Maria Giulia Zunino
In 1995, ten years after The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera published Slowness. This recently rediscovered book discusses the „virtue“ that doctors, psychologists and philosophers now hail as one of the most important tools for combating stress. „Slowness makes us masters of time,“ writes Kundera. „It brings us into contact with nature and the essential values of living.“
A slow pace of life is also an innate quality of the Apulia region that has been handed down through the generations and is one of the main attractions for the growing numbers of Italian and international tourists who travel to the region for its hospitality.
The tale of Masseria Borgo Ritella is closely bound up with the history of a family. „It all goes back to my grandfather,“ says Paola, who after graduating in philosophy in Rome returned to her roots and now runs the hotel.
„He was a visionary. Twenty years ago he bought the masseria, a rural estate which at the time consisted of two buildings. One became our home, and this is the other.“ Splendidly located between the old town centre of Fasano (province of Brindisi) and the hills of the Itria Valley, it offers a view of the sea and there is always a pleasant breeze.
„The renovation project is also part of my family’s history. We have owned a quarry for 70 years; my father is a builder,“ she adds. „The project was led by Pino Brescia, a well-known Apulian interior designer and stage designer with a reputation for his meticulous research and ability to incorporate the region’s values into his work. „He’s a friend of my father’s. We found ourselves in complete agreement with his ideas so we felt we could trust him.“
It was he who chose to replace the local stone present on the floors and walls in the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens with Marazzi’s Carácter Mix collection, a highly innovative range of porcelain tiles for indoor and outdoor use available in 6 sizes and 6 colours. The inclusion of pebbles of different shapes creates a distinctive polished stone effect and the application of StepWise technology ensures non-slip characteristics while leaving the surface soft to the touch.
These qualities guarantee an understated natural elegance, maximum hygiene, ease of installation and maintenance as well as the outstanding green credentials typical of all Marazzi products (it is made from 40% recycled material).
It was Pino Brescia’s idea to use downlighting for the exterior to combat light pollution and allow guests to immerse themselves in the spectacle of the starry sky. „Guests sometimes complain, but it would be ridiculous to miss out on the magic of the night sky,“ continues Paola.
He also designed the furniture, all of which are simple but striking one-off pieces, mostly made of iron and wood. They are inspired by age-old craftsmanship but reinterpreted to acquire dignity and beauty, blending harmoniously and imaginatively into the spaces of the masseria with its 18 rooms, including 3 suites.
„We weren’t seeking perfection, because it’s our flaws that make us special. This longed-for return to my origins, this sense of beauty in simplicity and the bold white of the masseria reflected in the circular swimming pool offer a refuge from the hustle and bustle of everyday life,“ concludes Paola.
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): A
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 120-150mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 95%
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10 B - R11C
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme