Boutique Trulli Villa

near Cisternino, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy Book from

Reviewed by Nadine Mellor
Charming restored trulli cones with gorgeous gardens and cool pool, set in tranquil countryside (one sleeps 2-4, one 4-6, or together 8-10)
Enzo is originally from Calabria, and made his living in Rome, but on holiday in Puglia he fell in love with its pace of life, its clement weather, and the uniquely quaint stone trulli which pop up all over these rolling rural hills. So he set out to find his own, transforming a 6-cone trulli with a '70s extension into a 3-bedroom villa and separate 2-bed apartment, with the first guests arriving in 2013. Thick white-washed walls with decorative niches keep heat and draughts at bay, and the arches between domes have exposed stonework. Collectables such as an ancient sewing machine, turn-of-the-century mirrors and antique chairs doing duty as side tables impart character. To the exterior he added a statement swimming pool, lavish pergolas draped with climbers, ornamental fossil-laden limestone boulders, mature trees hung with hammocks, and beds, pots and planters festooned with flowering natives.

The small town of Cisternino is just 5 minutes away for shops and restaurants, and you're an easy drive from the Unesco-listed Alberobello, the beaches of the Adriatic, and the wineries of Locorotondo. Return to recline on a lounger or read under the vines. You're set for a blissful stay.

Highs

  • Calming, stylish interiors with earthy highlight colours – this is a classy renovation
  • Enzo lives on site and is warm, open and extremely helpful – he even changed our tyre when we got a puncture!
  • Lovely aspect, on a small hill with cute views across dry stone walls, fields and valleys to Cisternino in the distance
  • Beautiful grounds with a stunning pool, mature olive trees, an abundance of fragrant Mediterranean plants and a large creeper-covered gazebo
  • Accommodation to suit couples, families and friends alike, all at reasonable prices

Lows

  • A 7-night minimum stay requirement (Saturday-Saturday)
  • Trulli cones are small structures (2 bedrooms in the Trulli villa are bijou), and there's no living room in the Lamia apartment (expect to be outside a lot)
  • You'll have to drive to get to the shops, albeit only 5 minutes to Cisternino
  • No twin beds
  • The pool is unheated and you'd have to share it with another party if you don't book both villa and apartment

Best time to go

Any time from April to October is best to utilise the outdoor living aspect of the Trulli and the Lamia. Puglia does get very hot in the summer and quite crowded with holidaymakers; however, there are many attractions such as summer food festivals, and the pool will come into its own.

Our top tips

  • Note that the numbers on the road are not sequential so, while we found the road itself very easily, it took us another 45 minutes to locate the villa. It's best to phone Enzo as you approach or arrange a rendezvous with him
  • Don't miss seeing unique Alberobello

Great for...

Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Villa
  • 3-bedroom villa + 2-bedroom apartment
  • Self-catering (+ chef on request & restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Laundry Service
  • Iron and board
  • Pool towels
  • Hammocks
Room:

Rooms

The villa is set up to provide flexibility for all configurations. A family or 2 couples or a group of friends will fit happily into the showcase Trulli which consists of 6 trulli cones, beautifully restored with thick white-washed walls and earthy accent tones plus a new flagstone floor. The 4 largest domes are inhabited by a dining/living space and 3 double bedrooms, the third of which only has a small window opening high up in its cone. Wardrobes are in recesses with a curtain for a door, or take the form of wooden crucifix hangers on pegs. Quirky collectables such as old irons, vintage scales or glass bottles sit in alcoves; amphorae in corners. Pillows are plump, although we found the beds a little hard. There are candles throughout for that romantic touch.

The bathroom in the Trulli is small and consists of a concrete resin sink, a power shower and a bidet. Plentiful towels are supplied, as are eco-toiletries.

Behind with its own entrance sits the two-bedroom Lamia apartment in the 1970s extension, which would suit a couple with (or without) a child or two. Each chic double bedroom has a super-sleek modern ensuite shower bathroom, and along a corridor is its galley kitchen. Note that there is no inside living room.

Both the Trulli and Lamia accommodations have their own outdoor dining area and share the pool, large gazebo and outdoor kitchen. You can book both together or separately – see Rates.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbeque
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Oven
  • Shared washer and drier
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The Trulli's kitchen is under the smallest dome, just off the living/dining area and past the original heating stove. It has a gas stove and oven, a square sink, a coffee maker, a fridge-freezer, a toaster, pots and pans, blue and white crockery, a dresser of cutlery, disposable plates, napkins and place mats, oven gloves, dish-soap, tea towels, kitchen roll and foil. Seasoning, garlic, sugar, tea, coffee and Enzo's home-produced extra-virgin olive oil are also provided.

The Lamia's kitchen is in galley form and is similarly equipped. Each Trulli and the Lamia has their own barbecue and outside shaded dining area.

The welcome basket for booking through i-escape will contain a bottle of local wine, locally made artisan jam, fruit, taralli (southern Italian baked crackers/pastries), olives, milk and butter, plus a yummy crostata.

Enzo drove us to the supermarket in Cisternino so we wouldn't get lost, and we stocked up on local produce including antipasti and Puglia's famous orecchiette pasta. You can also order breakfast consisting of tea, coffee or cappuccino, yoghurt, bread, butter, jam, biscottini and fresh fruit - see Rates. A chef can be booked if you have a special occasion to mark, and a shopping service can be requested, too. Generally, we ate out for lunch and cooked up a storm in the evenings, imbibing that most excellent bottle of wine chosen by Enzo - we had not sampled the negroamaro grape before. Note that the circular table in the Trulli can fit 6 at a pinch; clearly alfresco living is the go here.

There is a good (and very well-priced!) pizzeria in Cisternino; Enzo also has a list of recommended restaurants in town and can make reservations on request. Some local establishments can deliver takeaways.

Features include:

  • Breakfast on request
  • Chef on request
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob stove
  • Oven
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster
  • Welcome hamper
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Swim and then sun yourself by the pool, or chill out with a book in the gazebo
  • Explore lovely local historical towns such as Cisternino, Locorotondo and the World Heritage Site of Alberobello, with its abundance of trulli cones
  • Go wine tasting nearby, including in Locorotondo
  • Head to the sparkling Adriatic with its beaches and coves
  • The spectacular underground karst caverns, the Castellana Caves, are found north west of Fasano
  • Stroll around the local lanes and fields, spotting trulli cones, donkeys, chickens and horses

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wildlife
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children are welcome at Boutique Trulli Villa and will get a kick out of living inside trulli cones. Enzo, like all Italians, is genuinely fond of children. The grounds are safe to run around and there are a couple of swings as well as the lovely pool. Cots and extra beds are available on request.

Note that you are only charged for rooms occupied, and there is no additional cost to add a baby cot or an extra bed into a room.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Families should take the Trulli as it has 3 double bedrooms, the largest of which can also take a baby cot or extra bed. A couple with a baby or small child could take the Lamia apartment, which can take a baby cot or an extra bed. Note that none of the bedrooms can be made up as twins.

Babysitting:

English-speaking babysitters can be booked on request - see Rates.

Baby equipment:

  • Highchair
  • Baby cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Large pool with a long shallow shelf along one side, which is safe for toddlers and non-swimmers to splash along
  • Swings
  • Lawns to run around
  • TV and DVDs

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Sightseeing in Alberobello and other delightful small towns nearby
  • You're 20 minutes' drive from the coast and beaches
  • Zoo Safari in Fasano
  • Botanical gardens in Monopoli
  • Caves to explore

Families Should Know:

The pool is unfenced, and there is a drop down from the front driveway to the car park below, although this is fenced.

Distances:

  • Airport: 55 minutes (Brindisi)
  • Hospital: 5 minutes
  • Shops: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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