Villa Bellavista is located on a hilltop in Puglia, southern Italy, close to the medieval towns of Ostuni and Ceglie Messapica. Set in a hectare land comprising of olive, fruit and nut trees and gardens with dry stone walled terraces. Out on the land is a torre ostunesi style trullo with a wood-fired pizza oven (forno) and a fire-pit. There are a variety of areas to relax in and out of the sun with loungers, hammocks, futons and sunbeds. The property has unrivalled recreation areas including swimming and plunge pools, badminton/volleyball court, mini golf course, boules/bocce court, croquet ‘lawn’, yoga/exercise platform, trullo music room, even darts and a punchbag!
.There are exceptional panoramic views away to the coast, taking in a valley that is a sea of olive trees with little white trulli cones piercing the surface. On the adjacent hill is an imposing masseria (fortified farmhouse).
Bellavista has free wifi internet, TV with Apple TV and DVD and libraries for music, film and literature. There are numerous terraces for dining and relaxation each one suited to different times of the day.. The covered pool terrace has a large alfresco living area with lounge, dining table and cooking area with gas BBQ and large gas ring with and pans for paella and risotto, all lit by dimmable chandeliers for those warm summer evenings.. The wifi covers all rooms and the pool area.On the roof is a sunken terrace with futons and variable coloured lighting to create the mood you want and star gaze. There is also a roof garden with loungers and a circular bar table with stools for enjoying sundowners and great views.
All bedrooms are ensuite and air conditioned.
The Villa has 3 en-suite air-conditioned, double bedrooms a fully equipped kitchen and lounge diner with bifold doors opening onto 2 large terraces with dining table, easy chairs and BBQ. Two of the bedrooms have their own direct access to terraces via French windows and one of the double bedrooms can be converted to a twin if required. A folding single bed can be added to one of the doubles.
The lounge/diner has a wood burner and the bedrooms have electric warm air heating.
There is a wide spectrum of excellent restaurants ranging from cheap and cheerful family cooking and lots of it to award wining fine dining. There are also plenty of cafes and bars in the area and in adjacent towns. Ask to be mailed our restaurant list for more details.
Giovanna at the farm across the road sells eggs, ricotta and hard cheese by the truckle.
Masseria Fragnite about 2km away has a wider selection of cheeses including mozzarella, They also have homemade salami, ham and flour. You can buy fresh milk here if you ask for it in the cheese shop (take a bottle to put it in)
Macelleria Aziendale is a farm butcher is about a km down the road towards Antimo’s and you can get just about anything here from a whole goat to a beef burger.. All excellent quality and reasonably priced. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday there is a fornello pronto here where you can choose your meat and they bbq it for you and you eat it in an outside dining area with wine, water, beer or bread or take it away.
Ceglie and Ostuni street market on Saturday morning are good for food, clothes and odd bits and pieces.
Both Ceglie and Ostuni have lots of specialist shops that you will find just by driving around: Pescheria-fish, Macelleria-butcher, Ceisificio or fromaggeria-cheese, Panificio –bread, foccacia and cakes, Pastificeria-fresh pasta, Pasticceria- cakes, Gelateria-ice cream and frozen cakes, Frutti/vedure-fruit & vegetables, Cantina-wine, Enoteca-wine & olive oil.
SUPERMARKET: The closest (and best with the best range of goods) local supermarket is DOK (5 mins).
The Saturday morning markets in Ostuni and Ceglie have reasonably priced fashionable clothes as does Grottaglie market on Thursday morning. There is a good selection of shops in the Shopping Malls (see below). The main street in Ostuni has a good selection of designer shops. Grottaglie market on Thursday morning is good for clothes. At the far end of the market there are tables of clothes, a bit like a jumble sale, and you can pick up some designer bargins here for just a few Euros. Wear a swimsuit and a brave face if you want to try things on as there are no changing rooms.
More than you can shake a stick at in the trulli town of Alberobello and Centro Storico in Ostuni
There is an Auchan near Mesagne (30 mins drive) on the Brindisi to Taranto motorway and another mall just outside Brindisi (40 mins drive) on the same road. There is a good selection of shops at both.
FESTIVALS AND FAIRS (FESTA, SAGRA, FIERA)
All the local town have an abundance of these during the summer months and some nights you can stand on the roof terrace and watch a succession of distant firework displays from all directions. The events are not very well publicised and often only at short notice
PLACES TO GO ( a small selection)
ON THE COAST
Beaches: Torre Guaceto ( a nature reserve, no cafes or kiosks so you will need to take everything with you, Pantanagianni, Egnazia (just the Savelletri side of Egnazia). The beach with the young buzz, loud bars, pizzeria and fish restaurant is Lido di Bosca Verde near Pilone.
Octopus BBQ (and other seafood’s)-La Rotunda: Between Torre Canne and Savelletri
Towns: Villanova: a little fishing port. Polignano Al Mare (perched on cliffs). Trani and Monopoli have interesting small harbours, Otranto has an unusual church with skulls and a tree of life in the floor.
The big towns of Bari and Brindisi have extensive port areas and old centres. They are both ferry ports.
Beaches: take your pick anywhere between San Pietro di Bevagna and Campomarina (between Porto Caesareo and Taranto)
Taranto has an large port are and old centre and extensive mussel beds.
Ostuni, and Ceglie with their medieval Centro Storicos are confusion of winding streets and alleys. Ostuni also has impressive views away to the sea and is the more cosmopolitan of the 2 towns. But Ceglie has a more ‘real’ Italian feel.
Carovigno has an old centre with a small castle that has a very picturesque courtyard. There are tours round the castle (last one at 6pm).
Lecce, named Florence of the south by the Lecce tourist board which may be stretching it a bit but does have lots of interesting and unusual buildings: can be reached by train from Ceglie which makes for a nice day out. In the other direction the train goes to Martina Franca.
Oria, good castle, museum, gardens and surrounding old town, Vecchia Oria is a good seafood restaurant
Matera (Sassi), a semi deserted town of cave dwellings. The location for Mel Gibson’s film The Passion Of Christ
Alberobello, a completely unique town made almost entirely of trulli. A must even though it is very touristy.
Grotte di Castellano, spectacular limestone caves, Italy’s longest cave system.