In Dream of Italy’s second special report on Puglia (released in July 2012), we detail six amazing, authentic, stylish places to stay in Puglia. Here is an excerpt on one of them:
Few visitors to the area around Alberobello in Puglia haven’t dreamed of spending the night in one of the trulli, historic conical limestone huts, that dot the landscape here and are now protected by UNESCO World Heritage status. At Masseria Gelso Bianco, 11 trulli come together within a larger structure, to offer a uniquely Pugliese luxury villa rental that sleeps up to 10 people in five bedrooms.
In less than six months, owner Antonello Losito of Southern Visions Travel transformed Gelso from a pile of rocks to a property that belongs on the cover of a design magazine. For anyone who knows how things work in southern Italy, this is nothing short of a miracle and testament to Losito’s powerful work ethic and attention to detail.
No detail is missed at Gelso, whether it is one of aesthetics or comfort and convenience. I slept in Il Carciofo (artichoke) which is actually two trulli, one sleeping room connected to a stunning cave-like, modern bathroom. The short hallway between the two features colorful ceramic artichokes on display; each room offers similar symbolic décor tied to its name. All of the rooms are en suite.
Gelso has full radiant heat and air conditioning, a WiFi router in each room ensures a strong signal and the hair dryers in each bathroom are uber-powerful. Losito also provides guests with an Apple iPad to use during their stay.
While there is a main living and dining room, the grounds of Gelso, including an absolutely stunning pool, are so captivating that you will want to spend all of your time eating and playing outside, surrounded by white limestone, ancient olive trees and the captivating trulli. Losito’s fiancée Laura Giordano runs a small cooking school attached to Gelso, which provides guests the perfect chance to learn how to prepare simple yet flavorful Pugliese specialties. (Subscribers: Read Antonello and Laura’s Insider Tips for Puglia.)
Masseria Gelso Bianco is one of those places you struggle to leave, even for just a few hours to do some sightseeing. What a perfect Pugliese luxury retreat.
Masseria Gelso Bianco
(39) 340 2644128
Rates: 1,990 to 4,390 euros per week, depending on the season, though there are often last-minute rental discounts on the website.