There are projects that are born as a wonderful and a little ‘unattainable thought but then take off becoming beautiful reality. So it was for Masseria dei Monaci, which grows between centuries-old olive trees and Mediterranean vegetation, dominating the immense, exciting view of the sea.
A suspended and enveloping eden
We are located a few kilometers from the center of Otranto and a few meters from the Abbey of San Nicola di Casole, which was for the Byzantine Mediterranean a center of cultural production of first floor comparable to the French Abbey of Cluny and destroyed by the Turks along with the town in sadly famous sack of 1480. And this farm, dating back to the fifth century, was the place where the monks, after finishing their precious transcription of books, retired to eat, sleep and do their daily chores.
“Our idea – explains Germana Rosati that with her family has created this little paradise – was to preserve as much as possible the original soul of this building and also to support the harmonious ability of osmosis with the landscape”.
As soon as it was known that the masseria was on sale in the area, Germana supported by her family and that of her husband, did not miss the opportunity to buy it to transform it into this suspended and enveloping eden ideal for a direct and emotional escape with the nature.
She had immediately glimpsed all the potential of the place deciding to intervene with light and original touch, improving the existing with solutions sometimes at the limit of the brilliant. The rest of the building did the same by unveiling unexpected surprises such as vaulted arches and walled doors that have been restored to their original use and splendor.
Inspired by the variety of the landscape, the colors of the earth and the sky, Germana has dedicated herself with enthusiasm and energy to realize this fresh, bright and essential project. Because that of Masseria Monaci is a story of deep love for a territory and a home.
This masseria with a severe shape, which geometrically refers to a typically Mediterranean construction model with a horse stirrup plant, is refined by the airy succession of internal and external spaces. In the outer areas there are two large parking areas and a large well-kept park with a space also for the little dogs of the house, two foundlings who have found their home and love here.
The interiors include the bar and a large glazed area where in the morning the rich breakfast is made with traditional sweets of the area, such as the famous pasticciotti, freshly picked fruit, cakes, pies, fresh yogurt, herbal teas and teas, cappuccinos and cafeteria expressed.
Here you can hold in the conversation corner with large comfortable sofas and have dinner when the weather no longer allows you to be outdoors as we did delighting with the preparations of Andrea, the husband of Germana, who is a son of art since the father, who today helps him dealing with agricultural duties, the maintenance of the house and even the kitchen of the restaurant, has for years managed “Il Gambero”, a staple of the restaurant in Otranto until some time ago.
And so today is called the restaurant of Masseria dei Monaci that offers traditional local dishes with the inevitable taste in more donated by the irresistible aroma of wild herbs that grow here between the land and the sea.
The thirteen rooms are very spacious and all on two floors with a mezzanine sleeping area and a living area on the lower floor overlooking an independent entrance on a central empty space according to the classic morphology of the local court houses.
The essential furnishings are mostly signed by light colors and various shades of white. Wooden pergolas covered with vines provide shelter from the sun and daze with perfumes.
Thought right away as a retreat for Germana, her wonderful family and many friends, this house today resounds with the voices of the many languages of the guests who attend it all year round.
Staying here allows you to suspend time and enjoy the countryside in which quiet and silence reign, where once the ancient Byzantine monks traced a network of paths pushing to the cenoby of San Nicola di Casole. Pleasant walks to the sea of the Baia dell’Orte that contemplate a slight effort to return but that is worth all the wonder of the pristine place. Also recommended is the bauxite pond, the former quarry that collects rainwater that takes on a brilliant emerald green color thanks to the presence of the mineral and which is enhanced by the vermilion rock walls on which a dense vegetation grows.
We like to emphasize that at Masseria dei Monaci the warm, accurate family hospitality is also directed to our four-legged friends, also allowed in comfortable interiors and characterized by minimal and Mediterranean décor with antique touches.