The history of the Ciura Company starts with the construction of the massive Baroque farm erected in the early 17th century by the Baron Ciura family. For more than two centuries this farm has been a significant reference point for Massafra with regard to rural life, productive activities and local labor.
Selected at the Venice Biennale of Architecture
MASSERIA CIURA at the Made in Italy Architecture Exhibition_Padiglione Italia_Biennale di Venezia: a close connection between enterprise, architecture and territory for the conservative recovery that makes it a place of business and culture.
Donato developed agricultural activity
In the 90s the son of Francesco D’Agostino, Donato developed agricultural activity, due to his love for the countryside and the trees, treating them like “children that need care and affection.”
Around 1965 Masseria Ciura became
a thriving farm
The big turning point is when Francesco replaced much of the olive trees with citrus fruit cultivation. He took this decision after careful observation of the features of the land and precise investigation of the climate. His choice turned out to be successful despite those who called him “the madman of Massafra”. In fact, today the “Clementine of the Gulf of Taranto” is recognized as IGP.
The D’Agostino family took over the property
The farm was bought in 1958 by Francesco D’Agostino, turning it into an advanced zootechnical cattle breeding farm. The prestigious Alpine brown breed and the innovative integrated cycle technology made the farm winner of the “Prima Stalla d’Italia” prize at the end of the 1960s.
The last Ciura heir
The last Ciura heir is the son of Clementina, Raffaele, in November 28 1924.
Clementina becomes heir
Clementina, Raffaele’s daughter, becomes heir in 1907.
Raffaele Ciura inherits the property in Pastia (countryside near Massafra)
The previous heirs had never split the property but in 1881 it had grown so much that the many sons and daughters of the deceased brothers Tommaso and Francesco Antonio, also the heirs of the deceased Aunt Carolina, can share a considerable property estate, valued at over 150,000 lire. Teodora got the Pasano farm in Sava with a vineyard and a capital of 1000 ducats (4250 lire), also owning half of two small fish ponds, in Mar Piccolo at the “Dogana” (customs house) and at the “Madonna della Pace” (church); Giuseppe got the other half of the fish farm, the palace in Taranto at no.23 on the main road (section 310), two houses in vico Carducci, a workshop and the Ospedaletto farm with all its related dwellings. Raffaele inherited the masseria Pastia with the olive groves, the tools and animals, the rural houses and the noble manor.
The property passed on to Giuseppe Ciura’s sons
In 1831 Giuseppe died and the heirs, the first-born Tommaso and Troiana, Felicia, Carolina and Francesco Antonio, with their mother Teodora Lo Iucco made an inventory of all the assets, with the help of expert surveyors.
Giuseppe Ciura inherited the Masseria and went to live there with his wife
Giuseppe, son of Tommaso, became a knight of the Geronimo Order and married Teodora Lo Iucco. She brought 20,000 ducats as dowry. They married on 19 April 1790 and in January 1791 they went to live in his father’s home, as was the custom at that time.
Tommaso Ciura’s wife inherited all the properties
At that time, the legacy of the Ciura family, particularly in Pastia, shows a vegetable garden, a rustic house, a selected olive grove and an ordinary one, two millstones and a noble dwelling, which underwent substantial renovations, as reported in the commemorative plaque affixed to the front door of the manor house.
Tommaso Ciura became the rightful owner
The properties owned by Tommaso are numerous in Massafra. The Pastia farm of 22 tomboli with olive trees, “iazzi” (fences), wells and houses, dates back to 1745-49.
The palace in Massafra Became part of the family legacy
The issue of Giuseppe Ciura with Elizabeth Iucco were Tommaso and Alfonso, still minors in 1680, when their father died. The inventory of inherited goods is compiled, as a custom and for the protection of the heirs. The house in Serra near Massafra is described in some detail, as well as all furniture and furnishings contained therein: paintings of religious subjects, numerous silverware, clothes and jewelry belonging to the two wives, wine cellars, storerooms and shared fruit garden.
Giuseppe Ciura became mayor of Massafra
Giuseppe Ciura, a surgeon, was the only heir of the family’s fortune. He also became mayor of Massafra in 1665, and he married twice: first with Beatrice Notaristefani who gave birth to Francesco Antonio and Angela Antonia and at Beatrice’s death, with Elizabeth Iucco.
Baron Ciura’s death
At the death of the founder, in 1650, his offspring Leonardo, Giacinto, Giuseppe and Isabella became the heirs. At the time, the farm was 12 “tomoli” (ancient land measurement) with 87 olive trees. The farm buildings consisted of a courtyard, homes for stable boys and straw, porch for oxen, an underground cave, a walled garden of shared fruits, a spring and two palm groves covered by a cannizzo (reed mat). Around the farm there were a great quantity of tomoli, cultivated as olives groves and vineyards.