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Q&A with Trullo Fico

Published: 22nd April 2015

We love Trullo Fico. Not only is located in Italy's hidden gem, Puglia, but this super family friendly Trullo has been lovingly and beautifully renovated, with fantastic interiors. So how did it come about? We spoke to Mel Massey, the owner, to get the lowdown.

What was your inspiration to buy Trullo Fico?

Mel MasseyMel Massey

My husband and I are really keen travellers and we didnt want to stop when we had our boys, but with busy jobs, one thing we really needed was to be able to properly relax when away. We were on holiday in an ok but expensive apartment in Majorca, sitting on a tiny balcony in flimsy plastic chairs, trying not to wake our kids as we drank wine out of a mug. Our home in London was much more comfortable and relaxing yet we were on holiday - the time when we were supposed to be seriously chilling out and unwinding something wasnt right.

With Majorca above budget, a friend pointed us in the direction of Puglia. It had all the ingredients important for a holiday destination great food, warmth, interesting culture, not too many Brits and amazing architecture. We didnt want much!

A small inheritance from my beloved grandmother who also loved to travel and was always delighted by our adventures, provided the deposit to make the dream to buy our Italian home a reality.

We promptly booked an Easter holiday to Puglia and fell in love with it the countryside, the people, the unique architecture. We spent a month there that summer and after many baked viewings (its hot hot in the summer) stumbled upon Trullo Fico which was being renovated by a local builder after a century of falling into disrepair. We were sold and became the proud owners of our dream holiday house.

You have created a really unique interior. How did it come about?

As soon as I saw Trullo Ficos structure I was inspired - my husband was less enthusiastic! Unfortunately despite having a really unique Saracen domed roof (most Trullis have conical roofs) and wonderful original exposed local stone, the builder who was renovating the property made some very tasteless interior decisions; a breeze-block kitchen, a fake brick arch and plastering over 200 year old stone!

However, we managed to halt him before he did too much irreversible damage. The result was that we have celebrated the bare stone walls, stone floors and domed ceilings we wanted to bring the history to the surface, to tell the stories those walls could tell.

We have introduced pops of colour to this fabulous canvas through the furniture a combination of design classics and vintage gems. I love the challenge of sourcing furniture with wonderful stories behind them, so the house has a Danish sofa from Camden Market, a retro sideboard from eBay which was in the same family for 50 years and birdcage from a French antiques market. However, one of the critical philosophies in our design approach was relaxation. Thinking back to our experience in Majorca, we wanted to ensure our guests had many places to sit and relax, from outdoor sofas or reclining sunbeds to conversations around the kitchen table or swinging in a hammock. This principle also led us to invest in high end mattresses, feather pillows, Egyptian cotton sheets and powerful showers. The design aesthetic is paramount, but then so is comfort, relaxation and a great nights sleep when youre on holiday.

What will we be eating? Specialties and personal favourites?

The food is magical 75% of all fruit and veg in Italy are from Puglia. The local cuisine uses this produce to create very simple, but very tasty peasant food, just a simple tomato covered in olive oil tastes exquisite. Of course Puglia also has a dazzling array of seafood (its surrounded by two seas the Ionic and Adriatic).

Its also home to Liquid Gold aka olive oil, harvested from the 60 million olive trees, which outnumber the residents by 15:1. Theres even rumoured to be one tree which is 2,700 years old and still producing olive oil. Olive oil is used liberally and certainly adds to everything.

Other local favourites include; stracciatella, a rich and tangy mozzarella soaked in heavy cream and pasticciotti, little cream filled pastries (to Puglians what croissants are to the French). Mr and Mrs Clooney loved them so much they ordered 2000 for their Venice nuptials!

We like to live like the locals when visiting an area. What can you recommend?

A visit to Leo and Antonios stall at Ostunis market on Saturdays, will leave you stuffed full of free nibbles and carrying huge bags filled with local cheeses and antipasti meats. The brothers are hilarious and we always end up coming away with far more than we planned after their charm and sampling!

Gipas 111 is a very cool bar in Ostunis old town. The interior is funky and cave like, the exterior has cool beanbags set out in the courtyard next to the impressive cathedral. Antonio, the handsome owner, makes the best caipirinhas this side of Rio!

Borgo Amtico in the less touristy town of Ceglie Messapica, is an amazing restaurant for a late Sunday lunch in the shade of the narrow cobbled streets. You arrive to a table heaving with delicious antipasti, followed by huge steaks and wine in tumblers. At a bargain 20 a head, it is a favourite with locals and hidden in a little alley, so youd never find it without our help!

Trullo Fico is a gorgeous triple-cone trullo in the heart of Puglia, Southern Italy designer style, rustic character. True relaxation.

Sleeps 9, From 207 / night

To read more and contact the owner to book, click the button below.

Take me there!

Posted By:
Claire Wills
Claire is the International Editor for CoolStays. It's her mission to scout the globe for new amazing places to show you. You can follow her on Twitter, @clairelewills

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