Casa Teulada - Lara and Terry's ‘HomeAway from home’ in Sardinia was a rustic one-bedroom villa, which has been lovingly renovated by its owners into the perfect rural getaway for a couple, small family or group. In a pretty rural setting, but still close to the vibrant capital city of Sardinia, Cagliari and local sandy beaches, Casa Teulada is a striking example of architectural recovery in the south-west of Sardinia.
A rustic villa in Sardinia, a trullo in Puglia and a 17th century palazzo in Venice
Lara and Terry spent almost a month in Italy in three very different 'homes'. The first was a rustic villa in the small village of Teulada in Sardinia, which they found to be one of the most delightful holiday homes so far. Next they headed to Puglia, where they stayed in and learned more about the pretty and unique 'trulli', traditional stone dwellings with a conical roof. Finally, the last stop was Venice, which they discovered by boat and on foot, while staying in an elegant apartment in one of the city's beautiful old palazzos.
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The village of Teulada in Sardinia is still an authentically Italian place, with an imposing church on an attractive main square and a handful of colourful houses sprinkled around. Although quite small, the village is surrounded by gently rolling hills, fragrant with Mediterranean shrubs and wild herbs and conveniently located just a few miles from the coast. For those in search of local experiences, it's perfect, as you will bump in to the same friendly locals day to day as you wander around the village.
Lara and Terry began their stay by celebrating the ‘Feast of Saint Isidoro’ with the locals, a beautiful procession where the priest and villagers, dressed in beautiful costumes, ask Sant’ Isidore to keep away hunger and famine during the coming year. During their stay the couple also learned about Sardinian wines from winemaker Andres Garcia Blas, who in 1960 established what he calls a “social winery” or cooperative, with member grape growers from the surrounding area who have a stake in the company. Finally, they came to greatly appreciate the local dishes and specialties from the market.
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Situated on the south-eastern tip of the Italian peninsula and one of the richest areas in Italy for archaeological findings, Puglia is home to the 'trulli' of Alberobello, a UNESCO world-heritage site. Eager to learn more about the history of these pretty, white-washed, conical-roofed dwellings, Lara and Terry not only stayed in one for a week, but also found out more about them while strolling around the town of Alberobello with Anna, a local guide from the area, and Maria, their host.
Lara and Terry were most surprised by the self-sufficiency of the area that extends to everything from olive oil to limoncello. Their own trullo was surrounded by fields of wheat, vegetable gardens, olive groves, and vineyards and Maria produced her own organic olive oil. The property also had a wood-fired oven, which Maria used to teach Terry how to make classic southern Italian pizza.
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The trullo is available to rent on HomeAway.co.uk (Property 413448) and prices start at £826 per property per week.
From Alberobello, Lara and Terry took a train to Bari. Then from Bari to Rome and onwards to Venice, they travelled on the high-speed TrenItalia Eurostar trains, booked via Rail Europe. Although this was their eighth trip to Venice, they still discovered new things in the city as they had more time to take in its exquisite details, such as finely carved statues, antique clocks above shops, wall plaques and intricate columns.
The best way to explore Venice is of course by boat, or on foot, so Lara and Terry learned more about the city and its lagoon aboard a 'bragazzo', a traditional Venetian skiff, with marine scientist Luca Zaggia. They also took a Venetian Renaissance walking tour with social historian Monica Vidoni.
Keen to disprove the view of many critics that you can't find good food in Venice, the couple also attended a cooking course run by Enrica Rocca, otherwise known as the ‘cooking countess’. And to learn more about the wines of the Veneto they visited Venissa, a restaurant run by Head Chef Paola Budel and husband Chef Franco Bianchi, that uses produce which comes almost entirely from San Erasmo, the Veneto, and their own garden.
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Property 432044 -Lara and Terry's ‘HomeAway from home’ in Venice was an elegant 'shabby chic' apartment located on the Grand Canal in a 17th century palazzo. The living room is a large open space with two huge windows, from where you access the romantic mezzanine with king size bed. In the corridor there is the main bathroom and at the back of the apartment, a twin guest bedroom and second bathroom.
The apartment is available to rent on HomeAway.co.uk (Property 432044) and the price is £1,157 per property per week.
Next stop...Japan, stay tuned!
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