Masseria Fontanelle is near Ugento, between Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca, on the southernmost limb of the magnificent headland of the Serre Salentine. From here it is possible to admire the magic of the Ionian Sea and breathe in the salt-scented air and the aromas of the Mediterranean shrub. Steeped inside the woodlands of the Litorale di Ugento Nature Park, it is only 800 m. from a heavenly beach of very fine white sands. With a length of over 12 km. and accompanied by protected sand dunes, the area has been renamed “the Maldives of Salento” due to the turquoise and blue hues of its crystal-clear waters.

Historical background on Masseria Fontanelle

The Masseria of Salento are large country houses, often painted with white lime, which were the heart of rural communities where life was marked by the rhythms of the earth and by a fertile land that has given life to large expanses of olive trees, to groves of almonds and their delicate blooms, and to endless orchards and gardens of colourful fruit and vegetables that make the Salento countryside unique.

Dating back to the 15th Century, the historic core of Masseria Fontanelle was for centuries a convent. Its name derives from the surrounding land which was referred to as the “9 Fountains”.

In 1600 the masseria, while owned by the monastery of the Benedictine nuns of Ugento and under the abbess of Donna Maria Crocefissa Gaballo, a local gentlewoman, became a home for local farmers. In 1762, under the abbess of Donna Maria Filippa Dias del Gado, the work of shrub and stone removal for land remediation of the area began. Subsequently, with the dissolution of the monastery, the assets were acquired by Donna Caterina Sensio and then passed on to the Colosso family through inheritance.

Since 2008 Ugento has been recognized as a City of Art by the Puglia Region, while the “Litorale di Ugento” Regional Nature Park is considered a Site of Community Importance of the European Union Natura 2000 Network, awards that are testimony to the care given to the protection and enhancement of the territory and its natural, historical, and artistic heritage.