This house is magical inside and out; the area seems like the land of hobbits - not because the people are tiny and hairy, but because it has a unique charm imparted by the 'cones' (of the roofs) nestling amongst the olives, vines and fruit trees and the red earth. Note that there is room for 10 to sleep, using the sofabeds in the big living room area.
Inside, the temperature is kept comfortable in summer by the thick walls; the water is heated by a solar panel; the high curved, vaulted ceilings and arches between rooms, along with the profound peace that seems to pour from the walls have been noted by visitors to enhance meditation, the practice of yoga, tai chi etc, and creative activity - writing and painting. Olive oil from the garden is supplied. Note its grassy and peppery flavour.
Children love it as well ... Bea, 13, says: 'It was beautiful. I loved the shower outside and it felt completely at home. Can we go again?' Her father: 'Great place for a family holiday....the region feels quite untouched and gives you a taste of Italy that is affordable, ...beaches are great... the local food delicious.'
There is a profusion of things to see in the surrounding area; a variety of lovely beaches about 30 minutes away, Savelletri on the Ionian coast, Guaceto (with a nature reserve) and the little gem Capitolo on the Adriatic, and many others. All the local towns have beautiful 'old towns' which dominate the landscape, with clean white buildings, and polished golden cobbles or marble paving. Martina Franca, like Lecce (the 'Venice of the South', so called because of the beauty of its architecture) has wonderful Baroque architecture.
The four bedrooms make it perfect for families or groups, and up to 10 people can be accomodated using the sofabeds in the main living area. But its intimate beauty mean that a couple, or a single person, will not feel out of place, rather cosy and inspired by the beauty both inside and out. I feel spoilt when I stay there alone.
The heating system is via a wood burning stove, and this is part of the character of a place where almost everything can be used or reused. When branches are removed or fall from the trees outside, they fuel the fire (most of the wood is delivered from a local source). The water for household use comes from the land, and only biodegradable cleaning products are used, to keep the supply unpolluted.
The surrounding area is studded with good, reasonably priced, restaurants serving generous portions of excellent local specialities and Italian favourites.
Walking or driving, it is fun to explore the local area, and a cup of tea or glass of wine at sunset on the roof terrace, from where you can see across the valley, is pure magic.
|Size||Sleeps up to 9, 4 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, House swap, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Access||Car advised, Wheelchair users|
|Nearest Amenities||5 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Bari or Brindisi 80 km, Nearest railway: Martina Franca 5 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
|General||Central heating, CD player|
|Utilities||Cooker, Fridge, Washing machine|
|Rooms||4 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms, Solarium or roof terrace|
|Furniture||3 Sofa beds, Single beds (1), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 10, Lounge seats for 1|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Access||Parking, Wheelchair users|
|Further details outdoors|
Exterior shower. Cherries, almonds, apricots, plums, walnuts and figs available on the trees in season.
Puglia (in English Apulia) is one of the lesser-known of Italy's southern regions... yet it is packed with treasures; in the north is the forested Gargano peninsula, with the village of Monte Sant' Angelo and its chapel in a cave deep underground, where the archangel Michael is said to have appeared twice, and San Giovanni Rotondo, where the Christian Saint Padre Pio lived and reputedly produced miracles until and after his death in 1968. The great Latin poet Virgil farmed here and wrote a famous poem series, the Georigics, about the methods he employed. In the extreme south is Lecce, sometimes called 'the Venice of the South' because of its striking Baroque architecture.
The southern central area, where this property is located, contains a World Heritage Site, the trulli zone between Gioia del Colline in the west and Ostuni in the east, the only area in the world where these buildings are found.
Average summer temperatures range from the 20s in May and September/October to the 30s in July and August; there are fluctuations; top temperatures of 40 in June and July are not unknown. Generally it is hot from May to September, and reasonable in April, October and November.