Masserie are the fortified farmhouses found in southern Italy, and the Masseria Bandino is a restored 18th century farmhouse set against a wooded hillside close to the sea. A stay here gives us a unique experience of traditional Italian life close to the land, a highlight of the trip for many. A central building houses the reception, bar, and dining room. Our rooms in an adjacent building are simple but functional, and offer great access to our walks and the very fine cuisine, which includes cheeses made fresh every morning, tomatoes, fennel, and artichokes gathered from the local gardens, fish straight from the sea—all dressed with oil pressed from the olives growing in the orchards at the edge of town. There is also a lovely pool surrounded by olive trees and a large courtyard ideal for relaxing.