BORGO EGNAZIA (PUGLIA, ITALY)
By Michael Chinnici
I discovered Borgo Egnazia a few years back while on a scouting trip through Puglia for our upcoming Puglia Photo Adventure Vacation. I love researching and ultimately discovering these amazing gems.
Borgo Egnazia is in the heart of Puglia, in Savelletri di Fasano. It’s a town of fishermen, of old ladies who embroider in front of their small white houses, and colourful clotheslines. It’s a few steps away from the Adriatic coast, on the slopes of the Murgia and the Itria Valley. Trulli, dry stone walls, vineyards and olive groves as far as the eye can see.
Borgo Egnazia is like a breathing tale of Puglia, spoken by the ancient culture of the land and by the sheer beauty of its nonpareil architecture. It happens every hour of the year: you come and live your time here, and nature is powerful, peace is intense, harmony is full. It’s a place where you meet your self. It’s Borgo Egnazia: it’s nowhere else.
Constructed entirely from the local tufa stone, you could be forgiven for thinking the imposing Borgo Egnazia has history. It doesn’t: it was built from scratch by the Melpignano family beside their San Domenico golf course and opened in 2010. Every detail is an ode to Puglia, from the artworks based on the symbols on trulli roofs to the waft of lemons in reception.
The estate is divided into three: the stately “La Corte” (the main hotel), which opens out to two tiered swimming pools; the maze-like “Il Borgo” (“The Village”, with a family pool, piazza, and rows of duplex townhouses); and 30 outlying villas, each with a private pool. Less like a real Italian borgo, more like a movie set, it has real star quality – Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel got married here.
Flawless. Guests are allocated a “local advisor” who helps tailor your stay. Whether you want to hire bikes, drop the children at the friendly kids’ or teens’ clubs, take them to the miniature farm, escape for a Vair spa treatment, learn to make orrecchiette pasta or local pottery, play tennis, golf, take up windsurfing, kitesurfing, kayaking or just peg out at one of the resort’s two private beaches or three outdoor pools, it’s all for the taking. There’s also an indoor pool and a well-equipped gym.
The five restaurants put a strong emphasis on traditional local cooking: choose between Due Camini for a gourmet meal, La Frasca for lip-smacking rustic Pugliese fare and epic buffet breakfasts, and Mia Cucina Trattoria for wood-fired pizzas. There’s even a children-only buffet restaurant – Da Puccetta – with dinky tables and chairs. At the beach, Pescheria da Vito offers light salads, freshly made pasta and grilled fish. Once a month, the piazza of the Borgo is brought to life with a “Festa” of street food, featuring fire-eaters, craftspeople and pizzica dancers: the spirit of Puglia distilled and ignited.
Several of My Photos From Borgo Egnazia and the Nearby Coast
While taking out your camera at Borgo Egnazia is an absolute must, exploring the backroads and nearby villages will lead to equally impressive results. Below are a few of my photographs from several Puglia Photo Adventures. Puglia has fast become one of my favorite regions of Italy.
If you desire to explore Puglia with us, we offer a wonderful and authentic photo adventures to Italy’s Puglia region including the stunning Adriatic coast. We run small-group trips every May and September/October, staying on the bookends of the high season. We can also tailor a private photo (or non-photo) adventure for you, meeting each and every one of your desires. Contact me today, or join us on our Puglia Photo Adventure Vacation for a truly unforgettable experience.