Puglia is home to more than just sandy white beaches, rolling fields and ancient olive groves. The southern Italian region offers a real mish-mash of architectural styles that chart the area’s history, from the Roman and medieval forts to Saracen-era towers, canonical trullos and traditional masserias – and even a smattering of cutting-edge contemporary villas.
Many of these structures have new roles as part of the region’s bustling tourism industry, and these Puglian holiday homes feature al fresco dining spots for long summer evenings in the sun, infinity pools and picturesque orchards, vineyards and olive groves.
Here’s our selection of the best Puglian holiday homes for soaking up the sun by the Mediterranean Sea.
Villa Cardo near Carovigno
Sleeps 8; from €3,000 per week direct
This serene contemporary Italian holiday home sits among the olive groves of Puglia’s countryside and was designed by Studio Andrew Trotter for slow living. Villa Cardo resembles a series of stacked boxes and has been built using local materials near the village of Carovigno. Minimalist interiors feature stone floors, pale plaster walls and arching ceilings, while the Italian holiday home’s black-framed windows frame vistas of the surrounding olive groves and almond trees. As well as a pool and sun terrace, it also boasts a rooftop terrace that looks out towards the Mediterranean Sea. Take a look inside.
Cliff House in Polignano a Mare
Sleeps 10; from €350 per night via Welcome Beyond
This quiet clifftop retreat perches 70 ft above the Mediterranean Sea and is stacked across three floors. The previously abandoned townhouse was renovated by hand due to its sensitive position and tricky access, using traditional techniques and local materials. Interiors of the restored Italian holiday home are decorated with a blend of traditional Puglian style, Scandinavian influences and African crafts and colour. Stone floors and a seawater cellar ensure that the hideaway stays cool in the hot summer months. Guests can dine on the ground floor terrace, or relax by the pool on the rooftop terrace. See more.
Tenuta Masseriola in Carovigno
Sleeps 8; from €3,000 per week direct
Stone villa Tenuta Masseriola is surrounded by more than eight hectares of olive groves just outside of Puglia’s Carovigno. The trullo combines tradition and modernity, with dry stone walls contrasted by more contemporary additions. Whitewashed interiors feature exposed stonework, a vaulted ceiling, tubular steel furniture and marble-topped tables. Guests can soak up the sun by the infinity pool which is screened by trees. The Torre Guaceto nature reserve is also a 10-minute drive away and offers a coastline of white sandy beaches.
Masseria Petrarolo near Monopoli
8 bedrooms; €12,500 per week direct
Local practice Simone & Musa and London based firm Tully Filmer restored this historic masseria, which was built in 1689 to provide protection from the Barbary raiders who plundered the Italian coastline from the Adriatic Sea. Masseria Petrarolo sits with 75 acres of olive groves close to Bari, and its old fortified bell tower still remains. Traces of its battle-hardy past can also be read via arrow-slit windows and thick stone walls. Soho house’s Alexander Waterworth designed the Puglian villa’s minimalist interiors – stone walls and vaulted brick ceilings are a simple backdrop for antique furniture and contemporary design pieces. See more on the Italian property.
Villa Castelluccio in Ceglie Messapica
Sleeps 6; from €2500 per week direct
Villa Castelluccio was built in the 1920s and the simple, boxy villa is another project overhauled by Studio Andrew Trotter. Sitting in the old town of Ceglie Messapica, next to Ostuni, the minimalist Italian holiday home has muted interiors that reflect the home’s peaceful surroundings and create a relaxed atmosphere, but Trotter has focused on details in order to elevate the space. Walls feature a tightly curated art collection, white furnishings include linen sofas, simple light fittings, and antique pieces. He also commissioned local craftsmen to make concrete sinks and countertops, complemented by brass fittings. The countryside villa opens directly onto the garden, which includes a pool, an outdoor dining area, and an olive tree garden. Get a closer look.
4 bedrooms; from €2500 per week direct
Trullo Piccolo is an Italian hideaway set amongst 4-acres of olive tree-dotted land in Puglia’s Martina Franca. The minimalist holiday home was restored by its owners – an architect and sculptor – who have repaired original stone, wood and glass details. Four separate buildings make up the holiday complex, which has series of al fresco dining spots for long summer nights, and a vegetable garden with tomatoes and herbs which guests can harvest for its indoor and outdoor kitchens. For the non-foodies, there’s a plunge pool and an infinity pool for cooling off after hot summer days exploring the coast.
Masseria Angiulli Piccolo
Sleeps 13; from £868 per night via Airbnb
Looking for something on a bigger scale? Masseria Angiulli Piccolo is an 18th-century home surrounded by 85-acres of vineyards and orchards in Puglia. The rustic retreat has been fully restored by its architect owners and is as secluded as it is beautiful. Interiors feature vaulted stone ceilings which cap voluminous rooms, while cool white walls and stone floors help provide respite from the Italian heat. Masseria Angiulli Piccolo can accommodate up to 13 guests, who can dine at the pergola-covered swimming pool terrace or its sunny courtyard. The Italian holiday home is part of a working farm and the surrounding gardens supply fruit and wine for the kitchen. See inside.
Sleeps 6; from €250 per night via Airbnb
Parco Paolino is a countryside villa in Puglia’s Ostuni with living spaces that flow between inside and out. An outdoor patio, pergola, swimming pool and shower are surrounded by three hectares of ancient olive trees. Inside, minimalist interiors have been given pops of colour with a selection of furniture, lighting and art. Guests can dine under the olive trees, lay by the pool or sit by the fire.