La Masseria, a life project

My name is Yvonne and in 2004 my husband Antonio and I decided to move to Salento, leaving behind our previous lives, activities and villages for this wonderful land.The Masseria is the house where we live with our dogs, cats, geese, birds, hedgehogs and kestrels, where we grow our vegetable garden and produce oil in a strictly organic way.A life project that started thanks to a dream - that of my father Mario - and that we are happy to share with our guests.

A Dream, the South, Friendship

It all started because of a friendship and a dream to be realised.Mario, Yvonne's father and an ophthalmologist in Padua, nurtured a desire to return to the south and a friendship with one of his patients, Uccio, a farmer and connoisseur of the Lower Salento area.It was thanks to Uccio that Mario bought the Gianferrante farm in 1974, which had been abandoned for years and had been completely destroyed.The masseria took on a new life, became a summer meeting place for relatives and friends, and the land, cleared of stones, was once again cultivated with vegetables and fruit.

  The dream was interrupted by Mario's death and the farm was abandoned again for years.Until Yvonne, together with her husband Antonio, decided to share Mario's dream, turning it into a life project.Again, friendship played an important role in the history of this 13th-century masseria, the friendship with landscape architect Filippo Piva.

Read more

 The History of the Masseria, the Restoration

The Masseria Fortificata Gianferrante is one of the oldest farms in the Ugento area.
Francesco Corvaglia writes:"Built around 1200 by Monsignor Giovanni FERRANTE, bishop of Ugento, this building preserves in all its splendour the style of the time, especially in the tower whose ornamental crown motifs stand out especially on the east face.With details that make it unique, such as the "internal cistern for supplying water to the inhabitants and therefore with the possibility of long resistance to possible sieges, something not common with other farms, whose cisterns are located in the enclosure or even outside".Ugento and its territory, Edizioni Tip. Marra 1987

Read more

Dry stone walls

The Lord chose stone to shape the soul of Salento'.

These are the words of Luigi Corvaglia, in his novel Finibusterrae (1936).
Because, in this rural world, everything is made of stone: the walls, the masserias, the pajare, the liame, the squares, the churches, the towers, the circular farmyards, the cisterns for rainwater, the oil mills and grindstones, the ovens, even the piles to contain the olive oil and the beehives for the bees.
During the restoration work on the masseria, huge quantities of stones emerged, allowing the restoration of the old dry stone walls and the construction of new ones, recovering the ancient art.

Read more

More than a thousand words, the images of the documentary made by Peter Podjavorsek (ARTE') on the Masseria Gianferrante are worthwhile.The filming took place during the various phases of restoration and the construction of the dry stone walls.