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LA SOMMITÀ RELAIS is situated in Ostuni, a picturesque seaside village located in Puglia in the heel of Italy’s boot. It was built in the mid-thirteenth century as a fortification against invasion before being renovated into a manor house for local nobility. Today, owner Gianfranco Mazzoccoli runs the property as an elegant respite for travelers. The property remains one of the architectural jewels of Ostuni, known as the “White City” because of its distinctive whitewashed architecture, which spans the Byzantine, Gothic, and Romanesque periods. Every experience at La Sommità Relais is interwoven with threads of its historical past, from the ancient olive-oil-gathering cisterns that now serve as wine-tasting rooms to the original stone walls and barrel vaults that are featured throughout the rooms and public spaces. The property retains the feel of a traditional private home, and each of its nine rooms and six suites mix ancient architectural elements with modern-day furnishings and accessories to create warm, welcoming, and luxurious spaces.

There are plenty of opportunities to relax and rejuvenate here, whether you take a soak in the garden jacuzzi, sip a perfectly crafted cocktail on one of the terraces overlooking the water, or book a personalized treatment at the full-service wellness center. You can also immerse yourself in the local culture with a cooking class, wine or olive oil tasting, or a guided tour of the nearby Unesco World Heritage Sites of Alberobello and Matera. A meal at the onsite Michelin-starred Cielo restaurant is another treat for the senses. Chef Andrea Cannalire, born and raised in the region, has a deep love of the land and the sea, as well as the bounty each has contributed to Puglia’s rich culinary traditions. Cannalire’s menu pay homage to these traditions while also experimenting with cutting-edge culinary trends. During the warm months, you can sip a predinner drink on the restaurant’s scenic terrace, or enjoy your meal in the ancient Spanish garden, with its fragrant olive and orange trees.

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