The Specchia Hideaway

Specchia, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy
Book from GBP Book from £438 per night

The Specchia Hideaway

Specchia, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy

A magical boho villa with a dreamy pool and extensive grounds, close to white sand beaches and picturesque towns (sleeps up to 13)

A magical boho villa with a dreamy pool and extensive grounds, close to white sand beaches and picturesque towns (sleeps up to 13)

This rustic chic, beautifully restored Puglian villa in Italy’s heel is perched on a glorious Salento hilltop. With enough space for 2-3 families or a big group of friends, it seems the ideal base for creating memories of the best kind. Hazy summer days by the pool; hammock-lazing among fragrant jasmine flowers; sunset tales around the fire pit. And those far-reaching views out towards the Adriatic sea. Even better, The Specchia Hideaway is more affordable than one might expect.

The two-storey, five-bedroom villa has been home to three generations of the Poli family. Fausto, your much lauded host, has done well to retain the original charm of his family home, without compromising on style. Step inside to discover stone walls, cosy living rooms and an eclectic mix of vintage ceramics and bright fabrics. There's a covered L-shaped verandah for al fresco dining and lounging, and a wraparound top-floor terrace with long views. Heritage tiles line the bathroom walls and floors throughout, while contemporary styling elsewhere is more reminiscent of an Elle Decor shoot.

A 5-minute drive takes you to historic, authentic Specchia, the small local town. A little further and you’ll reach the breathtaking white sands and clear blue waters of the Salento coastline, and historic towns such as Otranto, Lecce and Gallipoli. Top-rated across the board, this is a special place with soul, where we can’t wait to create our own memories.

Highs

  • This is a charming, boho-chic house with handmade bedspreads and gorgeous homeware
  • The huge grounds and dreamy pool with far-reaching views, shaded day beds and terraces offer so many lovely spots to relax and dine
  • You’re a 5-minute drive from pretty Specchia’s restaurants, and the beautiful Salento coastline is only 15 minutes away
  • Great value for two families or a large group
  • Owner Fausto is a fantastic host, sharing his tips on the best beaches and places to eat and arranging a private chef or cooking class at the house

Lows

  • Some might find the mishmash of vintage and modern isn’t to their taste - bathrooms are more retro than luxurious
  • Saturday to Saturday rentals only April-September, note that the pool is only open May to September
  • You need a car to get around
  • Cleaning and community tax is charged on top of the rate, as well as excessive power consumption, but we’re assured that if power is turned off when out of the house you’ll not have to pay extra

Best time to go

Puglia is at its best in the spring (May-June), with glorious, mild weather, an abundance of wildflowers, and uncrowded beaches and towns. September also offers a delightful, balmy climate. The high season, from July to August, sees the region bustling and very hot, but it's also alive with nightly music and food festivals in various towns. The Specchia Hideaway is open year round but note that the pool closes November-March.

Our top tips

A trip to Puglia isn’t complete without tasting a Pasticiotti, a deliciously sweet, custard-filled pastry (best served warm).

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Country Villa
  • 5-6 bedrooms
  • Self-catering, restaurants nearby
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car essential
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

The villa spans two floors, with a boho-chic style flowing throughout. Expect white-washed walls, colourful textiles and vintage ceramics, hand-crocheted bedspreads and soulful antique furniture.

Upstairs are four spacious bedrooms, named after colours as seen on cushions, bedheads and wardrobes. Blue and Azure can be made up as doubles or twins, the other two are doubles. Each top-floor bedroom has wooden shutters, original tiled floors, and opens onto a beautiful, large wraparound terrace with shaded seating and views over the garden – one of many spots at and around the villa for you to while away the day. In the two upstairs bathrooms (one with shower, one with tub) original sinks and patterned tiles take you back in time.

Downstairs is the fifth bedroom, a small double; plus there's a double sofa bed in the Reading Room if needed. Guests in these rooms get their own shower bathroom on the ground floor, with a dressing room.

The comfy and eclectic living room has a massive fireplace and squashy sofas: a proper home from home. But we really love the look of the large, covered, open-sided porch on the ground floor, which runs two sides of the villa and has a long dining table plus a lounge area with built-in sofas at one end. We can imagine spending most of our time here. The gardens have mature trees, delightful day beds, covered walkways, gnarled olive groves, a barbecue and a fire pit.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Cots available
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron
  • Terrace/balcony
  • Toiletries
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

This is a house for outdoor living. You'll likely dine outside, either in the covered porch (there's a table for 8 and another for 4), or under the trees at another pretty table which seats 12 comfortably. There's also a fallback dining room indoors, with a long glass table (for up to 10) and a big fireplace. Next door to that, the compact kitchen comes with a gas hob, breakfast bar, stove, microwave and dishwasher; the floors are a fetching herringbone in terracotta. Handy supplies include milk, juice, coffee, bottled water, salt, olive oil, melba toast, jam, sugar and fresh fruit.

Your nearest supermarket is in Specchia, a 5-minute drive away. Or for nights off from cooking, a private chef service can be arranged. If venturing out for meals, buzzy eateries await in Specchia. Trattoria Da Coppuledda has a good rep for serving up tasty traditional local fare and a pleasing selection of local wines, and can make deliveries to the villa if you prefer to get a takeaway. Your host will provide a useful insider’s guide of the best local eateries and places to go, so you’ll be well looked after.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Chef on request
  • Coffee maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Cool off in the shaded swimming pool, or seek out one of the garden’s secret daybeds or hammocks for an afternoon doze among the jasmine flowers, indulge in a massage under the trees. Bliss
  • Venture to medieval Specchia (2km). Marvel at the 15th-century Castle; discover Chiesa di Sant’Eufemia – a Byzantine church dating back to the 9th century – or explore the ancient underground oil mills. For those seeking evening fun, it's especially buzzy during the summer months, with mazy cobbled lanes filled with live music, street performances, and open-air markets
  • Soak up some rays on the beautiful Puglian coast. Try Marina di Pescoluse, (13km), known as the "Maldives of Salento" for its crystal-clear waters and white sand. Other nearby options include Marina di Salve, Torre San Giovanni and Marina Serra
  • Gallipoli, a 30-minute westwards drive away, has a beach under 14th-century walls and is renowned for its vibrant nightlife in the summer and the stunning Punta della Suina beach; once part of Greece, it was rebuilt by the Byzantines, conquered by Normans, and owned by Sicily and Naples
  • In the other direction on the Adriatic coast is the small and equally historic port of Otranto, considered one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, with beaches to the north and south; while you're over this way check out Piscina di Marina Serra, which is a natural swimming pool found within the rocks, where you can swim year-round
  • Wine aficionados are well catered for with local vineyards aplenty. Top rated Castel Di Salve Srl (9km) is worth a look
  • Pre-book bicycles so they are ready and waiting for you on arrival to explore the countryside
  • Channel your inner Gennaro Contaldo, and take a pasta cooking class. Fausto, your lovely host, can make arrangements

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

In true Italian style, kids of all ages are welcome at the villa. That said, there isn’t a great deal for them to do, but they will love splashing in the shaded pool and exploring the garden. The beaches are about a 15-20 minute-drive away. Highchairs and a cot are available upon request.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

On the top floor, both Azure and Blue bedrooms can be set up as twins. On the ground floor there's a small double and a double sofa bed too for older kids.

Cots Available

Families Should Know:

For parents of little ones, be aware that the pool isn’t fenced.

Distances:

  • Airport: 1hr 25m
  • Hospital: 15 minutes
  • Shops: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

The Specchia Hideaway can be found low down in Puglia – the heel of Italy – on the outskirts of Specchia, a pretty historical town in the province of Lecce.

By Air
The nearest airport is Brindisi (105km) which has plenty of links with other cities in Italy and Europe. Further away is Bari Airport (223km).

By Car:
We’d recommend hiring a car to make the most of the area. Check out our guide to car rentals for more info. Parking is available at the villa.

By Train:
If travelling by train, head to well-served Lecce and catch a bus direct to Specchia (1hour 14mins).

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.

Airports:

  • Brindisi Airport 105.0 km BDS
  • Bari Airport 223.0 km BRI

Other:

  • Beach 11.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 2.0 km

Rates for The Specchia Hideaway

Arriving on: