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Great Escapes: Puglia, Italy

Paradise Found
Italy’s southeast coast, with its fishing towns, rustic charm, and limited development, may be the country’s most untouched destination—for now. Increasingly, foreigners are finding their way to the coast of Puglia, and Italians are showing interest in the region, buying homes to serve as retreats from their primary residences in Milan and Rome. Puglia’s bucolic estates offer striking architecture and stylish interiors that display a mix of antiques and contemporary art, while its beaches, unlike those of the rocky Amalfi Coast, are sandy and calm. Whether located a short drive from the Adriatic shore or tucked away amid olive groves, the region’s vacation properties—with their rooftop terraces, amply sized pools, and expansive outdoor areas—are best enjoyed by large groups looking to discover Puglia for themselves.

Masseria Cisterna Rossa
The Rome-based gallery proprietor who owns this home has filled it with a covetable modern art collection, which is displayed throughout. The property, located in the Puglian town of Ruffano, features vaulted ceilings, a library and study, landscaped gardens, shaded patios, and a roof terrace that affords panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The impeccably landscaped pool area, peppered with olive and palm trees, serves as an extension of the outdoor living area and, owing to its photogenic quality, has been the setting for fashion shoots.

Bedrooms: 4. Rates: about $9,000 to $17,000 per week. Contact: Think Puglia, 800.490.1107, www.thinkpuglia.com

Casa Ceno
Three cubic structures separate the living areas from the sleeping quarters in this modern home in the Valle d’Itria, about a half hour’s drive from the Adriatic coast. While the spare but brightly accented interiors are intentionally divided and geared toward privacy, the outdoor spaces flow together around the property’s pool. Like other newer builds in the area, the stone-walled structures’ minimalist style puts the focus on the scenic surroundings, which include olive groves and historic trulli—ancient stone houses topped with cone-shaped roofs.

Bedrooms: 5. Rates: about $5,300 to $11,900 per week. Contact: Think Puglia, 800.490.1107, www.thinkpuglia.com

Trullo Gaura
Characterized by conical roofs and dry stone masonry, trulli were popular houses for 17th-century peasants, and the reason for that popularity, according to the locals, was that the structures could be dismantled quickly, before the property tax collector came, and rebuilt afterward. Of the trulli that remain in Puglia today, few have been restored and modernized with the charm and personality of Trullo Gaura, which has gracious interior spaces that are larger than normal, complying with more contemporary notions of comfort. The grounds offer mature gardens, furnished terraces, and a pool.

Bedrooms: 4. Rates: about $5,200 to $12,000 per week. Contact: Think Puglia, 800.490.1107, www.thinkpuglia.com

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Photo by Nigel YoungFoster + Partners
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