In the centre of Spongano, the courtyard walls of this 18th century masseria drip with creepers and geraniums; in front, across a little road, is a verdant citrus grove worth resting in. All this is part of a vibrant working farm. Go through the massive gates and the Moorish-arch portico and you will leave the narrow village streets to enter a white-gravelled courtyard with wrought-iron tables and chairs. Ground-floor rooms have been carefully converted into a series of airy, old-style spaces.
Walls are colour-washed warm yellow, ceilings are lofty and vaulted in star shapes, and there’s a vast roof terrace. One suite for two has a relaxing space squeezed into an ancient fireplace and bathrooms have pretty mosaic mirrors.
Cakes and marmellata, prepared by the owner’s daughter Paola, are served for breakfast in an impressive stone-vaulted room which leads out to the pool. Cooking, yoga, pilates, dance classes and massages can be arranged – you can even get married here.