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.
The small fishing village of Savelletri di Fasano, a short bike ride from the Torre Maizza, is quaint and charming rather than dazzling, though it does offer a spellbinding, close-up view of the Adriatic. Yet an undeniable buzz is building about this pleasant little harbor town with a resident population of around 700, and not just because there are five first-rate hotels in the immediate neighborhood.
Savelletri’s own enticements include Pescheria 2 Mari, a glass-box restaurant in the tiny waterfront Piazza Amati, with a menu of nothing but ocean-fresh raw fish and crustacea. There is simply nothing more to ask for when sitting at an alfresco table overlooking colorful fishing boats, feasting on carpaccio di pesce, comprising paper-thin slivers of white bream, swordfish, and tuna with scampi and prawns. Served with frisella bread, lemon slices, and olive oil, the heaping platter of seafood needs no other accompaniment than a glass of ice-cold prosecco.
Savelletri is also the site of Torre Maizza’s sister property, Masseria Torre Coccaro, which boasts a splendid private beach club that’s open to guests of both hotels. If you tire of lazing under the Polynesian- style gazebos on the sandy shore, there’s a private motor yacht to take you to the sea caves in the limestone cliffs at Polignano a Mare, to the delightful old fishing port of Monopoli, or to swim and scuba dive in quiet coves nearby.