Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4900: Owner, Villa Auris
2bed/1bath apartment in Ostuni, Puglia
May 2009, 1 week
The apartment looks out onto the town Gardens, and is part of a grand series of Eighteenth century facades.
Ostuni is unique in Italy for its Moorish quality, the stone has been lime-washed, and is remarkably lovely. The walled town has a timeless air, and manages to cast a spell on those of us with a sense of the past. My mum is in her seventies and it recalled to her the experience of 1950s small town Ireland, though I think she was talking about the religious observance and the procession of Maria dei Fiori we saw going through the streets. Everyone stopped their doings until it passed.
There are several good cafes just off the square. Our favourite was called Gran Caffe Tito Schipa, as the blue vespa in the entry alone shows you their design credentials. The furniture is eclectic - you sit on chaise lounge if you wish, or you might prefer a brocaded armchair. Whatever the caffe is excellent and the sisters will look after you, and welcome you night after night even if like us you only take uno caffe per favore.
Ostuni is a large town, but around the square containing the gardens, whose name I cannot remember, there are fantastic shops - bakery, butcher, fishmonger, greengrocer and cafes. We explored the town and were always happy to continue to support the small shops local to us, for their quality and value.
The apartment is on the first floor of an eighteenth century house, and has been modernised recently with a new kitchen. The ceilings are at least 17 ft high, perhaps more into the arches. The kitchen, bedrooms and sitting room are arranged around a central reception room. The furniture is mostly art deco and as the original family pieces gives the property a remarkable sense of home, rather than holiday.
The entrance hall initially phased us, as it is unkempt with various things stored there that you would not expect. I wont tell you what you will find there, as the sheer delight of the place is these unexpected discoveries. It is a huge space with the staircase winding its way around the walls.
The apartment is well kept, with WiFi and lacy linen provided. That linen was a joy to my mother who hardly ever takes out her own linen as the laundry is too hard on those delicate items. You can tell by now that I chose this place with her in mind. However I believe anyone looking for comfort in a historic home would be equally happy here.
There is a roof garden, with access from bedroom and kitchen. Its pleasant in the heat of summer to sit in the shade and read. Very private.
The furniture is appropriate to the scale of the rooms, that is huge wardrobes, a dining table that seats 12, a large modern kitchen that we could cook and eat after. We preferred the kitchen table - the other was too formal for us.
The beds were very comfortable, the linen crisp and well laundered, so it stayed flat throughout the week. I have never encountered that level of comfort when sheets don't get changed.
The bedrooms are full of character - you can see this in the photos. The bathroom was fine, accessed via a passageway. There is a laundry area also.
The kitchen didn't have a working oven when we were there, but this may have been rectified since then. There is a huge selection of plates, cutlery and cooking utensils provided. We found a great tavola calda which provided great dishes for a few euros and we could experiment with different wines at home. We do love local cuisine of Puglia.
Problems or Bonuses
The owners mother lives next door and lets you in. However Gianfranco is available by phone, and is very helpful.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Remember it is a historic home, so obviously you will find a few unexpected things. For example, it has wooden shutters that you will need to manage so you stay cool but admit breezes. The apartment is a little dark when you first enter. This keeps it cool in summer.
Things to do in this area
Already mentioned above.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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