Puglia, Italy

Borgo Canonica

Rates per night from$143.68

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR132.98), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Trulli special

Setting

Amid the olive groves

Welcome to Borgo Canonica, a revamped rural village with 42 trulli (traditional, conical-roofed dwellings), sitting pretty in six-hectare grounds perfumed with Mediterranean maquis, lavender and fruit trees. Additional cues to pack your bags, grab your passport and head here include the peaceful pool, romantic rooms and relaxed restaurant, which shines a spotlight on seasonal local produce. Begin your days with long, leisurely breakfasts and come back for orecchiette- and burrata-graced lunches and dinners; the local primitivo also deserves mention.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Fresh fruit and a glass of prosecco each

Facilities

Photos Borgo Canonica facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Fourteen, including nine suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from £128.84 (€146), including tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include breakfast (a tempting buffet starring fresh fruit, cheese, salami, egg options, focaccia, home-made cakes and croissants).

Also

The hotel can arrange on-site cookery classes; leave with enhanced culinary skills for the folks back home.

Hotel closed

Borgo Canonica closes its doors for winter from 5 November each year, reopening in spring (dates vary).

At the hotel

Winsome gardens and six-hectare grounds; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, minibar, Essencia bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The suites get star billing thanks to their private patio, fireplace-toting living area and romantic bathroom: picture showering in a traditional trullo...

Poolside

Surrounded by olive trees, the jaw-droppingly lovely pool is one of the Borgo’s best bits. It’s family friendly, and supervised by a lifeguard between 10am and 5pm.

Packing tips

Bring an appetite for cucina povera cuisine and a thirst for wine.

Also

In-room spa and beauty treatments can be arranged on request.

Children

Little Smiths are very welcome; babysitting (€20 an hour) can be arranged with a week’s notice.

Best for

Babies, toddlers and older kids who don’t need too many distractions.

Recommended rooms

Pick one of the triple or quadruple suites for maximum space.

Activities

The hotel can organise a fleet of bikes for the whole family to borrow. There aren’t many activities for little ’uns here – water-babies will love the pool – but the grounds offer plenty of safe roaming space.

Swimming pool

A lifeguard keeps a close eye on the pool between 9am and 7pm.

Babysitting

Babysitting (€20 an hour) can be arranged with a week’s notice.

Food and Drink

Photos Borgo Canonica food and drink

Top Table

Sit out on the sun-kissed terrace and soak up those rays.

Dress Code

Puglian poise: white linens; leather accents; raffia hats; big grins.

Hotel restaurant

Borgo’s restaurant pays delicious tribute to traditional Puglian cuisine: don’t miss the fava-bean purée, the burrata, the cheese platter and the toothsome orecchiette.

Hotel bar

There’s a diminutive, trullo-housed bar with a pretty alfresco area, used in summer. Don’t miss the delicious local wine.

Last orders

Breakfast is available between 8am and 10.30am; lunch is 12.30pm–2pm (served by the pool, too); dinner ends at 9.30pm.

Room service

Order a light lunch or pick from the full dinner menu during the restaurant’s opening hours.

Location

Photos Borgo Canonica location
Address
Borgo Canonica
Contrada Minetta 20 Cisternino BR
Cisternino
72014
Italy

Borgo Canonica is just a few kilometres from the charming town of Cisternino, on Italy’s south-eastern coast.

Planes

Brindisi Airport is the closest option, a 45-minute drive away. Let Smith24 sort your flights.

Trains

Fasano station is 27 kilometres away, with Trenitalia services connecting Bari and Lecce (www.trenitalia.com).

Automobiles

From Bari, take the SS16 towards Brindisi and exit at Cisternino, onto the SS17 towards Ostuni. Turn right at the crossroads before the Municipal Cemetery, then continue for about 2.8 kilometres towards Borgo Canonica. If you’re coming from Brindisi, take the SS16 towards Bari and exit at Ostuni, then head onto the SS17 towards Cisternino. At the crossroads after the cemetery turn left, then continue for about 2.8 kilometres towards Borgo Canonica. The hotel has parking for guests.

Worth getting out of bed for

Start with what’s on offer at the Borgo itself: leisurely, delicious breakfasts; poolside relaxing; wine tastings and cookery classesBeach bunnies will want to head to Polignano a Mare (a 45-minute drive from the hotel), a seaside town on Italy’s southern Adriatic coast that’s famous for white-pebble beach Lama Monachile (aka Cala Porto), which is bordered by a Roman bridge. Visit Trani, a picturesque town with honey-hued architecture, churches, a castle and a lively seafront, where fishermen sell their catch each morning. Cisternino is also worth exploring for its architecture and stellar restaurants. The Unesco-listed Castel del Monte in Andria is something of a mystery: it lacks the features of a traditional military fort and is built on a hill, not a strategically sound choice. If you have animal-loving little Smiths in tow, take them to Fasano Zoo on Via della Zoo. And make the 30-minute drive to Ostuni to immortalise its stunning views with your camera.

Local restaurants

Have a leisurely breakfast or a cake-and-coffee, mid-morning pit stop at Monna Lisa Caffè (+39 (0)831 338624) at Via Roma in Ostuni; come back for cocktails later on. Ristorante Garibaldi (+39 (0)831 179 4784) aces relaxed dinners. If you’re after something a little more swish, Cielo – attached to La Sommità hotel (+39 (0)831 305925) – on Via Scipione Petrarolo in Ostuni won’t disappoint.

Reviews

Photos Borgo Canonica reviews
Sarah Royce-Greensill

Anonymous review

By Sarah Royce-Greensill, Gem hunter

People often talk about ‘trullo hunting’ in and around Puglia’s Itria Valley. Truth is, these diminutive conical-roofed buildings are impossible to miss. There must be thousands of trulli scattered across the fields and hills of this verdant, undulating landscape – like something out of a fairytale, these enchanted homes that seem to belong to southern Italian elves.

Dating back to the 19th century, trulli were quick and easy shelters for farmers to build, using the uneven rocks that littered their pastures. They served as temporary accommodation, storehouses or labourers’ lodgings, and many of them remain untouched since their last inhabitants left – crumbling, cobwebbed artefacts of an ancient Pugliese way of life. Others have been extended into full-sized family homes, their roofs hitched up to accommodate loftier modern ceiling heights. Those that line the hillside streets of Alberobello have been turned into souvenir shops and cafés, an Instagram-perfect backdrop for busloads of tourists. But few are as photogenic as the tiny trulli hamlet turned luxury hotel that now goes by the name of Borgo Canonica.

Like many of the best boutique hotels, getting to Borgo Canonica involves driving along winding, pothole-pocked lanes through seemingly deserted countryside, with a growing sense of regret at not having shelled out for comprehensive hire-car insurance and many utterances of ‘are you sure we’re in the right place?’ But, once we’d arrived, all these annoyances were forgotten in an instant.

Borgo’ (Italian for ‘village’) has 42 trulli, plus various outbuildings scattered over a secluded hillside near Cisternino, which once housed a handful of families. Now fully refurbished, the whitewashed buildings contain 14 suites that are light years away from their humble origins in terms of comfort and style. Our double suite featured a lounge area with sofa and desk, a king-size bed underneath the conical roof, and a bright, spacious ensuite bathroom, complete with a rainfall shower and locally made, organic olive-oil toiletries.

The decor is minimal: pallid walls are enlivened with the odd ceramic vase, and a stylish light fitting hangs from the middle of the tapered ceiling. Natural materials in earthy, neutral hues set the tranquil tone. At first it felt sparse compared to the lavishly styled hotels we usually stay in, but soon we felt very soothed by being cocooned in this unassuming space, with its small windows and thick walls of age-old exposed stone. The simplicity of our surroundings encouraged us to switch off and embrace a more leisurely pace of life.

Belongings unpacked – the single hanging rail provided had ample space for clothes – we set off to explore what would be our home for the next few days. Cobbled paths weave between the Borgo’s trulli, most of which have a private outdoor area. Prickly-pear cacti grow by ancient dry-stone walls and, with those pointed roofs visible from every angle, you’d struggle to find a more typically Pugliese photo-op. The best view is from the far side of the sizeable swimming pool, with a centuries-old olive tree in the foreground and scenes of utter pastoral peace beyond.
On sunny days (of which Puglia has plenty), it would be hard to tear yourself away from the padded sunloungers that surround the pool. Surrounded by bucolic views, your face warmed by the sun as waiters mill around serving glasses of the excellent local rosé, your intentions of finishing the novel you started on the plane could easily be swept aside for a contented cat-nap. Come sunset, some guests remain at this poolside idyll – there’s plenty of space for groups to congregate or couples to hide away – while others might retreat to their private patios for alfresco aperitivo. The trulli are particularly magical at night, aglow under the vast star-strewn sky, and the silence makes the scene all the more bewitching.

Dinner is served in a former outbuilding adjacent to the pool: an ambitiously gourmet affair, guests are asked to book at reception each day and choose from two four-course menus focused around meat or fish, both of which star locally-sourced produce. The menus change every day, but might feature stracciatella cheese and garden vegetables, cuttlefish with chicory, or garlic, olive-oil and fava-bean pasta – best washed down with a glass of primitivo, all served by earnest and enthusiastic staff.

Breakfast is more casual: a spread of pastries, yoghurts, fruits and cheese (burrata for breakfast is positively encouraged), along with a choice of omelettes and egg dishes. Finish with a slice of homemade cake – the pear and ricotta is particularly sublime – to fuel up for a day of sightseeing. The village of Cisternino, with its lively market squares and abundance of charming cafés and restaurants is a 10-minute drive away, and the hotel is the perfect base for day trips, taking in Alberobello, Locorotondo, Martina Franca and Ostuni. All are worth a visit, offering history, fine food and Pugliese hospitality in spades. But, if instead you choose to stay put by that pool, contemplating another slice of cake, well, we wouldn’t blame you at all.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Borgo Canonica’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The trulli village layout, the comfortable rooms, the professional and friendly service from the well-groomed staff, the superb gardens and the excellent food. We very much enjoyed the pasta making class.

Don’t expect

To find Borgo Canonica using a GPS – Google Maps seems better. The restaurant does not have an à la carte menu, however the daily chef's menu offers a good choice.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Sep 2019

We loved

The peace and quiet of the area was fantastic. The trulli houses were lovely to stay in. The hotel staff were excellent, they answered all requests very promptly. The pool area was lovely and well maintained. There are many interesting places to visit not too far away. I will definitely return.

Don’t expect

Any lively music!

Rating

Stayed on 3 Sep 2019

We loved

The peace and solitude. It is a base from which to do things and return to an oasis! Cisternino, Ceglie, Ostuni are all close and with terrific eating spots. The small trullis are small – get a bigger one.

Don’t expect

Glamor and a vibe – it is quiet and a retreat, not a throbbing place of activity. There's no music, which is needed.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Aug 2019

We loved

The rooms are great and quirky. Nice pool and beautiful countryside. Rent bikes and go exploring.

Don’t expect

Noise or liveliness!

Rating

Stayed on 24 Aug 2019

We loved

The individuality of each room. We had the pleasure of staying in 3 different room catagories: suite, superior and deluxe. All were fabulous but we particularly liked room 14 (a suite) as it had a small private lawn area with deck chairs outside our front door, as well as the small bistro table and chairs which is a feature of all the rooms. It was perfect having a glass of wine outside your room on the warm evenings and watching the sun go down. Breakfast was served in the small restaurant with it's covered terrace, all needs catered for plus a seperate 'egg menu' that is cooked to order. Dinner was served in the same restaurant, a set tasting menu that's different each day. We ate there the first night and couldn't fault the food; however, it was a little pricey to eat there every evening. All the staff were helpful and knowledgeable, and they were able to offer advice about local restaurants, wine tasting tours and even the best ceramic shops to visit.

Don’t expect

Entertainment for the children and late nights.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Aug 2019

We loved

The pool was excellent with a delicious lunchtime menu at the pool bar. The setting was serene and the service was welcoming. Very relaxing.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Jun 2019

We loved

From the moment we checked in, we were made to feel unbelievably welcome by all members of the hotel team. We were upgraded from a deluxe room to one of their gorgeous suites, as we travelled at a quiet period. The hotel facilities and pool are simply beautiful. It was wonderful to stay in a traditional Pugliese trulli house - a must for any who stay in this area. We ate at the hotel restaurant one evening and each course was more delicious than the first. We originally booked this hotel as we wanted to check it out for our wedding guests next year - we can't recommend it enough to our friends and family and hope to be back ourselves when the sun is shining. Thank you for a lovely stay!

Don’t expect

Lively nights - the whole resort is asleep by 10pm ish, perfect!

Rating

Stayed on 4 Apr 2019

We loved

We stayed here for four nights and would have moved in permanently if possible. It is so beautifully appointed in such a unique setting, its almost impossible to describe the peaceful feeling that engulfs you. So surprised that the cuisine was some of the best we enjoyed on our 24 day sojourn in Italy. We recommend visiting the surrounding hill towns during the day and dining here in the evening so as to avoid driving on the winding roads after dark. NOW, the service – it cannot get any better! Highly recommend!

Don’t expect

Nightlife, this place is peaceful.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Oct 2018

We loved

We spent one night on our way back from a weekend in Taranto. We were so impressed with with the accommodation, pool and restaurant we didnt want to leave! Fantastic peaceful location in beautifully restored Trulli village. Truly a unique experience having our own suite of Trulli.

Don’t expect

Night life and entertainment.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Sep 2018