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Farmhouse with a spa

Holidays at a fortified farmhouse in southern Italy with one of the most atmospheric spas in the world plus cookery course opportunities, is now being offered by La Joie de Vivre, the specialist spa tour operator.The Masseria Torre Coccaro in Puglia in the heel of Italy is still a working farm with a main house which has been carefully restored, retaining all its rustic features but incorporating every modern comfort. The 33 rooms have flagstone floors and antique furnishings and are enhanced by beautiful linens and large modern bathrooms. Most have terraces or balconies.

The small atmospheric Aveda spa is housed in limestone caves on the farm and offers a wide range of treatments and there is also a small hydro-massage pool. The indoor restaurant, formerly the farm stables, and the covered dining terrace for al fresco eating feature delicious regional dishes with most of the produce coming from the farm’s fruit and vegetable fields, livestock herds and including home made olive oil. Fresh fish is caught everyday off the nearbye private beach by the Torre Coccaro’s own staff fisherman!

Giving 24 hours notice, holidaymakers can also join cookery classes with the hotel’s owner, Vittorio Muolo, a links golf course is one kilometre away, and a shuttle service runs to the beach throughout the summer. Guests can also cruise off on the hotel’s 40ft yacht to explore the Adriatic coastline.

The Masseria Torre Coccaro has been added to La Joie de Vivre’s specialist programme this month (June) and seven nights bed and breakfast at the new spa costs from £979 per person including return British Airways flights from Heathrow to Bari.