Casa Porcara is a typical farm-house in Apulia, Southern Italy. It was built around the XV century on the remains of a medieval hamlet within a holm-oak expanse, where pigs (hence the name Casa Porcara) lived in a wild state.
It has kept its original look thanks to restoration works, converting stables and haylofts in lovely restaurant halls and the former living quarters of the farmer in comfortable lodgings.
Two apartments, one on the ground floor and one on the first floor, each have a “ cooking corner” and two bed-rooms with bath & shower “en suite”.
Two other apartments, both consisting of two bed-rooms with bath-room for the disabled,
overlook a vast courtyard covered by a pergola.
A TV Lounge complete with a large fire-place is there for the perfect ending to a relaxing day.
In the welcoming Restaurant halls you can sample typical local cuisine, consisting mainly of fresh, organically grown produce of the establishment, which covers an area of 60 hectares (150 acres), with products ranging from an olive grove to fruit orchards, various vegetables and sowable land.
An educational Farm-house, promoting agricultural and environmental resources,
it houses a Centre for the Study of Architecture and Rural Landscape, with a Meeting Room,
an Exhibition Room and Tuition Courses on “Flora” typical to the Mediterranean countryside.
Well connected to Lecce and other renowned coast-line centres, only 3 km (2 miles) from Veglie, noted for its wine and olive-oil production, rich in architecture (the famous byzantine crypt of the Madonna della Favana is but one such example), the Casa Porcara complex sits on a fertile valley better known as Messapic Plane (or “Vitata” Plane), which includes Salice Salentino, Veglie, Guagnano e Campi Salentina.
Just 8 km (5 miles) from the Ionian coast-line in Salento, where the blue sea acts as background to age-old olive trees and luxuriant vineyards, Casa Porcara is surrounded by an organically cultivated fertile land.
It consists of 15 Bed-rooms, welcoming catering halls and a very spacious structure conducive to educational activities and in particular the study of the surrounding architecture and rural landscape.
Activities and Surroundings of Veglie
North-West of Lecce, in the part of the “Salento Peninsula” where the 3 provinces that once formed the Terra d'Otranto meet. Here once stretched the "Great Forest of Oria", through which an ancient road-axis connected Taranto with Nardò and Gallipoli leading to the Cape of Leuca and touching important Messapic towns on the way.
Numerous works of reclamation through the centuries have transformed the land into a fertile spread of allotments where vine-growing and olive-growing are a flourishing industry.
Indeed, olive-oil and wine are typical local produce.
There are also stretches of bush where one can still detect the natural strong scent of wild plants like thyme, mastic tree, myrtle and rosemary.
The “Marsh of the Count” and the “Marsh of theCaptain”, next to the coastal dunes between Taranto and Porto Cesareo, create a remarkably interesting natural environment.
A rural landscape clustered with fortified farm-houses and coast-line turrets.
This is the “Land of Arneo”, once the stage of many battles over a piece of land, but also a point where civilizations met.
The Messapi (ancient people inhabiting Apulia), the Romans and the Byzantines
all left their mark here.
Remains of the Messapic civilization are to be found in Manduria, a town 20 km (12 miles)
from Casa Porcara.
Crypts with fresco paintings dating back to the Byzantine epoch can be viewed in nearby Veglie (Crypt of the Madonna della Favana) and around Nardò (Crypt of S. Anthony Abbot).