An Ancient Farm in the Italian Countryside

Every summer for two whole months, an Italian architect from Bologne takes himself and his family to the haven he created out in the countryside of the Pugliese peninsula (Italy's "boot") in a peaceful setting in harmony with nature. Can you imagine a simpler, more elemental escape than this renovated 17th C. farm situated among the olive groves, cactus and red earth?

Now, I know that this is not Provence, however it is spiritually very close & I think I could happily spend a summer month or two about you? I mean, Nice is only a few hours drive northwest!

a rustic old table inherited from a grandmother, and
wooden chairs found at a brocante and painted in a khaki-brown color that
harmonizes perfectly with the colors of nature; the stairs
leading up to the vaulted loft give the feeling of
folded paper and the built in banquette is covered in striped linen

in the living room, limed plaster walls are one of the only
concessions to modern techniques in this otherwise authentically
traditional renovation; old hollow tree sections hold logs
for the fireplace, an old leather chair found at a flea market,
and a wooden stool found in a consignment shop furnish
this room with a serene and minimalist atmosphere

in the guest bedroom, the same limed plaster walls; a giant tableau made from
a light garland used in the local village in the form of a star is mounted on
white fabric and framed; it now functions not only as art, but take s the place
of lamps by infusing the room with a soft light; a large fish trap and small taboret
are used for bedside tables in this elegantly spare and simple room

keeping the renovations as simple as possible, the architect
opted for an Italian, or "walk in" shower with no other
partitions except the small wall separating
it from the bedroom; a Sicilian basket and an old
wooden ladder store bath products and hang towels

a monumental concrete table was placed outside
to create a convivial and welcoming atmosphere for friends and neighbors;
for dinners that continue late into the night, old strings of
light bulbs were made into these suspended pendants; in the spirit of
"recoup", the old wooden chairs are painted each a different color

ok, check out this "outdoor kitchen".. built into the stone walls,
it features a sink made from an ancient olive mill found nearby, as well
as two burners from an industrial site .. can you imagine the dinners
you could cook here? there's also a wood-burning oven nearby just to
round out the fabulousness of this amazing kitchen in "plein nature"

not to be overlooked is the outdoor shower built in the shadow
of an ancient olive tree near the aromatic herb garden
planted with rosemary; the shower is copper and
the water is warm...heaven!

extending the master bedroom outdoors is the terrace
built over the ancient ovens; a small stone wall makes
this the perfect place to spend time taking in
the magnificent countryside


from Marie Claire; translated from French by me
(in case you couldn't tell!)


Pugliese flag

the farmhouse is located out on Lecce between the
Adriatic and the Ionian Seas

Rustici Leccese

donut-sized concoctions of mozzarella,
bechamel and chopped tomatoes baked
inside phyllo dough

(I can't find the recipe, anyone know how
to make these?)


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