Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3036: Trulli Sole Luna, Trulli
Trulli, house and apartments on estate near Martina Franca, Puglia
August 2007, 3 weeks
Trulli Sole Luna is located in the beautiful countryside in the Valle d'Itria in Puglia. The property is divided into three accommodations: the Lamia, Trulli and Casale. In July and August, the Casale is unavailable as the owners occupy it during the summer months.
This particular area is famous for trulli - conical shaped structures that dot the entire landscape. The white washed trulli, the waist-high stone walls, the ancient gnarled olive trees, and the never-ending blue skies makes this an incredibly scenic location. Coming from a holiday in Cornwall, we were actually dreading the idea of being in the heat of southern Italy in August, but the constant breezes coming from both the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, its elevated position and the meter and a half thick walls of the trulli kept us cool and comfortable.
You definitely need a car as the property is located in the countryside. However, it is a quick and easy five minute drive to the nearest large town, Martina Franca, which has everything necessary including a hospital. There are open markets in all the nearby towns during certain days of the week also.
We stayed in the trulli which along with the rest of the property had been lovingly restored by the owner, Pino, several years ago. The entire property is well maintained and kept in immaculate condition. As mentioned previously, the only other accommodations on the property are the Lamia which is basically for couples and the Casale (a three-bedroom home occupied by the family in the summer months).
My husband and I stayed in the trulli with our three young daughters and babysitter. The trulli consisted of two bedrooms, one bathroom with shower, sink, toilet and bidet, a small kitchen area with small refrigerator, two- burner gas stove, microwave, table and four chairs (plus high chair for our baby). There is a small fireplace, which can be used in the winter months. The larger bedroom had a double bed, desk and television (they also provided us with a crib/cot for our 17 month old). The second bedroom had two single beds plus they provided us with a fold-up bed. There is no seating area such as a living room or sitting room, but in the summer months it's not really necessary as there is ample space outside and plenty of chairs in the shade.
Just outside our door was a lovely enclosed garden within a larger garden. There are several comfy chairs and a wrought iron table that seats four with a large umbrella. There is also outdoor lighting. It was a wonderful place to sit and read or for dining "al fresco" which we did every night. In the larger garden, our daughters would play, do cartwheels, play cards or Frisbee.
A few steps away was a large salt water swimming pool shared between the family and the one other set of guests, but more often than not we had the pool to ourselves. The pool had lots of chairs and chaise, tables and umbrellas. There was a hot water shower to rinse off afterwards. A small stereo with jazz CDs made it an an incredibly relaxing place to swim and soak up the sun. I highly recommend the salt water pool - we didn't have the awful chlorine smell on us at the end of the day. The pool is not heated which is the norm here in Italy, but it was not necessary.
Pino also had bicycles and we did some trekking in the countryside including a ride down an aqueduct trail. It's a wonderful area for bike rides and a great way to see the countryside as well as to view the trullis up close. Pino also recommends using the bikes to ride to Alberobello - the nearby trulli town.
After many nightmarish Italian vacation rental property experiences where saggy mattresses, broken or missing cookery and dusty linens are the norm and jigsaw puzzles framed on the wall are considered art, I cannot emphasize enough how well-maintained and comfortable the property is. We stayed for three weeks and could have easily stayed another three.
The beds were extremely comfortable - the mattresses firm and the linens and towels clean and soft. There was only one bathroom with shower, which was fine for our family.
Because of the logistics of the trulli, the kitchen area was small, but well-outfitted with pots, pans, Italian coffee maker, microwave, plates, glasses, etc. and everything was in excellent condition. They also provide some initial supplies: coffee, jam, butter, fete biscottate (the Italian equivalent of melba toast) UHT milk, and juice. There was also a grill outside with wood chips and we used it many times during our stay. My only recommendation would probably have been to replace the microwave for a toaster and a kettle.
Problems or Bonuses
Pino and his wife Angela are a very warm, friendly and accommodating couple. Their children are very polite and well-mannered and were never intrusive. On the contrary, I often felt like we were the ones imposing(!), but we were always made to feel welcome. There is only one washer, which is located in the main house and so you have to work around their schedule when using it, but they are very generous with it. Pino tells me that in future he would like to have an additional washer for guest use, which I think will do wonders to ease whatever awkwardness guests might now feel having to go into the family home to use the laundry facilities.
One evening we enjoyed a pizza dinner with the family and Pino makes the best pizza(!) - definitely good enough to rival our favorite pizzeria in Rome. My husband helped Angela make the pizza dough earlier in the day and then helped Pino make the pizzas that evening in their wood burning oven. In the future Pino would like to offer more food and cultural activities to his guests - in the meantime, he is very open to accepting and sharing ideas.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
My husband and I speak Italian so we never spoke English with Pino, but it is my understanding that he does speak English. Prices for this exceptional property are incredibly low compared to other regions that, in my honest opinion, truly take advantage of tourists with their inflated rental prices during the summer months. Pino and Angela's property is worth every euro.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I highly recommend this rental to others. My family and I are looking forward to a return visit in the near future.
Things to do in this area
There are many things to do in the area - it is conveniently located for many day trips. The towns of Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Cisternino and Ostuni are within a 5-20 minute drive and all have gorgeous white washed centers that are interesting to stroll around in with art galleries, small boutiques and excellent restaurants (the food is amazing in this region). Alberobello - the trulli town - is only a 20 minute drive away. During the summer months there is a different event every night in these towns - music, cabaret, street performers, opera, dance, etc. Matera is an intriguing town just an hour and half away and definitely worth the drive - can be done as a day trip, but an overnight trip would be worthwhile. The Grotte di Castellana are a fascinating glimpse into subterranean Puglia. Zoosafari is a small nature reserve/zoo/amusement park that is very easily navigable and fun, but tame rides so a good choice for families with young children. The Ionian on one side and the Adriatic on the other offers opportunities for sea bathing and both are just about a 30 minute drive away.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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