A family-run Masseria with enchanting Trulli

A mix of heritage and modern amenities, the Masseria Ferri dates back to the fifteenth century. The farm strives to restore and maintain its historical land and structure while adding a new building with four apartments in trulli stone and pool for visitors. Located in the countryside and only 20 kilometers from central Ostuni and 5 km from Martina Franca, this region is well known to those in the UK as "Murgia dei Trulli" or Trulli-shire as so many people from the UK buy second homes in the region.

This land is full of history as it once belonged to a Benedictine convent, and then a monastic order of knights. Land rights were much contested and finally in the 18th century it was split into smaller parcels. It was awarded to the Lella family following a marriage and has been in the family since then.

Today on the Masseria the family raises pigs, cows, horses and donkeys. It is also working with WWF to reintroduce turtles to the region as they are in extremely low numbers from farming and pollution. In addition to a vineyard, the farm also grows an astounding number of vegetables including 600 kilograms of tomatoes each year, which are preserved for the upcoming season. There are a number of classes on site such as bread making, cooking classes and cheese making. In September and October it is possible to go mushroom foraging and grape harvesting. Masseria Ferri can also organize wine tours in the region all year round.

Experience Rosa's award winning orecchiette

While we had previously visited older masserias in Brindisi this was the first one that had the iconic trullis so it was a fun day for us to visit Masseria Ferri. As enthusiastic as we were to see the trulli structures we were there for one reason, to learn how to make orecchiette from Rosa who has recently won a competition judged by Michelin star chefs for the best traditional pasta dish. Rosa, whose family runs Masseria Ferri, entered her orecchiette with cime di rapa (rapini) and won.

She and her sister offered to show us how to make orecchiette and it was clear why she had won the award. She was able to create the small ears pasta with such preciseness that only someone could do who had made this all of their life. Dave had made pasta but never orecchiette like this, Rosa offered for him to try to make the little ears and it was not as easy as she made it look. While she could quickly cut the pasta and flip it over her fingertip he found it a bit more difficult but with some more instruction he was able to make them as well. We also made bresaola and dessert with the sisters and then sat down to lunch with the masseria’s white wine and while we thought we didn’t have room for limoncello, we could not resist just a taste when we heard it was also house made.

Afterwards we were able to tour the ground and took a peek into the trullis, which have been converted into apartments people can rent. It seemed like a great alternative to hotels as it was an interesting room but also had grounds to walk around, a pool to relax and the Masseria organizes both cooking classes or winery tours if people would like to see more of the region. It was a lovely afternoon and we have so much more appreciation for orecchiette, it is really difficult to make!