Some years later Luigi, already well-known as a landowner and a director of large companies, made a big step-to buy the Masseria from the Bardoscia family Of Galatina
Originally consisting of 77 hectares (190 acres) of olive groves, it also included vines of Negroamaro and Malvasia grapes, which would eventually be awarded two diplomas, two bronze and a gold medal. Also grown was wheat, tomatoes and other vegetables for sale and family use, together with figs and almonds, and carob beans for feeding the horses used for transport. He also cultivated fine Levantine tobacco. There were flocks of sheep giving milk for cheese and herds of cattle for meat and milk. In the grounds there were several buildings including a press for processing the grapes, a shelter for the sheep, a dovecote and storage for the carts and wagons. At the centre of the farm was the owner's house - a two-storey building – with accommodation on the first floor where Luigi spent the summer and, on the ground floor stables for the horses and storage for straw. Luigi travelled from Alezio on horseback to oversee his properties as many of the country roads at that time were impractical, even for a gig.
Luigi extended the house and also created a large underground cistern for the collection and storage of rainwater to be used in the dwellings. He equipped the farm with a “state of the art” olive oil press with a steam engine to move the millstones. The farm was also enhanced by a small chapel. Nine children were born during these years and many happy summers were spent in the countryside. Two of these children, Salvatore and Augusto, would together lead the company until the mid-1900's.
The second major innovator in the management of the company would be Francesco, son of Augusto. In 1963,the farm, without direct family management seemed neglected, but in Francesco there was no lack of enthusiasm to see a “re-birth”. And so a new cycle of activity began, bringing electricity, running water and a telephone line to the farm. The olive grove would be cultivated without the use of chemicals, the mill re-activated and a new sheepfold built. As a diligent reader, Francesco discovered that, in France, farms were offering hospitality to guests and travellers.
And so the restaurant, farm shop, “bocce” and tennis courts and a camping area were created. With the help of the whole family, cultivation of organic vegetables, legumes and fruit trees was begun. A bread oven was also constructed.
Francesco gave a new identity to the Masseria, reviving its name.
The Masseria Lo Prieno grows in popularity, appears in major foreign guides and on television, but above all, welcomes guests from all parts of Italy, from Europe and the wider world. Agriturismo at Lo Prieno is a reality!