|Minimum Stay||5 - 7 nights|
Tastefully restored to its former glory as the summer retreat of the Mayor of Fasano, this extremely spacious luxury villa offers contemporary living to the very highest standard. Set in 2 acres of secluded terraced gardens, Villa Francesca is perched on the edge of the Selva hills 400m above sea level and benefits from uninterrupted views over the olive groves to the sea beyond. Enclosing this stunning villa is an expansive south facing L shaped veranda with traditional stone arches, perfect for relaxing in the Puglian sunshine or dining ‘al fresco’ Italian style. The fully air conditioned interior offers an incredible 40 ft open plan living area inter-connected by stone arches with stone floors, chic Italian leather sofas, marble dining table seating 10 people, masseria-style stone fireplace, marble bathroom with jacuzzi. The private heated swimming pool set in an enclosed garden courtyard has paved terraces offering multiple living & dining areas with spectacular sea views.
General: Puglia gets close to 300 days sunshine a year with the warm weather starting in April and going right through until the end of October. The hottest months are July and August but with two seas around the area the air does not feel too oppressive during these months, especially as the property is located above the coastal plain. Spring and autumn is glorious- sunny and warm with wild flowers in abundance. Italians are unashamedly devoted to celebrating everything Italian - religion, food, wine... And they show it with festivals, filling the summer nights, celebrating everything from classical music to grapes. These family orientated events provide great free outdoor entertainment and gives you an insight into the wonderful hospitable Pugliese people. Puglia is something authentically Mediterranean and very Italian, come and find out for yourself and see why more people are recommending it.
Activities: Whether you prefer soaking up the sun, shopping, sightseeing, enjoying culture or something more active, the area has much to offer. Beautiful architecture, ancient castles and Baroque churches can be found in all the local towns and eating is an activity in itself as the region is a food and wine lovers paradise . With over 400 miles of coastline, Puglia has a huge selection of sandy beaches and coves (all of which have blue flag status). For golfers Puglia has five major courses. The 5* 18 hole par 72 San Domenica Golf resort and spa near the fishing village of Savelettri, is the closest (just 7km) and newest. For children there are lidos with children's facilities, and a major tourist attraction is the Zoo Safari Park of Fasano. For classical music lovers there is the famous Itria Valley Festival in Martina Franca towards the end of July, and the newly-reopened Bari Opera house is fantastic. All sorts of music and theatre festivals abound in the summer in the nearby towns.
Distances and other information: Under 50 minutes -Bari Airport. Under 40 minutes - Brindisi Airport. 10 - 15 minutes - Alberobello, Locorotondo, Fasano/Zoo Safari, beaches. 15 -25 minutes- Martina Franca, Ostuni, Polignano al Mare, Castellana Grotte, the ancient site of Egnazia and the Marine Nature reserve of Torre Guacheto. Further afield, but all making easy day trips - Matera, a town of 13th century cave dwellings, the 'sassi' used in the film 'The Passion' , and churches with medieval wall frescoes - Lecce, famous for its unique architecture and known as the 'Florence of the South' - the Norman cathedral towns of the Bari coast - Laterza, the 'Grand Canyon of Puglia' - Taranto, with its atmospheric historical centre - the list goes on... We do recommend that you hire a car to ensure you explore the area and get the most from your Puglia holiday, this is easy to arrange in advance from the airports.
Further notes on accommodation: Villa Francesca is a 250sqm independent villa set in its own garden with its own private drive accessed through electric gates and its own private swimming pool and private outside entertainment areas. Due to its spectacular hillside location, the villas in the area are necessarily arranged on terraces which means that there is another villa with its own postal address and separate access arrangements, part of which is indeed situated directly below (and connected to) Villa Francesca. This is actually a very typically layout for this part of Italy and can be seen clearly from some of the photos included on the website.
We fell in love with Puglia in 2005 for its fabulous food and perfect weather and the lovely old fortified masseria amidst the ancient olive trees and vineyards around Fasano. So when we heard that the mayor’s summer residence in the Selva hills above Fasano was coming on the market, we jumped in and bought it on the spot – and then spent five challenging years renovating it to the highest luxury standard for our own use. Recently, we have decided to make it available for others to enjoy as we do.
Maura Watson purchased this villa in 2005
The most compelling reason for buying this property was the location. It is perched right on the edge of the hillside overlooking olive groves and has the most breathtaking panoramic sea view that you could never tire of. It is also very central and close to the hill towns - Alberobello, Martina Franca, Locorotondo - so there is always lots to do and see and a great choice of restaurants serving excellent food.
We wanted to create a beautiful holiday home to match the spectacular location. The sheer space and luxury throughout which includes full air conditioning, wi-fi, marble bathroom with hydromassage jacuzzi, large heated swimming pool overlooking the sea, luxury linen, multiple outside entertainment and dining areas overlooking the pool and romantic gardens, makes it the perfect place to relax and unwind.
We want to thank you for your excellent recommendation to rent the villa in Laureto. It was fabulous and was everything you said it would be. Please also send our regards to the owner whom we met and tell him that he does have great taste in the design and fitting of his property. Anyway its back to the grind with work and children to summer camp. Thanks again for a great time in Puglia.
Forrester’s returned from Villa Francesca and Puglia on the 18th August, having spent the first week of our holiday in Praiano. Forrester’s being Mum, Dad and three teenage boys!
The villa certainly lived up to all expectations, the attention to detail, fixtures and fittings beautiful thick fluffy towels (and loads of them) gorgeous white bedding, all very 5 star!! Everything was clean bright and airy and comfortable for a leisurely holiday.
The seating and dining area’s both inside and out were perfect, and we often enjoyed having our meals outside with the stunning views.
The BBQ was a great favourite with us, so convenient and easy to use, Maura had organized charcoal, lighters and citronella candles to guard off the mosquitoes) for guests use.
Not only a welcome pack left of ham cheese milk wine bread etc. but also in the utility room, washing liquid (laundry)was available and I don’t know how many toilet rolls in the cupboards ( I know we were in Italy on holiday, but who wants to trudge around buying toilet rolls !)
The pool was fabulous, as was the views from the pool area.
We tended to eat in and bought most of our food in the supermarket just down the road with lovely music playing in the car park. The local wine is amazing and can be bought in 3 litre canisters for 6 euros, as it is organic and without preservatives, there is no hangover!
A great library of DVD’s (I know we were in Italy on the holidays but if you have teenager’s you will understand!)
We visited Alberobella, Locorotonda and Matera all great visits especially Locorotonda very beautiful had a great lunch there, and Matera was awesome. We went to a small fishing village Maura recommended on the way to Bari and had a great sea food meal.
We would without a doubt recommend this villa to anyone who loves luxury and luxurious surroundings.
Being the only female, a quick retail therapy session was needed in Bari before our flight home for that Fendi handbag! I was in Italy you know!
We ( a family of 5) had a wonderful holiday. The villa is absolutely beautiful with an amazing view. We spent a lovely day at White Beach, recommend by Maura ( the villa manager ), the sea was lovely and clear and warm 😁. Maura also recommend lots of places to visit. We went to several towns all of which were beautiful. We will definitely be going back 😁
We spent a week in Villa Francesca during July 2016. In this case, "we" means a family of five, including parents and 3 young adults.
The house is clearly very well maintained. It is extremely clean, spacious and comfortable. It is fitted with sober, quality furniture, as depicted on the website. Instructions on how to use the various appliances (air conditioning, etc.) and the house in general are extremely well laid out in a manual that one is well advised to review in detail upfront.
We enjoyed the opportunity of the terraces available to eat outdoors, the large barbecue and of course the pool with a magic view overlooking the olive groves and the Adriatic sea a little further away!
We very much appreciated the welcome hamper and the leave behind document offering useful tips on the many points of interest nearby (e.g. Locorontondo, Ostuni, Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, Egnazia, etc.).
All communications with Maura Watson were fluent prior, during and post the rental process. During our stay, we had a small problem with the water boiler, but this was fixed without delay while we were away.
We would certainly return and definitely recommend this property to friends and relatives.
We had a wonderful 10 night stay in Villa Francesca. It really is a beautiful place. We stayed as a family of four with two boys aged 6 and nearly 9 and it suited us all. I was originally drawn to the Villa because of the heated pool. It's so hard to find a private heated pool in Italy or indeed most other European holiday destinations that is actually anything more than a solar cover heating the top layer of water and those with proper heaters are usually out of our price range. I loved the fact that we could have control over the boiler heating and pay for what we used. You really could have it as warm as you liked. Maura was great from our first enquiry. She was able to offer us some flexibility on arrival / departure dates which helped a lot. The instructions to get to the villa were spot on and everything was as expected on arrival. The welcome pack was much appreciated particularly the coffee capsules and wine! There was washing up liquid and dishwasher tablets too - very thoughtful. The kitchen was very well equipped and we particularly liked the large fridge. The beds were extremely comfortable and the towels lovely and soft and in plentiful supply. We loved the inside of the villa particularly the master bathroom, but the real draw was the outside areas. There were so many different places to sit, relax and eat. I loved that you could always find somewhere in the sun and always somewhere in the shade for when you wanted to cool down. The children loved exploring the terraced garden areas. Great for hide and seek, although perhaps not suitable for very small children as the steps are quite steep, but the area is behind a lockable gate so very safe. Did I mention the pool? It's amazing. I really miss that pool!
There is so much to do in the area and Maura was able to give several recommendations. We loved the caves, the Truli houses at Alberobello and most of all the ZooSafari in Fasano. If you have children it is a must. We were feeding Zebra from one car window and a camel from another, then a Shire horse, then a Llama - all in together. It's bizarre but brilliant. The Zoo area is fantastic too and there is a whole theme park with roller-coasters and other rides on site as well. We did two full days here.
When we did eat out the food was amazing but you'll find a great selection available in local supermarkets. The people are really friendly and the weather when we went was just perfect! Thanks Maura. It was great.
We were two couples and were somewhat disappointed. Perhaps the house is better suited to a family.
The security system was almost our undoing! The house door and the courtyard gate have a ‘modern’ electronic security system. We were given a small remote-control gadget for operating the gates. The charge on ours ran out, the backup procedures listed in the house binder were out of date and it was very difficult to reach Maura. We were lucky because we were INSIDE when this happened. After much time and no response from Maura we pushed lots of buttons and managed to open the gates – but this would have been impossible from outside. It is worth mentioning that, when it rained hard in the area (which it did when we were there) power went out in whole sections. Our advice: JUST LEAVE THE GATES OPEN!
The bedrooms: the three bedrooms – each equipped with a large very comfortable super-king bed and large closets - had no room for anything else, not even a chair.
The bathrooms/ or wet rooms: We did not want to share a bathroom but …. There was only one proper bathroom, just outside one of the bedrooms, spacious, with double sinks, lots of storage, shower and bath. We tossed for who would get this one. A second bedroom had its own ‘wet room’ with a single sink, toilet, shower, all packed into a nook behind a sliding door. There was not one inch of shelf space so that all toiletries had to stay in the bedroom. The third bedroom had no own shower/toilet.
The living/ dining area was spacious, but there were no ‘private spaces’ - just one large open space living/ dining/ kitchen. Mid-September temperatures of 100 F and smoke from garbage-burning fires (which seem to be fairly common) often made the cool interior an inviting alternative. But we missed having some nooks and crannies, some private spaces.
The kitchen area was marvelous, but the kitchen appliances and utensils need updating. The stove and oven are rickety and if you are hoping to do some gourmet cooking you will find the pots and pans somewhat challenging. Before you start cooking you will need to stock the kitchen with literally everything from salt and pepper to oil and vinegar.
The laundry was excellent and had an additional shower/toilet which came in handy.
The outdoor pool is wonderful and well cared for.
Dining out was wonderful. We ate out often and enjoyed great cuisine for incredibly low prices. For a very marvelous upscale special night out: the Masseria San Domenico
The Adriatic b
We have just spent a fantastic two weeks at Villa Francesca. The luxury villa is spacious, tastefully furnished, decorated and spotlessly clean. The internal and external layouts are very well thought out with a choice of verandas and terraces to while away the hours. The villa is set in a peaceful location but within easy distance of the various towns and coast. A well stocked supermarket is nearby. There are so many good restaurants to choose from, you are spoilt for choice. Maura, who manages the property, is warm and welcoming, very helpful and has an abundance of knowledge about the area. We were sad to leave and could quite happily return at the drop of a hat. Jo and Mick.
The Selva hills overlook the Fasano plain, an area of ancient olive groves, beautiful at any time of the year but particularly stunning in Spring when the groves are filled with red and yellow blossom. For beach lovers, miles of unspoiled, virgin coastline is right on your doorstep, from rocky coves - ideal for snorkelling - to long stretches of white sand and crystal-clear water. For the gourmand, fresh fish and seafood restaurants are in plentiful supply in the many fishing villages dotted along the coastline and if you are feeling energetic, there are a selection of superb golf courses in close proximity including the 5* San Domenica course near the small fisherman village of Savelletri. The Italians love socializing and have made an art form out of it. The nearby historic hill top towns, within easy driving distance, buzz with activity, as the locals take their evening ‘Passegiata’ and in the summer provide free street entertainment & music to enjoy.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable damage deposit||$616|
Quoted Weekly Rate includes – Wi-Fi; Weekly Cleaning; Exclusive Use of Pool (Apr 1st to Oct 31st); Aircon & Pool Heating in Peak Season; Luxury Linen, Towels & Pool Towels; Weekly Linen Change; Refreshments on arrival. Additional charges - Aircon outside peak season (if required) £150 per week; Gas for pool heating & central heating outside peak season (if required) as per meter