Puglia produces dozens of varieties of cheese, ranging from the hard and mature to the soft and spreadable, some of them unique to the region. The delicious fresh cheese burrata, a ball-shaped mozzarella shell with a buttery mozzarella and cream filling, was invented in Puglia back in the early 20th century. Meant to be consumed within 24 hours of being made—it’s considered over-the-hill after a couple of days—it is memorably tangy and rich when tried straight from the cooling vats at Caseificio Lamapecora, a family-owned dairy farm and artisanal cheesemaker near Savelletri.
In Puglia, a Masseria is a fortified coastal farmhouse dating from the Middle Ages, built to withstand Saracen and other invaders. Over the last decade, many of them have been converted into small luxury hotels. Stay in one of the very best, Masseria Torre Maizza, a 26-room gem set on an estate near the fishing town of Savelletri. A newly constructed wing of interconnected cottages and courtyards has been blended seamlessly with the 500-year-old Masseria to create a little whitewashed village with its own golf course surrounded by ancient olive groves.