The Masserie of Puglia

Coccaro door

At VBT we know how important your travel accommodations are to the overall experience of your vacation. We pride ourselves on carefully selecting authentic and charming places to stay at while on tour which accurately reflect the atmosphere of your destination. Italy’s Puglia region is home to historic fortified farms that the locals refer to as masserie (or singularly, masseria).  These large farms—which were fortified around the 16th century to ward off attacks by pirates and brigands—feature high boundary walls, angular towers, drawbridges and watchtowers. Inside the walls, families worked and lived alongside their own church, oil mill and oven to bake bread. These farms would also house cisterns for water, storage rooms for tools and hay, stables, and everything else needed for day-to-day life. Here are some examples of masserie that you’ll stay at while on our Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast ​ biking vacation.

Masseria Torre Coccaro
Located about halfway between the town of Fasano and the coastal hamlet of Savelletri, the Masseria Torre Coccaro Cocarro_Cooking Class Lunchis a 16th century farm known for its watchtower and the centuries-old olive groves and carob trees that surround it. It blends the characteristic whitewashed look of historic masserie with the amenities of a 5-star resort like offering finely prepared cuisine from local ingredients grown on site. The Torre Coccaro also features an onsite Aveda Health Club uniquely set in a series of caves. Its multiple jacuzzi pools are kept at a variety of temperatures and its hammam bath offers beauty treatments and relaxing massages. After an enriching day on the road, the beautifully designed swimming pool, nestled among the olive trees and palms, is perfect for a refreshing dip.

Biking to Ostuni_Masseria & Trees panorama

Masseria Torre del Diamante
masseria del Diamante
The Masseria Torre Del Diamante is located in the countryside of Fasano that is dotted with century-old olive trees. Born from a historical core of an ancient masseria, it was carefully renovated and expanded while respecting the original materials. Torre del Diamante also has amenities like a wonderful pool, large manicured gardens, a restaurant featuring traditional gastronomy and a panoramic view over its enchanting natural setting.

Masseria Montelauro
Otranto’s Masseria Montelauro is a farmhouse that was originally built in 1878 and later restored with full respect Masseria Montelauro Exteriorfor its original design and architecture. Each room has its own entryway to the masseria’s lush gardens which retain all the colors and fruits that traditionally adorn the Puglian countryside. Spend some of your free time here relaxing in the swimming pool, which is in the inner courtyard and surrounded by an inviting orchard.

 Masseria Montelauro pool


These are just some examples of the unique accommodations you’ll stay at on our Puglia: Italy’s Undiscovered Coast ​biking tour. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

Visit Some of the Most Photographed Places in Veneto with VBT

Cycling Verona
Italy’s Veneto region is a beautiful area full of soft, rolling hills, limestone cliffs, alpine lakes, citrus groves and quaint villages.  On our new Lake Garda to Venice: Cycling Italy’s Veneto tour you’ll visit some of the most picturesque places in Italy including historic cities like Venice and Verona, scenic locales like Lake Garda and the Berici Hills, and marvel at Andrea Palladio’s unique architecture during our time in Vicenza. With so many great spots for photo ops on this tour, be sure to bring along your camera! As a primer, here are some of the most photographed places you won’t want to miss during your vacation in the Veneto region.

Verona Arena
Our tour begins in the city of Verona, which is very pedestrian-friendly, and we encourage you to walk along the city’s large, quiet, streets and plazas to fully take-in the scene.  The entire city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is highlighted by its most famous Arena—only a half a mile from our hotel—which despite being built in AD 30 is so well preserved it is still used for live operas and concerts today. During your stay take some time to see the Palace of Reason, Piazza Brà, and the fine art gallery housed in the Castelvecchio fortress.

Lake Garda
Lake Garda
During our stay in the commune of Lazise we’ll cycle along the eastern shores of Lake Garda. This beautiful lake was glacially carved and is full of dramatic alpine scenery where the surrounding mountains meet the lake.

Vicenza la Piazza dei SignoriA bike path along the Bacchiglione River takes us to Vicenza where we’ll explore its many treasures. We’ll meet a local guide and take a tour of the famed Piazza dei Signori where we’ll learn about historic buildings designed by Andrea Palladio, a 16th-century Italian architect who is known for pioneering the use of villas as an economical, healthy and beautiful place to live and work. This concept was ahead of its time, and the villas he created have earned recognition from UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Berici Hills
Berici Hills

As we take a shuttle into the heart of the Berici Hills—a group of high limestone hills southwest of Vicenza—we’ll see thick forests, rolling vineyards, and high cliffs dotted with caves that were once inhabited by prehistoric man. Our bike ride follows the Wine Route of the Berici Hills, a rolling path through picturesque villages dotted with elegant villas.

Our tour concludes in Venice, a city not to be missed. If you take VBT’s optional post-trip extension, you will stay in a historic, family-run hotel located just a few steps from St. Mark’s Square and a short walk from all the main sights. Explore this magical city by foot or by boat in its many canals and you will be astonished by the decorated palaces, museums, picturesque bridges, gondolas, churches and little squares that are so unique to this city.

These are just some examples of the places you’ll visit on our new Lake Garda to Venice: Cycling Italy’s Veneto ​tour. To learn more about our Italian vacations, please click here.  If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.