Casa Esmeralda appeals both to couples for a romantic getaway, and to families with teenagers who love sleeping on the mezzanine platform with its two single beds, and the divan below can be used as a third single bed. The pretty sitting room with its bright furnishings can seat up to 5 for family meals. The alcove kitchen, with its serving hatch into the dining area via a lovely old stone arch, is very typical of the region. It has a Smeg electric fan oven,a ceramic hob, a fridge, kettle, toaster, and all the usual utensils. Off the sitting room there are double doors with old wooden shutters, leading on to a small balcony overlooking the street.
Climb the stone stairs up to the second floor bedroom and there is a small cloakroom/WC on your right.. The double bedroom has an ensuite shower room with walk-in shower, WC, basin and (in an annexe on the terrace) a washing machine. The double bed has romantic white netting, and double shuttered doors lead on to Casa Esmeralda's lower terrace - a real suntrap - which has a table which can sit up to six guests, and a sun umbrella with base. Climb another set of stairs and you are on the top terraces. These have the most spectacular views of the Adriatic and the Cathedral and Ostuni's ancient centre and there are loungers so you can sunbathe in privacy and comfort.
This lovely old house is in a very non-touristy area, just a two minute walk away from the central Piazza with its many bars, cafes and restaurants. Walk for another two minutes and you are in the heart of Ostuni's historical centre with its fascinating kasbah-like alleyways winding around the lovely 15th century Cathedral and its many enticing little boutiques. In the evenings after a meal in one of the dozens of excellent restaurants, enjoy one of our selection of English DVDs or books. In the morning, take your coffee and croissants out onto the balcony and enjoy the sunshine before setting off to explore this beautiful little white-walled hilltop town.
|Size||Sleeps up to 5, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Marina di Ostuni 7 km|
|Will consider||Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Nearest Amenities||100 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Brindisi (also Bari) 35 km, Nearest railway: Ostuni 500 m|
|Family friendly||Suitable for children over 5|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player, Sea view|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Cooker, Fridge, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 En suites, Solarium or roof terrace|
|Furniture||Single beds (3), Double beds (1), Cots (1), Dining seats for 4, Lounge seats for 5|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
* Lovely stone vaulted ceilings on both floors
* Well-equipped compact kitchen with stone arched serving hatch
* Romantically draped double bedroom
* Fun mezzanine sleeping platform
* Ensuite shower room with shower, basin, WC
* Separate WC with basin
* Air-conditioning throughout
* Large supply of English films and books
|Further details outdoors|
Casa Esmeralda has a sheltered lower terrace outside the second floor bedroom, and a rooftop terrace on two levels. On the lower terrace there is a table and sun umbrella for alfresco meals, plus a portable BBQ you can use here. For the upper terrace we provide loungers and a sun umbrella and base.
We provide a basic welcome pack of things like bread, butter, jam, milk, coffee, tea , wine and water. There are nearly always restaurants open till late at night for guests arriving on late flights.
We can arrange for a local taxi firm to come and collect you at either Brindisi or Bari airport. The usual fee is 50 euros Brindisi (each way) and 90 Euros Bari (each way.)
If you are arriving by public transport or are hiring a car independently, we can arrange to leave the key at a nearby bar and would then give you all the necessary details on where to pick it up.
Puglia is a fascinating and until recently little known region of Italy. It has a remarkably long and often rugged coastline with long sandy beaches, situated as it is in the narrow strip of land squashed between two seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian, which meet at Santa Maria di Leuca, the Land's End of Italy. The countryside is quite unlike other parts of Italy, peppered as it is with prickly pear cacti as well as the millions of olive trees on which its wealth was built, and the extraordinary conical trullo buildings which are only found in this part of Europe.
The summer in Puglia usually starts properly in May and can go on right into late October when the weather can often be balmy. Hottest period is from mid-July through August when the temperature has been known to reach the high 40s, though more usually it is about 35 degrees. April and May are usually lovely months to explore Puglia.
There have been people living in the Ostuni area thousands of years before the Romans arrived: the Ostunese are very proud that the remains of the 'oldest mother in the world' - a young pregnant woman who died 24,500 years ago, were found just outside the town and are now on display in a newly built archaeological park nearby. Because it was invaded so often, Puglia has a fascinating history, reflected in its many different architectural styles from the Moorish to the Baroque.
You can happily spend a week just wandering round Ostuni enjoying eating delicious local food in the dozens of restaurants which make Ostuni a gourmet paradise. Children are just as welcome as adults in all the restaurants, no matter how late at night. Or you can buy wonderful fresh food in the shops and market and cook it in your apartment, only venturing out to enjoy the passeggiata (the evening parade when people promenade up and down the Via Cattedrale for hours) and stopping for a drink in one of the town's many cool bars, like Cafe Riccardo, and Bar Gipas the cave bars where on summer nights you can sit outside and listen to music while you sip your cocktail. In the summer the town fills with Italian tourists and is very vibey, but however crowded it becomes, you never see any bad behaviour from the young people because they rarely drink much alcohol. Families are out and about till the small hours, making Ostuni a very safe town to walk around in, even for women on their own late at night.
Like many Italian towns Ostuni holds lots of festivals throughout the year, the most spectacular being the Cavalcata di Sant'Oronzo at the end of August, when the statue of the patron saint is carried through the town in a procession of about 50 richly clad horses and their brightly costumed riders. For this big festival the streets are illuminated with stunning Moorish style illuminations with dozens of beautifully lit arches and the celebration ends with a marvellous firework display at midnight. Another lovely festival on 15 August exhibits all the ancient local crafts, and in September Ostuni hosts the Festival of Street Artists and the streets are full of clowns and jugglers. At Christmas there is the Presepe Vivente, a series of tableaux of the Christmas story, acted out by local people in the little alleyways of the old town. At any time throughout the year you may see performances of the local dance, the pizzica-pizzica, which is a type of tarantella, often performed by a local folk group called La Stella who are excellent musicians and dancers. There are numerous free concerts in the square and in the summer there are rock concerts and other shows in the Foro Boario, a newly built outdoor theatre just outside the town walls where the livestock market once stood. Ostuni has its own cinema showing the latest films dubbed into Italian and in the summer these change several times each week and the cinema moves to its outside summer space with a big outdoor screen and ivy-clad walls - quite reminiscent of the film Cinema Paradiso.
There are excellent shops in the town, from the little boutiques of the historical centre, which stay open till 3am at the height of summer, to the designer shops in the more modern area and of course an enormous number of individual food shops and delicatessen as well as several reasonably sized supermarkets for basic needs. Not to be missed is the vast Saturday market on a site bigger than a football pitch, with its huge selection of fruit and vegetables, household goods, clothes, pottery, shoes and bags. It is one of the largest in Southern Italy. On the second Sunday of the month there is a flea market just a few minutes away from L'Alcova, in the streets around the attractive public gardens with their lovely tall palm trees. Here you can pick up all sorts of curios and work by local craftspeople.
In the area around Ostuni there are masses of interesting places to visit, from the trullo town of Alberobello with its 2000 trulli houses and a trullo church, to the pretty harbour towns like Monopoli and Polignano sul Mare on the way north up to Bari and then Trani just beyond Bari with its fabulous harbour church. All of these you can reach easily and cheaply by train, as well as the splendid baroque city of Lecce, about an hour by train south of Ostuni. If you are driving there are many treasures within easy driving distance such as Altamura, a walled town famous for its bread and its dozens of bakers; Otranto with its cathedral with a magnificent 11th century mosaic floor of the Tree of Life; Gallipoli with its ancient town on a little island reached via a causeway; and, in the next region, Basilicata, the fascinating Matera where Mel Gibson filmed The Passion of the Christ. For top designer shopping take the train to Bari where you will find Gucci, Armani and all the other designer shops.