Fall in love with Puglia, 250/wk fra Lecce-Bari
from £22 /night help
Villa | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 6
Villa Donna is a charming home with antique features & modern-day conveniences. It is an easily accessible ground-level home which exemplifies charm & beauty amongst 'green' countryside living. We refurbished in 2010 to her original splendor from stone vaulted ceilings to fresh white-washed walls resting on original stone and antique paint-tiled floors. With three star-vaulted 'stella' rooms and two long-arched 'botte' rooms, there's comfortable living space for a family of four+. Guests reach us through the private entrance off SS16/SP1bis, via Brindisi or the back gate which doubles as an Italian-designated treking/bike trail linking us to the beaches and San Vito dei Normanni. Try some Pugliese recipes in our fully furnished kitchen or eat at one of the great traditional restaurants nearby. Enjoy homemade ice cream, fresh cafe or spirits at any of the nearby bars. Centrally located between the 'white city' of Ostuni & the port city of Brindisi or halfway between Bari & Lecce. Minutes from Torre Guaceto WWF nature reserve, Penne Grosso sandy beach, Casale airport, and only 1km from the self-contained town of San Vito dei Normanni. Walk, bike or hire our personal shuttle to take you wherever you want to go. Visit the UNESCO cities of Matera (prehistoric rock dwellings) or 'Alberobello the 'trulli capital', Castellana caves, Fasano Zoo safari or one of the nearby water parks or blu flagged beaches. Spacious enclosed private property with a play garden, sports campo, pizza oven and plenty of parking, room to roam, run, bike or jump on the trampoline. Plenty of beach & sports equipment to use, WI-FI, TV, DVD & CDs to entertain, + sun to soak in poolside or explore the farm with over 200 organic fruit & nut trees plus 20+ cactus plants.
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Torre Guaceto WWF Nature Reserve or Lido Pennagros 8 km|
|Will consider||House swap, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Access||Car advised, Wheelchair users|
|Nearest Amenities||1 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: 'Casale' Brindisi or Bari-Palese o Karol 15 km, Nearest railway: Brindisi or Ostuni 15 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Some pets are welcome - please contact the owner, Yes, smoking allowed|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player, Staffed property|
|Pool||Shared outdoor pool (unheated)|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, CD player, Safe, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Shared outdoor pool (unheated), Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available, Climbing frame, Swing set, Trampoline|
|Access||Wheelchair users, Secure parking|
The Puglia region
Location, Location, Location! Puglia has the best of Italy with miles of Adriatic and Ionian coastlines, valleys with pre-historic origins and cave dwellings plus hillside fortified cities which come especially alive during national and religious holidays, patron saint days, and food and wine festivals all summer long. Villa Donna is less than 1km from the nearest supermarket which sales everything from fresh produce, meats to beachwares. We are exactly in between Brindisi & Ostuni (15min each way) as well as Bari & Lecce (75km). We are minutes from the beach (10) and within an hour of most must-see/do sites in Puglia and the Ionian coast. We bridge 'Alto' or Upper Salento and the Valle d'Itria (Trulli country) together with some of the prettiest landscapes, best beaches and spectacular foods, wines and cultures. We are extremely reachable by public transportation (Brindisi or Ostuni train stations, Brindisi or Bari air and seaports (15min-1 hour away). Guests can either rent a car locally for less hassle than the airport or utilize our low-cost shuttle services in-out of town, to the beaches, sight-seeing, markets, festivals, or nights out on the town. Guests can eaily walk to town (1.5km) or use one of our six varied sized bikes utilizing our city street lighted back country road. We enjoy four beautiful mild climate seasons and are open year-round. Our busiest months are July and August but Spring and Fall are wonderful times to come and enjoy less crowded beaches and more local affairs. Just ask what's going on and we'll let you know what's coming up. Winters arebit slower but if it's peace and quite your after, it's the best time to come if you like barbequing outdoors in December or being the first beachcombers in March?
San Vito dei Normanni
The Brindisi area is a great mixture of cultures and traditions inherited-combined from it's many past residences, from Greeks, Turks, Spainards, Normans, Messapians, to Romans. It is one of the most 'occupied' cities of all times and the architecture, food and traditions are evident from extrodinary Baroque, Gothic, Romantic, Moorish palaces, castles, churches to humble stone masoned 'trulli' one-room homes ending with most recently revived 'tufi' limestone exposed villas with star-vaulted ceilings, alcoves and archways. Puglia produces fantastic olive oils and grape varieties for wine making as well as varied wheats, grains, and produce. Local markets sale freshly picked produce for pennies compared to other regions, areas or European countries as well as some of the best yet economical wines and oils you will have tried. There is a speciality shop of every kind in San Vito dei Normanni, from fresh baked breads, homemade pastas, cheeses, oils and wines all within a five minute reach. Fresh seafood is available as well, caught only 8kms away or gathered daily by local retailers who also offer freshly butchered meats. Nightly events include food and wine festivals during the summer highlighting each cities' specialities such as capocolla from Martina Franca, cherries from Turi, breads from Altamura and the list just goes on.
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28 Oct 2014
We're a family of 4 with 2 boys of 6 and 4. It was our first time to Puglia and we were rapidly seduced by its ancient olive orchards rooted in red earth, its beautiful beaches and unique towns, … More
Dear late August guests, it was our delight to meet your beautiful family! I love having the children running around and enjoying the playground, basketball, pool, trampoline & outdoors so much. I wish I had gotten a picture of them so enthusiastically picking almonds on their own initiative...what a sight with them on the pool ladder handing down each hand picked nut! I'm glad your first trip to Puglia convinced you to come back & visit. You are always welcome to stay with us & don't forget to mention your 5% return guest discount & accumulative 5% discounts for anyone you refer who books with us. You got to see alot in your short week with three top city visits but there is sooo much more to see-do, so please do come back. Hopefully you got to take some of the very good, yet economical wine home with you and maybe next time you can take one of my wine tours through Salento or Valle d'Itria or a cycling or trekking tour which is something I hope to offer in 2015. Thank you for the kind words of our family & villa and we look forward to sharing more hidden treasures with your family next time. ciao for now...donna
2 Oct 2014
"Relaxing, safe, Comfortable and Convenient!"
Donna and Family! What can I say? You all made me feel so welcome with your warmth and hospitality.
This was my 5th or so trip back to your accommodation, and as always I felt looked after and cared about from start to finish.
The villa is always well-equipped and in great condition, and the welcome pack you provide on upon arrival is a great treat after a long journey (especially the wine!)
The part that makes you different to other accommodation providers is that you are on the ground and don't batter an eye lid about helping with ANY request.
Your knowledge of the local area from special places to eat, and areas to visit (I particularly loved the markets) is of fantastic value - and surpasses even the best guidebooks.
I can't wait for my next trip back to stay with you again soon.
Dear UK friend, What can I say? You have become part of our extended family & we welcome every stag party, romantic getaway, girls retreat you care to have! Including assisting you when you needed a bigger place with a pool. The great news is we are retiring the above ground pool for an in-ground one before next summer----so book soon under the old rates before our slight price increase comes into effect! I now manage 3 other holiday homes nearby and also work with other city owners for split-stay visitors to Puglia, Basilicata & Campagnia (Matera, Salerno, Sorrento).
As you have witnessed, the villa gets a thorough spring cleaning each year and we try to institute every improvement requested (new wardrobe, dividing wall added since you last stayed with us) and we will always have wine as you know, since I do near weekly wine tours in Salento & now Valle d'Itria as well.
I LOVE guiding & advising folks on how to discover the treasures nearby. Puglia, Basilicata & Campagnia regions continue to amaze me as I learn something new every personal trip I do (2 'heel of the boot', 3 Sassi di Matera, 2 Valle d'Itria & 1 Amalfi Coast trips this summer) which I love sharing with the guests who like to do things on their own.
We can't wait for for your next trip back and hope all the property buying tips & potentials I've provided over the past few years come to fruition this year as prices & loans are down compared to your original hunts. Tell the London gang I say hello and we'll see you soon!!
23 Sep 2014
"A Very Special Place"
We stayed in Villa Donna for one week in September. This is a very special place. On entering the house we immediately felt at home. It is beautifully restored by Donna and Toninio who have taken grea… More
Dear friends, I am so pleased you felt at home & found our place 'very special'. We do aim to please and have taken great care in restoring Villa Donna to its dimora beauty while equipping it with every comfort we can think of. There isn't anything like sleeping in the countryside quiet with just nature to hear. We've had several comments pertaining to the comfy beds (including the sofabed) with some claiming they slept better here than in their own homes.
It was my pleasure introducing you to our quaint town. It may not be a hillside charmer but it is less touristy and authentic Italian living with everything one needs and as you experienced, within comfortable walking distance. It's nice that there are numerous cafe-bars to enjoy in every part of town and I agree, Locanda Di Nonna Mena is a must try (& worth a return visit too). Unlike some of the more popular towns, SV does offer great traditional foods and beverages and you pay like a local, not the inflated tourist prices. The local entertainment is free with near nightly concerts or events in July and August and the 'Open Day' events last from June-September. SV also hosts the Barocco classical music festival kick-off as Leonardo Leo was from here. There are numerous saint's day or food/wine or cultural festivals going on in any of the nearby towns throughout the year and lots of beach dance clubs open in the summer. Their are 'discos' nearby and live band events held at some of the larger bars in town, but mostly during the winter.
I'm glad you got out and explored Puglia and was happy to help get you to where you wanted to go and enjoy some of the hidden treasures I've found to share. Being midway between Salento & the Valle D'Itria does have many advantages (beauty, wine, food) like being only an hour or so away from the 3 UNESCO sites (Trulli capital of Alberobello, prehistoric cave dwellings of Sassi di Matera & Castel del Monte).
I apologize for the unpredictable weather of late but glad you got to bike through the scenic country trails past the ancient olive tree groves. I am available 24/7 and gladly fill the transportation gap for those who don't want the hassles of driving, parking and not being able to drink while out and about or for those, like you, who get caught out in the rain. We also have a car bike rack just in case as we've had beach goers get stuck on the slightly inclining trail home after a long hot day. For these reasons we believe its feasible to do without a rental car for short stays. We have the 7pax van to shuttle folks to wherever they want to go at low cost which is often less than a daily rental car rate plus diesel fuel which is less than regular gas which most rental cars use.
It really was a pleasure meeting you both (our first Irish guests). We love developing international friendships and do hope to see or hear from you in the future. friends in Puglia, donna & tonino
12 Sep 2014
"Very disappointed - not as described"
Having booked this '2 bedroom' villa for a 3 week stay in July, we were very disappointed to find it had 1 bedroom, and two further single beds at the end of the kitchen, with 1 bed hard up … More
Dear disappointed, I'm glad you felt the need to publish a review on a website you did not use to book your stay with us. I can appreciate constructive honest feedback but as we have discussed over the past few months since your one night stay with us, I feel we must agree to disagree on most of your comments. This is the 1st negative feedback I have received in three years of renting. I assume you chose this review mechanism versus the other holiday rental site which has 15 4-5 star ratings & very positive feedback, because the other website did not assist you in your attempt to reclaim your booking deposit based on the clearly established policy of no refunds if cancelled within 30 days during peak season. You fail to remember how you ooohed and awwwed during your walk through and failed to mention you left the next day without any notice or give us any chance of resolving any of your complaints. You did however gladly accept the house upon arrival. I'm sorry it was your most expensive night ever, but please understand we lost a third of summer rental income which we very much rely upon only because I did not collect it as soon as you arrived due to your long day & three hour delayed arrival after midnight. As I have explained to you via numerous personal emails, I apologize if you did not completely read the advertisement or look at the photos which clearly described and depicted the 'Third Stella Room at the end of the house with two single beds' with another photo of the second single bed which was the 'botte room located in the old fireplace-kitchen area'. There is a gap between the footboard & fridge with an ironing board in between them, large enough, in fact, that we plan on putting a dividing wall/sliding door based on your comment which we hope will not block the cool air flow which currently exist. There was an extra bed in its own 'botte' room so, in fact there is a second and actually third 'stella' room with a bed in each technically, previously without a dividing wall due to our attempt to keep it open air flow. I apologize if you found the 3-drawer dresser, 1mX70cm chest, six armed tree stand with hangers as inadequate for storage, I believe you only had one suitcase each and the chest easily holds two plus the extra bed in the back could have easily held your daughter's case. We have added a wall-hanging unit in the rear bedroom and a wardrobe in the front bedroom to provide ample storage space for future guests. As for your air con comment, I am sorry you did not completely read the ad as it clearly stated 'partial air-conditioning' in the amenities section, described where the unit was located and it even shows a picture of it in the living room. You failed to mention I demonstrated it cooling the room and my comment about closing all the windows & doors was taken out of context. We immediately paid for it to be serviced in case of low coolant since it was still under warranty and the technician said it was working fine but the remote control had been reset to low fan and not on cool. He further explained the unit would cool up to a 50sqm area, the entire house is 80sqm so it would have cooled if used-set properly. Again, something we could have better explained had you stayed to ask. You also failed to mention I offered you another fan for the rear room but declined. I did NOT 'forget to change' the pull-out sofabed, only thought it would not be used as there were only 3 of you & four freshly made-up beds. I did offer to change it but you told me your daughter could manage and she did use the clean linens off the rear beds. The sofabed opened fine for the previous and following guests who used it and even complimented on how well they slept on it on a review on the other website. As for your negative feedback about a well intentioned welcome basket, I can only assume you didn't have time to look around and see the fully stocked kitchen with all the cooking essentials one needs to make a meal upon arrival or have breakfast in the morning. We provide every guest fresh pasta & sauce, fresh vegatables in season, breakfast toast with homemade jams, wine and-or beer depending our means at the time, & a large variety of teas & coffee options. You also failed to mention my offerings to shop for you prior to your arrival since I knew you were delayed as we were discussing me picking you up personally from the airport in case the car rental offices were closed. We aren't a 5 star hotel, I do agree with that but we do have an outstanding rental home, proven by our reviews & numerous returning guests. Our rates are very affordable and I KNOW you get more than you pay for and have often been told it was more than most expect. I appreciate your positive note about it being clean because we take great pride both internally as well as externally. It is hard work keeping up with a 9800sqm farm but as I mentioned to you before, we mowed it all the week prior to your arrival, trimmed the hedges two weeks before but I did fail to pull the 10 or so weeds that seeped through the piazzale bricks so I apologize if it wasn't as lush as you hoped for but again, the pictures on the website showed we don't maintain plush green lawns in the summer as our city water allowance won't allow for it. We are only green between mid-Sep (now actually) to late June depending on the rain. Again, I am very sorry you were disappointed but I only wish you would have given us a chance to make it better for you. Hopefully your hotel stay was pleasant and worth it. We welcome you back anytime for a second chance. Your feedback has prompted us improve our grounds, amenities & internal offerings and for that we thank you. Best regards,
14 Jul 2014
Have had 2 wonderful long holidays at Donnas, once in the villa and once in another of Donnas accommodations and had really lovely times... Comfortable accommodation - Villa Donna is a gorgeous little… More
Dear former guest, now good friend, we knew right away this would become your 'home from home'. My son still talks about you and your English-Italian lessons together.
We can't wait to host you again & show you all the improvements we've made since your visits in 2012, including more 'vintage chic' furnishings to a private bathroom in our garage studio which now can host 1-4 more guests. We're glad you enjoyed it & Villa Donna and can only hope we've captured it's original vaulted beauty without adding too many modern ammenties (A/C, bigger Verandas & oversized tub for two)! We thrive to make your 'stay the most comfortable' and am glad we did in the cool of spring & heat of the summer. We've been experiencing some really cool temps this year (20s vs. 40s) so most of our guests haven't even used the a/c or fans.
You set the pathway for those wishing to vacation without a rental car and we continue to be thanked for saving guests hundreds in villa & car rental rates and yes, we still make sure our guests, especially young singles, make it home safe before closing the main gate unless they ask us not to worry.
As your 2012 review stated, 'It's 'real' Italy' and the food is still 'fantastico!!' We try even if our family mixes it up with American & Italian languages, cultures & traditions. We too had fun getting to know you during our mid-morning cafes, lunches & late night chats. We've added cooking demos to our list of extra offerings. More and more guests are requesting to stay in and enjoy the outdoors, so we now offer pre-ordered meals served to them. I hope you enjoyed the recipes you took back home.
I truly enjoyed our Lecce trip & our coastal drive to the end of the boot with our star-studded cliffside lunch (still wish it was Jude not Geraud!). The boys loved the fishing & uncrowded September swims!
You're right, San Vito is small but sure packs in plenty to do, see & enjoy within walking distance yet far enough away to enjoy the natural country setting, open space & quietness. SV just hosted a Spanish film crew at the castle, celebrated our annual 3 day July fest, & have the beer & food fest this week as well as the ferragosto, Orecchiette & Rezzica festivals in August!
We were glad to share what I think is 'the best of both worlds' right here between Salento & Valle d'Itria with some of the best people, food & wines in the world. mia casa è sua casa per sempre!
13 Jul 2014
"An excellent choice, the best for us!"
Me and my family stayed for 10 days in Villa Donna and it was, indeed an excellent choice, he had such a pleasant time!. The villa was in a quiet and healthy environment, yet close by to everything yo… More
Thank you new friends from Portugal! We really enjoyed showing you our beaches, sharing some of the local cuisine & spending a late night out souvenir shopping before your return. I'm happy the six of you managed so well in the villa and enjoyed the grounds and real Italian style countryside living. I'll never forget seeing you on one of our bikes with a case of milk in your basket riding down the trail behind the house! I'm glad you felt comfortable enough to ask for assistance with transportation during your stay as we are normally available to help. It's refreshing to see folks get out on the bikes, ride the back country roads & enjoy the beach so much. Not many families could manage without renting a car for ten days but you guys proved it could be done and I'm glad you got to spend your monies on fun instead. I guess being less than a kilometer (1.5mile) to the super market helped!
Thank you for the kind words of our hospitality and we welcome you and your extended family back anytime you like! You did become more than guests in just a short time and it was a joy meeting you all. It's nice having social media networks to keep in touch and am happy to share our continued lives and Puglia goings on with you. We can't wait for you to come back as my husband is already planning the large bbq pit & hopefully in ground pool for you next year! The best of wishes to you and your family...ci vediamo subito!
12 Jul 2014
"Best place to stay with the best rates."
My husband and I took a friend who never ventures beyond the UK. He had a brilliant time and felt at home. The owners made us all feel so welcome and villa Donna is equipped with everything needed for… More
Thanks again for staying with us, fourth time, right? Good to see our military and return visitor discounts are put to good use. Only 6 more trips and you stay for free for a week! I'm glad the Villa's room on the opposite end of the house met all your needs for privacy for you, your husband & your hometown friend. It's so nice to see others sharing the Puglia pleasure with friends from abroad. As always, it was a a treat seeing you again & watching the World Cup games together, despite our respective country's losses. We look forward to your longer stay with us next February while house-hunting and I'll keep you posted on any perspective for sale by owner properties that come up in the meantime. A presto....donna n Tonino
25 Feb 2014
"Comme à la maison!"
Les deux semaines passées à la Villa Donna étaient vraiment super sympas. Donna et son mari nous ont réservé un accueil des plus chaleureux et il n'a pas fallu longtemps pour que nous nous s… More
Dear French friends, we are happy you enjoyed your two weeks with us in both Donna's Cottage then Villa Donna when your party expanded. We're glad we made you feel at home and welcome you and your friends back any time. We are happy to be in such a strategic location exactly between Ostuni & Brindisi, Bari & Lecce, Salento and Valle d'Itria areas and Adriatic & Ionian sea coasts (albeit only 8kms from the Adriatic) and with easy access to many beautiful and historic cities including our local town only 1km away plus the UNESCO sites of Alberobello & Matera less than an hour away. We hope to share more traditional Pugliese meals and wines with you all someday!
5 Feb 2014
I lived in San Vito Dei Normanni over 20 years ago. I wanted to take my family there to see my old home and some of the beauty Puglia has to offer. Staying at Donna's village was much better then I expected. Plenty of room for myself, husband and 2 kids. The villa and its surroundings are just beautiful and relaxing. My son played outside when we were at the villa. Donna also left us a welcome package for snacks and breakfast which was not expected and was well enjoyed. I would love to return and stay longer. I would also recommend to my friends and family.
Dear December guests, I am so glad you enjoyed San Vito even after 20 years of changes-improvements. You are exactly the audience of former residents/ex-pats we are trying to capture and hope keeping our rates low proved it possible. I'm glad my first rental while abroad worked out and you got to see Puglia and its beauty which even off-season is fabulous to see. Early spring is my favorite time of year with Almond trees in bloom lined along the hectare entrance of green grass, shrubs & fresh organic oranges to enjoy. Our mixed snack baskets are the least we could do to re-introduce you to some of the local products (Salento wine) as well as insight into where we come from (American beer). I'm glad the villa exceeded your expectations & please do recommend us, especially to our military wherever you may be so they too can take advantage of our 15% military affiliated discount. We invite you back anytime as we are officially open all year long!
14 Jan 2014
We spent a wonderful week at Donna's Villa in late August/early September. We were three adults and the villa was perfect for our needs. The villa was well maintained, clean and cozy; the beds … More
Dear late summer guests/new friends, I am delighted to have met you & enjoyed every minute spent together. Although some believe Puglia is a poor place, it is so rich in history, architecture, gastronomia and beauty. Who wouldn't want to see it? I love being in the middle of Salento and the Valle d'Itria valley so we can show you all the hidden treasures they both offer. It was a treat to accompany you to the neighboring regions of Basilicata & Campagnia, their historic cities & UNESCO sights. It's the hidden treasures (lesser known centro storicos, traditional locandas, & watch tower Adriatic overlooks) which are the real treats along with interaction with real locals off the tourist path (impromtu wine tastings). You did more in three regions during your stay than many folks did during their 3 years of military duty here (including me). I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much & we hope to have you back some day!
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