March 31, 2013

Secret Italy

Masseria: The Italian Farmhouses of Puglia


First of all, our apologies for being a bit AWOL. The busiest real estate market since '06 has taken us by surprise, but we'll do a better job from here on out, promise. (And thanks to all of you who have been complaining that you miss us. We love complainers like that.)

Last week in our only second of downtime we took a quick look at One Kings Lane and stumbled upon a book we had to have. When it came in it didn't disappoint.

The book: The Italian Farmhouses of Puglia. The result: Breathtaking.

The farmhouses are located on Italy's southeast coast. The "Masserie" date from the Middle Ages and have remained a secret part of Italy, particularly vis-à-vis the Tuscan hillside villas. Once serving as farmhouses and way stations for those traveling along the Via Applia, these buildings have been beautifully but simply restored.

Perhaps it's our current infatuation with the glamorous but rustic-feeling houses, vineyards, and hotels in Napa Valley which has made this book resonate so much. Take a look at the photos and we're sure you'll agree. When it comes to these glorious structures, less is certainly more. And as inspiration for your own homes this style works marvelously because it can be done inexpensively. (Though medieval stucco and stone may be a little harder to come by.)

And, yes, we have to throw it in. If Puglia sounds familiar it's because Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel got married there. So they beat us to the altar AND Italy's best kept secret.

Photos: © Mark Roskams, Masseria: The Italian Farmhouses of Puglia, Rizzoli New York, 2011.



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