Hi, we are Ian and Lucy an English couple who made our own Italian Escape a few years ago when we left our corporate lives in the UK and relocated to Puglia to restore a 17th century farmhouse. When we arrived the place had been abandoned for 28 years - there were no doors, windows, floors or services and we had a tree growing in the middle of our kitchen. We have spent the last 6 years restoring the main farmhouse into our family home, converting the old stables / farm buildings into holiday apartments and transforming the outside space into a welcoming garden with a small olive grove, fruit orchard, large vegetable plot, formal gardens, BBQ area, outside terraces for our guests and a sunken pool area with a large 12 x 6m saline swimming pool.
We have 2 children (aged 15 & 12) who go to the local Italian school - despite not knowing any Italian when we first arrived. We have also extended our household since we arrived with the addition of 3 dogs and 1 cat.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Puglia is a fascinating region of Italy that has a wide appeal to a large number of people with different types of interest. Basically anyone who was anyone in the Mediterranean attempted (successfully or not) to either invade, occupy, plunder or trade with Puglia. This means that we have an incredible melting pot of influences that permeate through everything - the food, architecture, cultures, language and arts all contain influences from all over southern Europe, northern Africa and the middle-east. We have 3 UNESCO world heritage sites nearby, a huge number of medieval towns and cities, one of the Top 10 museums in Italy and ancient ruins & historic sites everywhere. And that is before we even start on the amazing cuisine, wine and extra virgin olive oil that Puglia is famous for. And if that isn't enough - we are also located mid-way between the Adriatic and Ionion coasts and a vast array of fabulous beaches. Great for sun-bathing, swimming in the summer but also a beautiful destination for a quiet picnic or stroll during the winter.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We are looking for people to help with a wide range of activities around the house and garden during the year. The exact type of help will vary depending on the season, weather and current priority list (which does have a habit of changing!). However, typically we are looking for people to assist us with: gardening (pruning, lawn-mowing, weeding, training, landscaping, planting & harvesting, etc), general maintenance (painting, minor decorative repairs, etc), tending the olive grove (harvesting, pruning, clearing the land, etc) and cleaning our house. We also have a few projects that we are planning on starting - such as; constructing some extra raised plant beds, grouting our perimeter wall and building some small dry stone walls. Finally, there are always plenty of everyday jobs that we need help with around our house - cleaning, washing up, cooking, minding the children and (for dog lovers only!) dog walking.
We aim to provide a variety of tasks and will usually be working alongside you.
There is a possibility of hosting families outside the high season (1st June - 30 September) but please be aware that we do have to prioritise selling our holiday apartments to paying guests and if we fill all the apartments we then provide accommodation in the main house. Whilst this is suitable for individuals, couples or (maybe) good friends - it is not suitable for families. We can not afford not to take in paying guests, even at short notice, but appreciate that this may result in last minute changes which might be more difficult for families to re-plan / re-organise.
You will stay in one of our holiday apartments (exact apartment will depend on the make-up of your group, availability, etc) - unless otherwise mentioned (i.e. if we are fully booked - usually the case in July & August - then you may stay in the house with your own bedroom / bathroom). All our apartments include a separate seating / dining area, kitchen (with fridge/freezer, hob, oven, etc), a private bedroom and a bathroom (with shower). The apartments all have air-conditioning (providing warm or cool air depending on the weather / time of year) and Wi-Fi access. The apartments also have a TV / DVD player. Finally, you will also have an outside terrace with table / chairs.
As mentioned we are hoping that you will see yourselves as part of our family team and that you will join us in the house for family meals, etc. However, with your own apartment you also have the opportunity for your own privacy and some peace and quiet!
Our apartments & house are strictly non-smoking. However, smoking is allowed in the garden by the BBQ area. We are in a quiet, rural area but there are several towns within a short distance that offer all the services you would expect (restaurants, cafes, bank, shops, grocer, farmer's markets, etc). We are happy to take you into town during your time off, or for you to come with us on some family trips, etc. We also have a couple of bikes that you are welcome to use.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Our apartments all have free wifi access.
Except in high season (01/06 - 30/09).
Except in high season (01 June - 30 Sept) but please let us know when you contact us as it does depend on whether we have guests staying at the property.
5 hours per day, 5 days per week
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