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Seek out the first signs of spring in southern Italy

Spring in Italy’s step

March may not feel like alfresco time for sun-pampered locals, but as temperatures start to climb up through the teens in southern Italy, travellers from the north should find it a pleasant season to visit, not least as many hotels hold on to their low-season rates until Easter. Masseria Torre Coccaro is a fine example. Near the top of the heel of Italy, two miles inland from the town of Savelletri on the Adriatic coast, this sprawling farm estate dating back to the 16th century has become a luxurious hotel. Its 36 rooms and suites have kept rustic touches such as whitewashed rough stone walls and vaulted ceilings. The hotel is surrounded by 800-year-old olive groves and is centrally located for drives into the countryside of the Puglia region, now beginning to flower again as winter eases off.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - March 2015
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