Have you ever been in a land so peculiar you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else? If you have, chances are you were in Puglia, the Southern Italian region that lately has become a top international destination for its climate, its century-old Mediterranean culture and its breath taking nature. But that would only be half the story. In fact, Puglia is also the outstanding cradle for a group of amazing tourist and wedding locations collectively known as the “Nowhere Else Places”.
It’s not just a catchphrase: Borgo Egnazia, Masseria San Domenico, Masseria Cimino and Masseria Le Carrube are the embodiments of a winning and unique hotéllerie philosophy, as conceived and made real by Plugian entrepreneur Aldo Melpignano. In his vision, a “Nowhere Else Place” is a beautiful and unique location, indeed, but also a very special kind of human and natural alchemy allowing guests to feel at home, whatever their native land, when immersed in a full local experience.
Needless to say, a “Nowhere Else Place” is the perfect scenario for a “Very Special Day”. Nothing is standard here, and everything can be reinvented, reshaped, tailor-made to a bride-to-be’s desires. Every single “Nowhere Else Place”, in its own unique way, is a synonym for smoothness, efficiency, creativity. It’s not just a matter of flexible facilities or good accommodation capacities or perfectly skilled staff; these factors are all obviously in place. It’s rather the true essence of these locations, the natural beauty they exhale, their ability of being just as you want them to be: either intimate or grandiose, romantic or mundane, quiet or partying, high-end or rustic chic. All of this with a permanent, persistent, all-encompassing Plugian touch.
As the name suggests, Borgo Egnazia is a small town, or a “borgo” as they say in Italy: a grand yet peaceful location that not only accommodates large-scale world- class events, but also authentically and naturally embodies the true essence of Puglia. Designed by resident architect Pino Brescia, Borgo Egnazia is a 40-hectare bold and visionary interpretation of a medieval Apulian village: rough white stone and purple bougainvillea, cobbled streets and circling stairways. It combines simplicity, beauty and rustic authenticity and transports them to the 21st century. Also, it features one of the top Italian golf courses: San Domenico Golf, a 18-hole championship link circuit spread over 6,300 metres and just a few steps away from the sea. And for those in need of total relaxation, its Vair Spa offers treatments based on popular Plugian traditions and ancient natural remedies.
With its central piazza, the Borgo is the heart of the property. Its internal and external architectural design is reminiscent of a traditional Apulian village. The Borgo hosts many of Borgo Egnazia’s services, such as La Frasca restaurant and Mia Cucina trattoria (where cooking classes are held), as well as the fabulous Trullalleri Kids Club and Fichi d’India Teens Club. The small streets and corners are typical of an Apulian village suspended in timeless traditio , and reflect simplicity, elegance and the highest attention to detail. During the summer, the property comes to life at the Borgo’s piazza, which is the site of events, markets, parties and games lasting as late as 11pm.
A different type of spa, only at Borgo Egnazia. The team of spa specialists at Borgo Egnazia created an amazing and astonishing spa. Every detail and treatment is infused with the soul of southern Italy, and particularly that of Puglia. All products (including food items and objects), music and personnel are strictly ‘Made in Italy’. Puglia is where your trip begins, but it’s also the perfect destination. It is an authentic land with ancient popular traditions, healthy natural therapies and hospitable people with an unparalleled joie de vivre. This local reality served as inspiration for developing treatments that softly smooth the body and embrace, loosen, and relax the muscles, helping one rediscover the essence of things.
Surrounded by 60 hectares of ancient olive trees and orchards and with it’s XIV century Templar watchtower still guarding the blue sea, Masseria San Domenico is a perfectly preserved ‘masseria’, the symbol of this enchanting land, the could around which the life, culture and traditions of generations of Apulians are still wrapped. Here the Eastern and Mediterranean cultures have blended and mixed, its layouts still reflecting the agricultural activities that used to be performed here, and the outdoor areas being smoothly nestled into an enchanting natural set. And then you have the Palma square, the terrace next to the tower, the lawn overlooking one of the two open-air swimming pools, the olive grove embracing the other astonishing pool, the proximity to the coast, the state-of-the-art Thalassotherapy Spa. The list of memorable niches is literally endless.
Rustic-chic Masseria Cimino is a former “masseria” dating back to the 18th century and now the guest house of the spectacular San Domenico Golf course. It is a snow-white fortified farmhouse with a red tower, built at a time when Paris was sparking the French Revolution and the tricolor Italian flag was covertly being designed by Jacobins in Reggio Emilia. The “masseria” was erected just a few steps from the sea, using stone blocks taken from the perimeter wall of Egnathia, an Ancient Roman village that can still be visited today. Masseria Cimino was restored carefully preserving the original architectural features, layouts, building materials and colours. The perfectly appointed rooms and many acres of ancient olive trees make it an ideal location for smaller, but 100% Plugian-style weddings.
Masseria Le Carrube is both rustic and modern in style, as the traditional nuances of Plugian architecture suggest. The interiors incorporate elements of the ancient local culture, such as a traditional “trullo” (a dry stone building with a conical hut) in the main reception area, and an old olive mill and press dating back to the 12th Century. The masseria’s rooms and suites are wide and airy, made in whitewashed exposed brick, and feature antique furnishings and hints of raw renovated wood complementing the deep reds, yellows and blues of typical Italian linens. Outside, the garden features an arched pergola for a shaded respite from the summer heat.