water is produced by solar panels, and the heating beneath the floor is sustained by a wood-fired boiler. Masseria Prosperi is completely plastic free.
It’s also an option to rent the entire farmhouse for your family and friends. For this full service experience, the hotel staff, all eight rooms, the spa, the swimming pool, the garden and the sunbeds are all at your private disposal.
Animals are crucial in Mercedes and Antonio’s lives and in the experience that Masseria Prosperi offers. They have five horses, three donkeys, two ponies, a mule, a cow, three baby goats, four turtles, six dogs, eight cats plus lots of chickens, geese and ducks. Most of the animals are free to roam the estate’s meadows. The masseria’s symbol is a donkey–a noble, intelligent, balanced, docile and hardworking animal. What better animal to be represented by? Here, every animal has a name and a story: some were born at the masseria, others were found, and a few arrived and decided that this would be their family. The little goat Bella, for example, was raised in the house for three months because her mother didn’t want her. She slept in the fireplace, jumped on the sofa, and played with the dogs. Of course, guests are invited to bring their animals as well. “We offer nothing special, just freedom. They can be free and welcome,” says Mercedes. The strong attachment to animals and to nature can be felt throughout the masseria, creating a thriving and authentic energy.
And if you do feel the need to leave this oasis, there’s lots to see and do in the area: the coastline and lakes of Alimini, the nature reserve of Cesine, the cliffs of Sant’Andrea, the small town of Acaja stopped in history, the beach of Baia dei Turchi, and the historical town of Otranto. Salento and Masseria Prosperi are magical places to be experienced all year round, and thanks to the region’s favorable climate, all months are beautiful here.
A few segreti (secrets) from Mercedes and Antonio:
1. Da Umberto, which is only 400m away (and easy to walk to), serves incredibly fresh raw fish.
2. il Contadino, a two minute drive or a ten minute walk from Masseria Prosperi, serves the classic foods of the Puglian land. Don’t miss the fave e cicorie or the spiraled pasta ciceri e tria.
3. In Otranto town, check out Rebus for colorful, artisanal pottery.