The big farmhouse can be reached following the road from Bisceglie to the inland. And the double origin of this farm can already be found in its name. It suddenly appear in the countryside of silver olive trees on the same landslide that is located just off the famous Dolmen. In fact as “Posta di Santa Croce”, the post station where once shepherds and flocks could found hospitality and refreshment, it is already signed in a map of 1686 now preserved in the State Archives of Foggia. Whereas the second part of the name is due to the church built in 1811 in front of the main building dedicated to the Holy Cross and to Saint Peter of Alcantara.
To the large building complex also belongs the rural church that was incorporated in the building between the late 1700s and early 1800s, as well as the court that was a shelter for the sheep and the apartment on the first floor built in the middle of the nineteenth century as a small manor house. It was completely decorated with bright frescoes by the local artists Santoro, father and son. Lost its original functionn of “Posta”, the building was transformed into a farmhouse and the stable used as an oil mill.
The recovery works of the walls was complicated as they were quite deteriorated and in 1952 heavy rains caused the collapse of the cistern in which converged, thanks to a system of underground canals, the rainwater flowing from the terrace. Today not only it has been rebuilt, but it is also in part returned to its original function, says with valid pride Pietro Consiglio, who together with his wife Giusy wanted to take back to life this wonderful place, that has been property of the same family since the end of 1700. Thanks to the careful recovery work, an in-depth research on old maps and photographs and the reuse of the original elements, it has retained intact its old charm.Moreover, for most of the coatings was used a local stone that was worked by two French stonemasons, Luc Tamborero and Gregoire Delau, coming from the training school of the “compagnons du devoir”, heir of the guilds of medieval arts and crafts tradition and passionate about Puglia. Ecological choices for the plaster and the floors and use of traditional materials, without ever exceeding in the “rustic at all costs”, in the furnishings and colors that maintain a strict balance. Rooftop solar panels provide heating of the water and also the flues have been renovated to enable the use of the fireplaces of the house.
The most spectacular one is in the room “Carrubo”, a big double room with kitchenette and an comfortable bathroom, which once housed the sheep and the shepherd who here kept himself warm while he smoked the cheeses and which today has welcomed us and Arturo.
Inside, a stone staircase leads to the terrace overlooking a “sea” of olive trees where there is also a small table for intimate rendezvous. And when Giusy and Pietro showed it to us, they soon revealed that they had chosen it because it is the most romantic of all. But, like in the other rooms, you can find coffee, tea, biscuits for breakfast, yogurt, “taralli” and even loaf bread from the local bakery San Luigi and then orecchiette, tomato sauce and a bottle of wine. All four suites, in fact, are self-catering.
On the ground floor, next to the suite “Carrubo”, “Lo Iazzo” is the most apartment and is wheelchair accessible, with a large bedroom with a double bed and a comfortable sofa bed, a room with kitchen area and an additional sofa bed and bathroom. The room “L’Ulivo” also overlooks the large garden. This has a double bedroom with fireplace, a single bedroom, a room with kitchenette and a bathroom. “Cerere”, an apartment entirely frescoed, is instead on the first floor and has a double bedroom with balcony and relax room, a lounge with kitchenette, a terrace and a small library.
Large spaces are also those in the common areas where is possible to read brochures and books on Puglia or just relax. All around, in the ten hectares of land, centenary olive trees, cherry trees, endless expanses of prickly pears and many other varieties of fruit to collect directly from the trees and a herb garden for guests. Last gem is the little house built on the trees for their three children but also used by the younger guests who can run around free and cheerful together with their furry friends.
(Traduzione di Monia Saponaro)