Lovers of modern Italian art and architecture – start packing. The flat heel of the boot is arid and Masseria Bernardini a sophisticated oasis of a place, surrounded by red earth sprigged with olive and orange groves. A fortified farm stood here in the 1400s, now imposing gates and double walls enclose this totally rebuilt ‘Art Resort, home and more’. The architect owner has links with the Milan Arts scene; the ‘more’ comes in touches like a chef always on hand, breakfast and a newspaper delivered to your door, guided tours, yoga, massage, anything booked or ordered at the drop of a sunhat; a holiday home is where you can do as you please: linger over outdoor meals, in the limpid pool, under shady trees and in designer cool rooms. Big-bedded suites have vaulted ceilings, bold colours, striking canvases, sinks carved from stone. Apartments also have private terraces, neat kitchens. And a couple of minutes’ walks away, the luxurious villa Casa dell ‘Arco comes with its own pool and Jacuzzi. Head for the white sands, curious caves and turquoise sea of the Salento coast. Gallipoli and Lecce are half an hour’s drive.