Typical recipes from the South of Italy and therapies for contemporary wellness

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is the combination of all the food habits in use among the populations overlooking the Mediterranean, characterized by the presence and cultivation of olive trees. Olive oil is actually the only type of fat consumed in this diet. This food model, which is even under UNESCO’s protection as world intangible cultural heritage, has proved unique in assuring the permanence of a good health condition along the years, as the results of a recent research published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also demonstrate. By gathering information on the food habits of over 120,000 men and women from 1986 to today, Dr Piet A. van den Brandt could connect the Mediterranean Diet with a decrease in the mortality rate of as much as 15 years for women and 8 years for men!

And that’s not all. This diet is a low-calorie food regimen meant to make you loose weight, but also and most importantly a lifestyle where typical recipes, old flavours and specialties from the South of Italy are recovered and where “interaction with the social environment, respect for the territory, biodiversity, conservation and further enhancement of traditions are promoted”, as spoken by Dr. Grassi, a nutritionist cooperating with Masseria San Domenico as well as Secretary to the Foundation for Mediterranean Diet NPO.

The Mediterranean diet goes beyond the counting of calories and it overthrows the concept of diet as privation and sacrifice, promoting instead the physical and psychological wellbeing of the person. It is a low-fat food regimen, poor in refined foods and rich in simple ingredients, arriving on the table unrefined and as found in nature: tomatoes, olive oil, legumes, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Simple and authentic ingredients, especially rich in micronutrients with protective effect, such as vitamins, fibres and essential minerals, which strengthen the immune system, shield from many diseases and delay the ageing process. Carbohydrates are the key element of this dietary pattern, but they are selected based on their glycaemic index among those having the lowest insulin response (i.e. they don’t increase the sugar level in the blood delaying hunger sensation), such as wholemeal pasta and rice, oatmeal, rye bread, etc.

“With the Mediterranean diet” says Dr. Grassi “you don’t loose a lot of weight at the beginning, as it is often the case with high-protein diets, but this is an advantage as it allows you to eliminate fat instead of water” and hence to maintain the acquired ideal weight for longer.


Thermogenesis is a method that triggers body reactions to lose weight and allows getting back in shape in a natural way.
A new spa treatment that the Masseria San Domenico is proud to offer in its Thalassotherapy Spa.

The Masseria San Domenico, building from the fifteenth century, as well as retaining its ancient ruins, also respects the local culinary traditions that correspond fully to those who are the canons of the Mediterranean diet now recognized internationally as the most balanced healthy eating.

These traditions blend with the most contemporary techniques of treatments based on sea water of the spa. Thermogenesis is the next generation of spa treatments.

The latest studies on natural methods of weight loss show that exposure to temperatures lower than body temperature triggers a physiological reaction that stimulates our body to burn excess fat.

Dr. Agostino Grassi, Secretary of the Mediterranean Diet Foundation and health advisor to our resort, explains that inside the human body there are two different types of adipose tissue: white adipose tissue where the fat in excess is accumulated and brown adipose tissue or so-called “good ” fat that is activated to maintain a constant internal body temperature when the body is exposed to mild cold (16 degrees C/61 F).

As if playing a role of “internal heater” the brown tissue burns fat accumulated in excess.

The latest treatment in the SPA of the Masseria San Domenico is precisely this thermogenesis bath, which starts immersing in water at 18 degrees, until the temperature is gradually lowered in 20 minutes at 16 degrees. Inside the tank a hydro bike helps with the movement to decrease the sensation of cold by further enhancing the dispersion of heat.

The “brown fat”, which helped our ancestors in ancient times to warm up when sheltering from harsh weather was scarce (turning food calories into body heat) now becomes the center of new advanced therapies for contemporary wellness.

The philosophy of the Masseria San Domenico is to combine respect for ancient traditions with special equipments designed to implement the most recent scientific discoveries.

The ancient olive trees that surround the Masseria San Domenico, which are staples of Apulian food, now recognized as the closest to the Mediterranean Diet, the invigorating microclimate of the Mediterranean sea, whose waters are the basis of all Thalassoterapy treatments, make an ideal stay for those who want to spend a period of complete relax and to regain energy and health.

It is just that the style of Masseria San Domenico, where tradition becomes the future.