Nature

TO LIVE

The two seas

The sea is not here. Not just one. The Adriatic sea, at these latitude, is extraordinary. Set free at last by the abuses of the northern great rivers, its waters are warm, transparent, in striking harmony with the color of the sky. Ruled by the local wind so-called “Tramontana”, it swells up, displaying all its stunning shades of blue, brushing marvelous stretches of beach and lonely ancient watchtowers. The Jonio sea yet allows any exotic likeness, never disappointing those who reach it. Its waters flows into daylight, daylight into clear sands, waning into the sun heat. Lagoons, bays, coves, and pools follow one another in what is possibly the least Italian of all our seas.

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The tenderness of the rock

Life in the countryside is cast in stones. Assembling stones, raising walls, clearing the ground from rocks, working with hammers…here all around is rock. The borders of our fields are made of stones, so that nobody can remove them; our trullo was built with stones, the sink, and the table are not different; the oven we use to bake the bread is a stony cave; I fall asleep on a rocky basin and the vault between me and the stars is a wise work of wedged-in stones, eternally balancing one another. The floor we walk on is a remarkable work of weaving lime stones, and the barnyard where the almonds are put to dry and the olives fall from the trees is a mosaic made of ancient bits and pieces. And yet, I’ve never felt so much tenderness around.

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Flavors

The journey of the senses is fully accomplished at our very first encounter with the local flavors and aromas. According to the season, this land gives you its amazingly rich produce. This is made available to our guests, who are encouraged to pick fruits and vegetables straight from the orchard.

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Nature

BLOOMING

One land, many lands

Il geco sognante lays at the core of the moving Messapic countryside. This is a karstic land, covered with a layer of amazingly red clay, underneath huge caves run for miles, some of which can also be visited in depth. But it’s just one of the many facets of this extraordinary landscape. Only few miles away you’ll find the plain of Ostuni, bursting with the oldest olive trees of the whole region; the Murgia of the trulli, and its sweet hilly scenery, dotted with the typically white cones; and so on till the city of Grottaglie a renowned pottery production center, and its impressive tufa banks over which the town has been built. One land containing many others, one land containing them all.

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the Empire of the light

In this part of the world things appear under a different light, and all shine with exceptionally bright colors. Here’s light all day round. When dawn comes and turns into sunrise, the sky gets on fire. The pinnacles on the top of the cones of the trulli turn pink, then orange, and yellow, until the final white glare dazzles everything else around. The color white is primeval and absolute here, while the whole iris is more intense and brighter, soaked with light. Night is never pitch-black. Darkness does not dwell here. Even when the moon hides away the generous stones returns the starlight. The firmament so clear and noisy here that Ulysses too couldn’t find his way home back to Itaca, following thousands of different North Stars. And if the moon looms, sleeping becomes beautifully restless, full of images and sounds coming from the night. The marvel of turning off all the lights and gazing up there in astonishment makes you want to put off your sleep a bit longer…

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