Published in: Jul 28, 2021
A couple of weeks ago we have done our photo shoot for next summer in our beloved Puglia region in Italy. We stayed at the Masseria Parco Della Grava, a beautiful location to sleep and shoot! Since we always like to speak with entrepreneurs in all kinds of businesses, we held a short interview with the female owner of the place, Lisa.
Owner Lisa & Yoek founder Johanna
Lisa kindly told us her personal story and background, since we were curious how she ended up running this gorgeous accommodation, which has much more history then we as non-Italians would think on beforehand; "The Masseria is a farmhouse where plants and vegetables used to be planted. There, there used to be stables for animals, fruit orchards and olive oil trees, surrounding the cottage. Our Masseria was originally a nunnery: in the past centuries, farmhouses were usually run by nun or other clergy members. Our Masseria has been producing olive oil and wine from the very beginning. Most of our olive oil trees, especially those surrounding the swimming pool area, are centuries or even thousand years old. As my father and I decided to turn this former nunnery into a bed and breakfast, we made sure that renewing this house wouldn’t make that that it lost its original charm. So, we decided that we would keep the Apulian majolica tiles that are at this very moment used as a decoration of the bathrooms. We also saved the barrel-vaulted ceilings of some rooms such us the Fattore’s or the crossed vaulted ceilings of others, such as the Terrazza’s. Our main purpose was to keep untouched as much as possible, so that this magic Masseria wouldn’t lose its charm and would be unique."
Most sadly, Lisa's father passed away last winter so right now she is running the place on her very own, which can be quite challenging sometimes. But we think she can be tremendously proud of herself, by doing the best she can, to continue the story they started together. The story of Masseria Parco della Grava, which started a very long time ago, but has been revived by a father and his daugther.
And a story mostly starts with a name, which in this case refers to the location; "Grava or gravina means ravine, a deep gorge on the Apulian gold stone. These ravines are generally caused by the water flowing and corroding the stone. Instead, parco means parc and refers to a large plateau covered with olive oil trees."
We have been in Italy many times and we feel quite privileged to know this region so well. But being new to the area, we know it can be quite hard to find the nicest places. You have to do some research, since you will not find these gems by just driving around for a bit. Lisa; "Masseria Parco della Grava is located on the so-called Valle d’Itria (Itria Valley) and is surrounded by the hills of the central Apulian region. This Masseria is strategically located, as it is not far from either sea, neither hill. Beach clubs and hill-towns are within easy reach, not further than 10 minutes by car. Here, the weather is sunny, rain is uncommon, and sunbathing is always nice. These few features make Puglia, especially the area in which our Masseria is located, one of the most attractive regions of Italy. In my opinion, one of the best things about the central Apulia is that it is not overcrowded. This makes you feel relaxed and quiet in any moment."
For us, being on holiday or on a short weekend trip away, all starts with a location. But secondly, it is about where to sleep (and not to forget; where to eat). Lisa proudly tells about the place she runs; "Masseria Parco della Grava combines quality, focus on details and love, with the authenticity of a farmhouse, old, bedecked suites, nice surroundings, large gardens, and vast stretches covered with olive oil trees. Tie it all with our cheerful staff, the tasty dishes of the Apulian cuisine, the nice view and only then you’ll understand the reason why this place is unique." And yes, we agree; it's definitely worth a visit! But we are also wondering what makes her happy, what drives her to run this place? "The best feeling is when you see people appreciating what you do and what you’ve been doing in these years. Taking care of your guests, making sure everything’s fine, hearing them saying they feel like at home. These are just a few of the best compliments that we can receive. Maybe one of the best for me is when our guests feel like being in a fairytale because of this magical place and say 'Being surrounded by all these stretches of olive oil, by the white-washed towers, the hill… This place looks magic!' she exclaims proudly"
When you are working in fashion, you have to stay up-to-date and try to get inspiration from different sources. But the same holds for people working in the travel industry - there are so many developments going on and you have to offer what people are longing for at that very moment. In fashion we attempt to offer a mood, a feeling, and in the world of hospitality you have to offer a true, relaxing experience to your guests. Lisa tells; "I’m passionate about tourism and nature: I did want to combine these two passions, so I thought that hosting guests in such a location such as this Masseria would be the perfect way to get together those things that I truly care for. Traveling is one of my favorite leisures: I’ve been travelling a lot on my own in Europe and abroad. Traveling is fundamental to better get to know different cultures, mindset and learn about how beautiful it is living in a world made of different ways of living, but are all so similar at the same time."
We were curious how she looks at the future, especially now she is the lady boss; "My ultimate dream would be having my family, maybe some children interested in the same things as I am. It would be great if they loved living in the countryside as much as I do."
A place to remember for any upcoming trips - since they still have some days available in August, but better be quick;
Masseria Parco Della Grava
C.da Monte Pizzuto SNC
72010 Pezze di Greco di Fasano (BR) Puglia- Italy -
Tel: +39 3917438560