Ostuni Villa Rental Photos and Description
Self-catering rental, sleeps 10, all en-suite, rural location 25 min to beach
Bellavista comprises of a 3 bedroom villa and a 2 bedroom adjacent house (a barn conversion) located in southern Italy (the heel bit). All bedrooms are en-suite with the master bedrooms in each building having their own terraces that overlook the pool and catch the rising sun. The villa and the house each have their own independent kitchens, lounge and dining areas. The property sits on a hilltop between Ostuni and Ceglie Messapica with a panorama that takes in 3 ancient hilltop towns & distant views to the sea. On the neighbouring hill is a typical masseria (farmhouse) & peeping through the surrounding sea of olive trees are the cones of several trulli, a type of rustic conical stone building unique to this region. Set in a 2.5 acres of gardens, olive, fruit & nut trees and furnished in a cool, comfortable and contemporary style. Features include a roof terrace, swimming pool, plunge pool, BBQ, wood-fired pizza oven, fire-pits & volleyball/badminton & boules/bocce courts. there is a round-the-clock, 6 hole mini golf course on the pine terrace. The slope of the hill is terraced and the upper terraces have been left semi-wild and have several strategically placed, secluded relaxing areas with splendid views. Other facilities include free WiFi internet connection, laundry & numerous alfresco dining places.
THINGS TO DO
Besides the main pool and the plunge pool there is plenty to occupy guests. There are dedicated volleyball/badminton and boules/bocce courts, mini golf course, darts board, board games. croquet, films, books and CDs. At night the roof terrace is an ideal location for star gazing and chilling.
Nearby there are skilled potters who offer tuition and a little further away there is 5star golf course and boat hire.
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.
There are 2 well-equipped kitchens with hob, oven, toaster, kettle, juicer, slow cooker, fridge, freezer, dishwasher etc. which gives groups of guests the opportunity to be flexible and independent or share the catering. Outside there is a charcoal only BBQ and wood-fired pizza oven. The pool terrace also has a portable BBQ. There are several outdoor seating areas around the pool, on the land , on the roof on the terraces in sun or shade as well as indoor dining areas in both buildings.
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.
- non smoking only
- unsuitable for elderly or infirm
- pets not allowed
- children welcome
- wheelchair inaccessible
About Peter Hawkins
We had careers in music and travel and as such had been to many places and sampled a wonderful variety of accommodations, food and cultures. We have always enjoyed entertaining and wanted to 'bring home' from our journeys the the most appealing experiences and incorporate them into a place where friends and family could come and have great time and socialise as well as relax and recharge if required.
Peter Hawkins purchased this villa in 2006
Why Peter Hawkins chose Ostuni
We visited Puglia several times before buying this property as we were helping a friend renovate a villa they had bought here. We fell in love with the area, the food, the wine, the weather and the people. The kids had left home so we thought what the heck and started house hunting. After weeks of being driven around the countryside by Schumacher wannabe estate agents and looking at dingy (but very pretty) trulli we were losing the will to live. Then last stop on a blustery December day we came up the pine-flanked drive of Bellavista, There at the end we found an L-shaped vila with a large veranda and an adjacent barn. Our interest was pricked. A tour of the land revealed a series of terrace going up a hill with interesting paths and views, a old trullo and pizza oven and grotto that had been sealed on the orders of the town hall to prevent its use for nefarious activities. The outside tour finished on the flat roof of the barn and we were transfixed by the views. The vast expanse of olive trees that were swaying in the breeze covered the undulating countryside like a living green sea. Here and there hilltop towns and trulli cones broke the surface. Inside the voluminous barn was ripe for conversion and the 3 bedroom villa looked like splendid accommodation for visitors. The property was owned by a doctor who had taken up a new position in Rome and within a month it was ours. The barn was converted into a 1 bed ensuite house with a voluminous open plan living space (we like lots of entertaining space). The villa was renovated to create 3 ensuite bedrooms with a kitchen and a veranda suitable to use as a lounge and dining area. At the back we built a large pool, volleyball court and boules court. The old cisterna for the trullo became a plunge pool and the pizza oven was refurbished and fired up. We created lots of different areas on the land and around the building where people could chill and contemplate or gather together to enjoy each others company.
What makes this villa unique
The land and views are hard to better. Dry-stone terraces with olive, almond, pine, oak, fig, pomegranate and prickly pear have vistas reaching away to the sea. In the morning when the sun is low cruise ships can often be seen making there way up and down the coast. The hammock at the top of the hill is close to heaven in more ways than one and there are seats and sun beds and futons set out in various locations across the property that suit different times of day, different size groups of people and different moods. There are also 4 separate dining locations including one by the pizza oven which also has a stone fire-pit for evenings round the 'camp fire'.
Having 2 separate buildings each with its own kitchen, dining and lounging areas gives the kind of flexibility not found in many other properties. When we have friends staying in the villa they can sort their own breakfast and we can take it in turns to cook lunch or dinner. Or if our kids turn up with a bunch of mates we can retire to the house while they can carry on doing their own thing without feeling they are disturbing us. Our guests have included groups of old school friends having reunions, families with grand parents (children in the villa, parents and grand parents in the house), two separate friendly families on holiday together each with their own property. Many visitors come with sight-seeing plans but find they hardly leave the campus as there is so much to keep them occupied and so many changes of scenery.