Villa Cervarolo

Ostuni, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy Book from

Reviewed by Abigail Blasi
Secluded trulli farmhouse set among olive groves, with a sleek contemporary makeover and cool pool (sleeps up to 7)
Under Puglia’s hot blue skies, winding olive-lined lanes lead to this stunningly restored farmhouse, set among olive and almond trees and sun-bleached dry-stone walls. It's built around 4 ancient, hobbit-like trulli: stubby, conical towers peculiar to this part of Italy.

But rather than decorate in traditional style, the owners have gone for striking contemporary chic. The interior is minimalist creams and whites, with flashes of pinky-orange, tobacco-brown and burnt-petrol blue in the 3 bedrooms. In the arched sitting room, there's a large open fireplace and oblong windows framing rural views. French doors link inside and out, rendering the house very light and airy, and floors are paved in pale pinky-cream local stone. A new wing blends perfectly with the 300-year-old part, without trying to imitate it. Outside, the pool, overlooked by a barbecue and gorgeous outdoor sitting room, has a beach-style edge so you can wallow in the shallows, listening to birdsong and the occasional tractor.


  • Unusual building with four towered 'trulli', its wonderful rusticity married with contemporary flair
  • Beautifully set and secluded, in a far-flung region that’s just beginning to hit tourist radars
  • Gorgeous pool and outdoor sitting room with barbecue and rough-stone dining table
  • Close to the gleaming white town of Ostuni, and charming, undiscovered Cisternino
  • Nearest sandy beaches on the Adriatic coast (20 mins drive) are great for kids


  • There's a 1-week minimum stay
  • Not cheap by local standards, but surely the most stylish villa in the area
  • Only 1 bedroom has its own bathroom; the other 2 share a second bathroom
  • Pool not heated and can be quite cold

Best time to go

Puglia’s finest hour is spring (May-June), when the weather’s perfect, wild flowers run riot and the beaches and towns uncrowded, though September and October are also great. Puglia is packed and baking in August, though this villa will still be tranquil.

Our top tips

This place would be ideal for a group of friends or a family who like their rusticity with a large dollop of chic.

Great for...

  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Villa
  • 3
  • Self-catering + walk to restaurants
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 1 Nov 2016 - 31 Mar 2017
  • 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
  • Mid-week maid service
  • Cookery classes


Creams, whites and earthy colours give the 3 bedrooms a smooth, soft and natural feel. The first lies beneath a trullo, so is an arched, cosy, romantic space, with a large working fireplace and a large Zanzibari wooden chest. The room has low teak beds, which can be made up as a double or twin. The unattached bathroom has a huge-headed shower, bathtub, and the cream theme continues.

A passage lit by ankle height square spotlights and light-shafts leads through to the new wing and the other bedrooms. The second bedroom, a double, has a low cement bed, pale stone barrel vaulted ceiling, huge teak bench, mammoth mirror and double doors onto the grounds.

The third bedroom is the master double, with 2 sets of French windows, more teak furnishings and a long mirror edged in fake ostrich skin. The bathroom serving these 2 rooms has a big walk-in shower and a beautiful cream coloured cement bathing trough positioned for garden views.

Linen comes from the White Company, memory-foam mattresses will keep you comfy, and fluffy goatskins soften the floors.

Features include:

  • Barbeque
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Dvd player
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Internet access
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Tv
  • Washing machine


This is a self-catering villa, but if you want to free yourself from domestic chores, you can hire a local chef to cater for you.

That said, the kitchen will be great for those who love to cook, with its central hob, raised inbuilt oven, dishwasher and lots of surface space. You can also cook outside, where there is a permanent barbecue and outdoor preparation area; there’s a big rough-stone table, shaded by rush matting, to eat al fresco. You get a generous welcome hamper, and can buy fresh produce at Ostuni, Cisternino and Martina Franca’s local markets.

If you prefer to eat out, the villa book contains local recommendations. Ostuni has lots of restaurants - try rustic Osteria del Tempo Perso for classic Pugliese dishes - or head to Cisternino for home-made pasta and juicy vegetable antipasti at Hosteria Bell'Italia. Local wine-tastings, with the chance to savour the heady Salice Salentino, can be arranged - details are in the villa book.

Features include:

  • Chef on request
  • Children meals
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • In house cook
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Welcome hamper


  • Laze by the pool, with its outdoor sitting room and solarium areas - the pool is open April - October
  • Book a half-day cookery class and learn to cook traditional Italian cuisine from fresh, local ingredients
  • Roam around trulli country - where the hills are dotted with squat cone-shaped buildings, olive and fruit trees - on foot, by bike or on horseback (ask the villa manager about hiring bikes locally; there’s a local riding school)
  • Meander around the narrow cobbled streets of beautiful white-stone Ostuni, visit its imposing 15th-century Gothic cathedral and hang out in its bars and restaurants
  • Head to the nearby beaches - either 20 minutes away to the Adriatic coast or 40 minutes to the more rugged Ionian coast - visit Villanova for sailing and windsurfing
  • Visit the capital of trulli and Unesco World Heritage Site of Alberobello, which positively bristles with the stubby, stone-built cones
  • Explore Bari’s medieval city (once you’ve got through its unprepossessing outskirts) and its World Heritage Site of Castel del Monte, an extraordinary cocktail of Gothic, Classical and Oriental styles

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Windsurfing
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga


Great for a family who likes to holiday in style - those family photos will look fantastic and you'll spend plenty of time lounging together by the pool.

The whole place sleeps a maximum of 7 (that's with one person sleeping in the lounge on a sofabed) and it works for children of all ages, in our opinion; the owners say it's great for toddlers.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

There are 3 bedrooms and it's all yours, so take your pick. There's a bathtub in the master bedroom's ensuite and you can borrow a baby bath.


Available by arrangement

Baby listening:

Their baby monitor works throughout the villa, so you can lounge by the pool while they're having a nap

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • Baby bedding
  • High chair
  • Potty
  • Plastic crockery and cutlery, sippy cups

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

Children's meals:

It's self catering with a great kitchen (including dishwasher). You'll find everything you need for baby food (if required); parents tired of cooking can book a visiting chef. There's a BBQ area outside too

Kids Activities on site:

  • Pool (not heated) with shallow end
  • Inflatable pool toys
  • Children's DVDs
  • Beach toys
  • Books and games for ages 2-10

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Zoo Safari, Europe's biggest zoo, is a short drive away in Fasano
  • Beaches (a 20-minute drive)
  • Characterful towns to wander round

Families Should Know:

There's a 4ft wall and drop by the pool area. The closest town is 8km away and you can buy everything you need there, from toys to clothes, food and nappies.


  • Airport: 45 minutes
  • Doctor: 10 minutes
  • Shops: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

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