The Stonemasons’ Academy

Building a masseria involves a team of about 40 masons working at any one time, each specialising in a particular technique.


The highly skilled work has been passed down through many generations. These masons use the same techniques as those who, centuries ago, carved the details on the area’s many historic palazzi, monuments and masserie. The vaulted ceilings, for example, are made without cement and fitted together by precision cutting of local pietra leccese stone.


Most of the stonemasons are over 50 years old, some nearly 80. Because theirs is a dying skill, Essentis Properties has created the first Stonemasons’ Academy in southern Italy, to pass on and thus conserve their abilities.


Every apprentice is from the local area and must have spent at least three years working with pietra leccese. Each works with his own maestro and training is done on the job. They give their ‘teachers’ great respect. They understand how important it is to continue the area’s stonemasonry tradition.


Every completed masseria is a unique work of art in its own right. The masons who have helped bring it to life are proud of the work they have done and the fact that they have helped train another generation to carry on this ancient craft.

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