“Masseria” The new book on the Italian Country Houses of Puglia


Located on Italy’s sun-drenched southeast coast, the unique and rustic interiors of Puglia’s ancient Masserie buildings speak of a historic past and are inspiring to all those who love rustic living. Surrounded by verdant vineyards and groves of ancient olive trees, the Masserie of Puglia—fortified domestic farmhouses dating back from the Middle Ages—embody a rich cultural past largely unexplored by the tourists and villa-seekers of Tuscany.

Once serving as farmhouses and way stations for those travelling along the Via Appia, these buildings have been renovated to serve as private residences or boutique hotels, with their beautifully preserved interiors thoughtfully adapted and turned into a cool serenity. With striking photography by Masseriasrk Roskams, the book offers a previously unseen look into these spaces. Simultaneously austere and luxurious, the simple yet spacious rooms retain their original charm, including stone kitchen fireplaces, churchlike arched hallways, and magnificent marble floors.

The Masseria San Domenico located in Savelletri in for many the Queen of all Masserie. The building goes back to the 15th century, when it was used by the Knights of Malta as a watch-tower. Today the tower is part of a 5 star deluxe resort whose charm recalls the history of the region, a land where the Eastern and the Mediterranean cultures have mixed well together. The rustic reds, golden yellows, and cornflower blues of classic Italy’s sun-drenched coast are mesmerising when set against the dazzlingly white backdrops of medieval stucco and stone. Richly contextualized with original essays by architect and scholar Diane Lewis, MASSERIA is a must for interior lovers or anyone with an appreciation for Puglia.

The author and photographer Mark Roskams is a New York-based photographer who specializes in architecture and interior design. His work has been featured in such publications as Elle Décor, Vogue and French and Italian editions of Architectural Digest. Architect Diane Lewis is a Fellow of The American Academy in Rome and Professor of Architecture at Cooper Union NY.

A recipient of the Rome Prize in Architecture, she recently edited the book Inside-Out: Architecture New York City. Masseria:

The Italian Stone Country Houses of Puglia Photography by Mark Roskams, Text by Diana Lewis Rizzoli New York