It’s a story that dates back to 500 years ago. It tells about horses, counts and queens. Minunni family know it well. In the secular Tarsia Morisco Masseria they breed a prestigious race of horses called the Conversano breed. Acquaviva D’Aragona and Giulio Antonio I introduced them in the hilly lands of South-East Murgia in 1456.
These horses were called “Lipizzaner” by Maria Teresa d’Austria in the mid-1700s.
The Minunni fascinated by the Lipizzaner breed and their history, has started a project aimed at returning to the morphological characters of the original Conversano breed. The horses are raised and trained by Francesco Minunni’s sons, Paolo and Giuseppe, in collaboration with the Italian Academy Equestrian Art based at the Masseria Francesca Crispiano (TA) owned by Michele Caroli.
Minunni founded the Association of Lipizzaner horses in the countryside of Conversano to describe the beauty, the ductility and the history of these beautiful animals. The farm also offers a carriage ride to discover the beauty of the area. The routes, which may last 2 to 3 hours, include visits to rural chapels, around the modern city center. S. Caterina, S. Donato and S. Filomena just to name a few. Before starting the tour you can taste typical products of Puglia at the farm.
Another path includes a carriage ride through the streets of rural agro during which you will visit the major karstic lakes of the area. These lakes have performed as tanks of water supply for the community since the Roman period.
The Marchione castle is another place that you can visit during one of the itineraries organized by Minunni. It is located 6 km far from Conversano and it was a hunting lodge of Acquaviva d’Aragona, counts of Conversano. A legend says that there is an underground passage that connects the Marchione castle to the castle in Conversano. Since 1993 the Marchione castle estate has also been used for meetings and conferences.
Paolo Minunni told us about his days at the farm, working with the stallion Conversano Tartara, the work in the countryside, craft production of wines and oils. Tarsia Morisco is also education and discovery. For children, students from nursery, primary, secondary and high school and for anyone who wants to learn and know the traditions and culture of rural life, the farm offers educational activities and lessons given by Serena Minunni on the origin of foods, from milk to the meat.
‘We want the kids know the various activities of farm life in order to let them live a healthy relationship with the environment but also introduce them to the culture of the genuine products and the care of the land,’ Minunni says.