Stay between fields, forests and bush-clad hills at Masseria Santa Lucia, deep in the authentic and unknown Molise countryside at 400 m.a.s.l. Take in the impressive views towards the four surrounding regions and Agnone.
There is a small, rustic and authentic country house, designed around several smaller buildings. The buildings are united by precise, newly built footpaths with an inviting swimming pool in the heart, a beautiful communal terrace made of wood and a Taverna where you can meet for communal meals on the long table under the pergola. From the house you can appreciate the wonderful view of the surrounding nature.
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You can make the most of the pool and terrace when you are here and the pool measure 5 x 10 metres with a depth that goes from 130 - 280 cm. It has a diving board and a lounge chairs and umbrellas. The entire area is fences to it's safe for the children, and the little ones can also play in the children's playground. There is also table tennis. The large common terrace is an area where you can enjoy relaxing and taking in the views.
The family's own vegetable garden is very productive and as a guest on the farm you are welcome to pick your own as you need to for cooking free of charge. Also if you are interested, you can take part in the harvest of walnuts in October and the harvest of olives in November if it interests you.
One important thing that will make your holiday here is the warm family reception that you receive from the Galasso family, who live in a small apartment on the property. They prepare the meals that are on offer that you can enjoy together on the long table together (optional for a fee). The father works the land and the mother tends to the crops and the cooking, including the production of homemade pasta, liqueur production, bread baking etc. The dinners offered on the farm vary and are always based on seasonal opportunities as well as their own oil and wine.
You will also find the special information that they have prepared on hiking and excursions in the area, and they are available and very helpful in giving advice in this area. They are accustomed to speaking English to guests from all around the world, and also their adult children speak English and French. There are a few bikes that are available to use if you wish. There is internet access by the Taverna.
It is possible to stay in rooms or apartments on the farm, and all are furnished with respect to the original architectural style and the rural culture with some nice personal touches. For example, headboards are made out of old antique doors, and old iron tools are used as door handles and antique lace is made into works of art on the walls.
Rooms are located in two different buildings, but have in common that they are closest to the pool. The apartments are also spread over several buildings.
The room is located next to room Verde in the gable of the building and differs in that it is only 20 m² and therefore there is no space for extra beds.
The room is located in a low-rise building at the top of the property out to a small closed road. The 25 m² room is beautifully furnished with a double bed, desk, closet space and a bathroom with a toilet, shower and hairdryer. It is possible to add one to two extra beds in the room.
The room is located below the pool, but at the same level as the pool. It is actually two bedrooms separated by a small corridor, which features a shared bathroom with a toilet, shower and hair dryer and is approximately 30 m² in total. One room has a good bunk beds, full-size view of Agnone, while the second room has a double bed and TV. The special thing about these rooms is that they also can be connected to the apartment Alessandra via an internal door to make an apartment with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
This apartment is located opposite the room Viola and next door to the room Verde in the top of the farm buildings facing the small closed road above the pool. It has disability access and is approximately 35 m². It has a family kitchen with a stove with 4 burners, a dining area, a double sofa bed and a television. The apartment has a bedroom with separate entrance and a bathroom with a toilet, shower and hairdryer.
This apartment is located directly on the large communal terrace and you can sit outside it. You enter into a spacious tiled kitchen-dining area of approximately 30 m² with a large, well equipped kitchen, which is separated from the living room by a bar with stools. The kitchen has a good cooker with an oven and dishwasher. Here is a dining area, LCD TV and a double sofa bed. There is a double bedroom and a bathroom with toilet, shower and hairdryer.
This apartment is located next to Nicola beside the large communal terrace. There is covered terrace for eating out at the front entrance. The hall and the living area has an open plan kitchen, though it is separated by a few floor level differences. The living room is arranged around an open fireplace with a double sofa bed and a sitting area and a television and is approx 28 m². From here you enter the kitchen area, with a two burner hob. On the same floor you find a bathroom with a toilet, a shower and hairdryer. Via a staircase that leads up to the first floor you will find the apartment's bedroom, which is furnished with a double bed. It is from this level that you can open an internal door and thus gain access to the room Valentina.
This is a place for those who prefer absolutely no Danish tourists around for hundred of kilometres ;-)
Here's peace and quiet, possibility for shopping at the local butchers, bakers, greengrocer and a couple of smaller supermarkets about 15-20 minutes drive up the mountain to the local town Agnone, where there also are a couple of restaurants/cafes, and then nothing else than the beautiful beautiful mountains and nature.
We stayed here for 12 days and met no Danes at all, either at the place or on some of our trips in the area. A few non-Italians, but besides them it was only local residents or Italians visiting the country from Rome for example.
The actual facilities at the place in our apartment Nicola was above the cheap standard the Italian farms, we have become acquainted with, often have. But of course still primitive and not the newest gear and domestic appliances (the dishwasher didn't work - but we chose to live with it and wash the dishes by hand, however I'm sure if we had mentioned it, the host would probably have tried to fix it). Nice room in the apartment and more or less well-equipped kitchen (however, as always without sharp knives, cutting board, and good, large wineglasses - but you know that).
There were a HUGE terrace in front of the apartment with several seating arrangements. It was common, but only we used it during all of the 12 days. The pool was really lovely and clean, and there were always room in the sunbeds, we often had the pool for ourselves.
The hostess Emma was incredibly hospitable and very kind. She speaks a bit of English, but don't understand English that well - but we did manage some form of communication. Can see, from another review, that there's missing a drying rack - we asked for it - and got it immediately.
Can see from other reviews here and on other pages, that the farm's food is very praised. Unfortunately we don't agree. We have travelled in Tuscany and on farms with absolutely amazing food. It was our first trip to the Molise region, and we had hoped for the same good food experience here (of course with local differences), but did get a bit disappointed. When you order food on the farm (which you can do from day to day), you participate in the meal of the evening consisting of 4 courses (which you do the places we visited in Tuscany), and drinks (wine, soda, water). But we have to conclude, that we just better like Tuscan food than food from Molise. The good taste and deliciousness wasn't giving the extra effort, in our opinion. Even though the hostess still was incredibly kind, friendly and would do everything to make sure you felt comfortable.
According to your temperament you have consider if you like communal eating with the other guests (where no one during our stay and 4 dinners) could speak English. When you order dinner, you eat at a big table in the dining room with the other guests, so there you have a chance to practice your Italian a couple of hours, while the dinner last ... or be very quiet, like the other Italian guests ... As aforementioned it is a matter of temperament, if you find that to be something positive or negative about the place.
We chose the place, because we have had some good experiences in the mountains in Tuscany with farm and delicious food and peace and "just sitting and looking out over the mountains". But we have to admit, that this time we got a bit too far away from everything. It was peaceful and quiet and mountains as we dreamed of - but 12 days was probably too much. Molise is indescribably beautiful, easy to drive around in the mountains and very very un-touristy. You can reach the coast in about an hour from Agnone, and there is a lovely beach - but it is a bit far to drive more than a couple of times.
A recommendation for others will be, that we absolutely can recommend both Masseria Santa Lucia and the Agnone-area - but definitely for a shorter period - 1 week would be fine maybe in combination with 1 week out by the coast (Termoli), where there's a lovely beach and lovely warm water.
A recommendation to Masseria Santa Lucia is to discontinue communal eating by the same table. It's an awkward situation to put people in, and the relaxing and cosy part of dinner unfortunately disappears a bit. There's room enough to make a couple of smaller tables, so you eat at the same time, but at your own table - we think, that will make it much nicer for everybody involved.
But all in all a lovely, very relaxing vacation - and we just have to find the good food other places in Italy ;-)
We only give it 3 stars in total - and that is because our expectations to the food weren't fulfilled. But that is completely individual if you like the food or not - so we would give 4, if it was an evaluation without food.