I have stayed at the Masseria with Rita a number of times over the past ten years. I have recently returned from a visit and from the moment I arrived I felt like I was coming home.
If you are looking for a manicured and managed southern Italian experience, then the Masseria and Rita are probably not what you are looking for. However, if you want to experience an authentic family country home and atmosphere where what matters are food, hospitality, passion and a deep love of the land, its bounties, sociability and conviviality then you will find time spent at the Masseria a memorable and unforgettable experience.
Although Rita and her hospitality crew are really at the centre of the Masseria, the opportunity to explore the cultural and opportunities within easy reach of the Masseria are great attractions in their own right. Rita can provide you with information and commentaries associated with these locations that demonstrate the uniqueness of Puglia.
Seeing the kitchen at work is a wonderful experience, and the rewards continue when the time comes to sit down and celebrate the food, the traditions that give rise to the food and the atmosphere that comes when people share food.
Again, it is as much a matter of disposition as much as it is taste. If reality TV shows like MKR and the gaudy, ostentatious and frankly in my opinion unpalatable constructions that are celebrated there appeal, then you will not find satisfaction at the Masseria. There the emphasis is on celebrating local produce - what grows well in the particular climate and terrain of Puglia, and what the sea provides, feeding the body and soul with nutritious combinations of ingredients and acknowledging the importance of taking time to do the food, from whence it comes and its broader meaning for families, friends and visitors. Regarding the latter, many become friends.
The Masseria in its own right is a piece of living social history, and Rita is a keen narrator of that history.