Interested in experiencing the country life in South Italy? Puglia is known best for its incredible olive oil, wine, and traditional Italian hospitality. My time at Masseria Montepaolo Dimora di Charme definitely did NOT disappoint.
In this article, you’ll read about:
- Italian Country-side Hospitality
- My time at Montepaolo Dimora di Charme
- About Italian Meal Customs
- Things to do in Puglia
The Masseria Montepaolo Dimora di Charme: Italian Hospitality
Every region of Italy has its own style of hospitality. The biggest differences can typically be found between the north and south of Italy.
In northern Italy, you’ll have larger, more densely-packed cities that are magnets for hordes of tourists. In the south, there’s far more to enjoy at your own speed with wide-open fields and rich culinary history.
For example, hospitality in Puglia (South Italy) usually starts with a Masseria.
A masseria is a farmhouse or country house on a country estate usually found in the Italian region of Puglia. Masserias are perfect for large parties, weddings, and intricate meals that typically last for 3 -4 hours.
Country-side Italian hospitality is all about experiencing joy through all the senses.
Whether that’s the sun on your skin or the food in your mouth, this is a whole-body experience that just can’t be rushed. You just have to see Puglia to believe it!
As always, I had my trusty Lonely Planet Italy with me to help me discover Puglia beyond just what I read on the internet. I always recommend that people buy one too before heading on their adventure.
My Experience at Montepaolo Dimora di Charme
We were blown away by the natural scenery of Montepaolo Dimora di Charme. As we drove up to the Masseria, the pathway was lined with beautiful olive trees, plants, and even the occasional dog – running happily through the bush.
Puglia in general was quite calm and enjoyable; I never felt rushed, regardless of where we were.
When we arrived at Montepaolo Dimora di Charme, we easily parked for free in their convenient parking lot in the front.
We breezed through the front gates and were greeted by Joseph, the main manager, with a cheery grin and perfect English.
We spent a good deal speaking with Joseph – who is originally from Nigeria and speaks 7 languages – as he gave us an in-depth understanding of the property and its amazing history.
Montepaolo Dimora di Charme was built in the 16th century as a family farmhouse and today is owned by descendants of that family!
Montepaolo Dimora di Charme has won several awards for its incredible hospitality, kitchen, and attention to detail.
If you’re looking for a venue for a large party or wedding, this is the perfect option because the large open space is ideal for entertaining.
You have the option to reserve all of the room for friends and family and there are several different dining locations that can accommodate all of your guests. There are no limitations here.
In the early afternoon, we enjoyed a 5-course lunch. It was a mix of sweet and savory dishes and we were stuffed to the absolute limit!
It was so delicious, we couldn’t believe that one kitchen could make such a variety of dishes so quickly. We spent our afternoon in Alberobello – an adorable town with quirky white Trulli houses – which you can see in a few of my blog photos.
I’ve marked the city on my map below! Towards the evening, we holed up in our room early to prepare for an early morning departure.
It was a shame that we could only briefly visit Montepaolo Dimora di Charme, but there was plenty to enjoy under the Italian sun. Next time.
Book Montepaolo Dimora di Charme Now
Eating Customs in Italy
Italian meals are an EVENT! I had heard that meals would last 2 -3 hours, but I always thought it was because people would eat slowly and drink quickly.
In reality, the meals last so long because there are so many courses! There are 4 – 5 courses that make up a typical meal and the real key is to pace yourself.
More often than not, I would fill up too early (because things were so delicious) so I would rarely have room to enjoy the rest of the courses 🙁 – but you’re prepared now, so don’t make the same mistake as I did.
Here’s how the meal is broken down:
- First, there is the aperitivo. This opens the meal with a few drinks and potentially an spirited.
- Next is the antipasto. Antipasto is made up of different small finger foods (such as bread with hams and cheeses) and other small plates. Careful! This is only the first of many courses so you’ll need to pace yourself; not matter how many delicious options there are.
- Afterwards, there is the primo. This is typically a hot food that is heavier than the antipasto, but lighter than the next course. This would typically be a pasta or noodle dish.
- Next, there is the main course, or the secondi. This is typically made up of a heavy protein with a side Contorno (side salad dish).
- FINALLY, there is the dolce. This is the dessert course, which typically includes 3 or 4 options.
We learned about the true ins and outs of authentic Italian hospitality during our incredible time at Montepaolo Dimora di Charme. You should come to experience traditional Italian hospitality yourself! ⠀
Things to do in Puglia
As always, I’ve put together a Google Map for you to download easily onto your phone. Just click the
‘[ ]’ button on the right corner of the map to access.