From eyeing up frescoes in the Vatican to witnessing the thrilling Bisse Races on Lake Garda, Italy has its fair share of family activities. However, you mustn’t miss travelling to the quaint and picturesque area of Puglia, where you can enjoy all the culture and luxury of the Savelletri coast.
When my clients with children ask me for a recommendation in Puglia, I always have one hotel in mind: the unrivalled Masseria Torre Coccaro. Located slightly inland from the Savelletri coast, this upmarket hotel is a firm favourite with families looking to retain a bit of culture and luxury on their Italian holiday.
Originally a small farming estate, the Masseria is now family-run business with a personal touch and plenty of elegance. Stay in one of the rooms housed in the sixteenth-century watchtower, take a dip in one of the cavernous pools (don’t worry, they’re heated), or travel five minutes to the hotel’s exclusive private beach.
The Kids Are Alright
Though the appearance of the hotel is very rustic and traditional, be assured that there is plenty on offer for children. Leave your young ones in safe hands at the baby club (2-5 years) or the Mini Club (3-12 years) where they can enjoy a variety of games in the hotel’s playground and water park.
The Masseria Torre Coccaro also offers some more unique activities – children will become quite the connoisseurs after going on a gourmet bicycle tour, or making their own pizzas as part of the cooking course. They can also try horse-riding on the beach, or take a bike ride around the lakes in the nearby WWF park. No doubt you’ll struggle to get them back to the room in the evening.
A Well Deserved Treat
With the kids thoroughly occupied, the adults can enjoy the multitude of culture and activities. One of the most popular events of the week is the Massaria’s take on a Pugliese village fair, with local art, live music and freshly cooked street food. There’s a stunning nine-hole golf club to enjoy, or bikes readily available to take out and explore the surrounding natural landscape. One of my favourite things about this hotel is the Aveda spa and fitness area which, rather unbelievably, is carved out from the side of a cave.
Working Up an Appetite
There are plenty of dining options available in the Masseria so you don’t have to go far. The hotel’s restaurant Egnathia is located in converted stables, and is the perfect spot for a cosy and atmospheric dinner. The sister restaurant in Torre Maizza is the peak of fine dining, in which local ingredients are painstakingly crafted into superb traditional dishes. If you want to grab something quick by the sea, the Coccaro Beach Club serves up gourmet pizzas and fresh seafood.