Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 798: Masseria Salamina, apartment
Rooms and apartments on an estate near Pezze di Greco, Puglia
29 Feb - 7 Mar 2004, 1 week
The rental was on an agriturismo just outside the small town of Pezze di Greco and surrounded by hundreds of olive trees and vineyards. The location was quite nice and since we were virtually the only ones staying there (they have I believe some 15 units all together) it was quiet. From what little othere activity there was, however, we could sense that it might not be as quiet when the other rooms are occupied. Footfalls from one or two other rooms were detected quite easily and noiuses through the walls as well.
Walking to town was not out of the question -- probably one or two kms at most, but ther was little available except for one or two bars and a couple of alimentari. But for serious grocery shopping one needed to drive about 10 kms to the nearest supermercato, just off the superstrada.
The building was quite impressive and reminiscent of when the farmhouses were fortified as means of protecting each household grouping from raiders along the coast. There were 7 suites and 8 apartments.
Our unit was on the top floor of the Masseria and had a small table and two chairs just outside our door for eating outside -- but so did each of the other four units on our floor and there were no demarcations separating units. No pool.
The furniture was OK but a bit spartan, particularly for a week-long stay. Our unit was clean (and kept clean) and spacious enough for two persons but there was only a day bed with no back to it in the sitting room no chairs -- aside from the four around the small dining table -- and no sofa. No terribly comfortable for relaxing.
The bed was a queen size and very comfortable and there was quite a bit of storage space in the bedroom as well. One bathroom was sufficient and it was quite nice allthough I'm not particualrly fond of the hand-held show thing and having to stoop in the tub, etc.
The kitchen was usable although very narrow and confined, like a galley kitchen on a boat but smaller. Giid size refrigerator, though, and sink area although preppping food got to be a bit of a challenge, and no oven. Still it worked well enough for us to cook meals for three of the nights were there.
Problems or Bonuses
The major surprise for us was the fact that virtually no one spoke English. While we can get along OK in Italian our range is still pretty much confined to certain areas. We were led to believe by the sources we had researched (notably Karen Brown) that "some english was spoken". The people with whom we dealt -- and this was owner and his staff -- could speak virtually no English, not even enough to explain where and how we could get to the grocery store when we first arrived. That certainly is not their fault, but of the resources available here in the US. And it was certainly not an insurmountable problem either.
The bonus was they prepared very good food for both the two dinners we ate there as well as our breakfasts: especially the corneti were fresh and the caffe italiano delicious.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
As noted above I have a neutral reaction to his rental. I probably would not recommend this place if push came to shove. The uncertainty about the noise issue, the lack of minimal English (although we speculated that might be offset in peak travel time by hiring of seasonal staff proficient in English), the spartan accommodations in the end outweigh the quality of the food and the geniality of the hosts. There are quite a few Masseria in the area which have been turned into agriturismi so the choices are certainly there.
Things to do in this area
Since so much was closed this time of year we could only speculate on what it must be like during the spring and summer. Clearly this is a very big area for the beach tourists as evidenced by the businesses and little towns dotted along the Adriatic (pretty much all closed until after Easter). The ruins at Egnazia near Fasano, the grottoes of Castellana, Castel del Monte near Andria, are all worth a stop for sure.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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