Villa Cervarolo (sleeps 6) combines a rustically beautiful setting overlooking a rolling valley with a mod/trad architect designed exterior and glamorously minimalist interior. On first sight it might seem too posh for pre-schoolers, the unfenced pool set a few steps down from the villa's terrace might be a worry for those with mini Houdinis, but the useful baby gear provided and simple interiors with cosy poolside day beds makes it a heavenly hideaway for families with tamer tots and babies.
Set in 2.5 acres of rolling olive groves, the villa faces west down a valley to where the sun sets spectacularly each evening. It has been given a high spec renovation by an Austrian and Milanese architect team and British interior designer/owner. The interior blends modern minimalist glamour with the traditional features of the original trullo and lamia: gleaming stainless steel kitchen appliances set in rough natural stone; smooth polished concrete bathrooms in cool neutral tones with fluffy white towels and evocative lighting; bedrooms in warm Moorish colours are gloriously cool spaces with large comfortable beds laid with crisp white linen.
The owners have very cleverly introduced North African influences to the interior and exterior: the oasis-inspired 12m x 6m private chemical free swimming pool; the desert palms and day beds (some swinging) dotted around the pool and kilims placed underfoot in the outside sitting/BBQ area.
Each of the three bedrooms are beautifully decorated , the two doubles have barrel-vaulted ceiling and large french doors which lead to the villas tranquil gardens , whilst the twin/double benefits from a unique coned ceiling and useful dressing area, large enough for a cot, separated from the sleeping area by a traditional open stone archway.
Along with cots, highchairs, kids DVDs and pool toys, parent-friendly facilities include: BBQ, flat screen TVs, DVD players, IPod docks and pre-bookable services such as babysitting, private chef, in-villa/poolside massages and handy pre-arrival shopping that can include baby essentials such as nappies, wipes, formula etc.
Overall, a very glamorous, spectacularly set escape with a warm welcome for young families.
Region Overview: Villa Cervarolo is located in the Itria valley between the famously picturesque towns of Cisternino and Ostuni in Puglia, a region on the south-eastern heel of Italy nestled between the Ionian and Adriatic seas. Puglia enjoys the climate of the Southern Mediterranean but its privileged geographical position between two coastlines ensures that summer temperatures remain comfortable.
Beaches: Puglia has 500 miles of stunning sandy coastline, much of it within 20-40 minutes drive of the villa. From tiny, deserted sandy coves to big family beaches complete with all facilities guests need never visit the same beach twice.
Eating Out: Puglia is known as the breadbasket of Italy due to the wonderful supplies of oil, pasta and fresh fruit and vegetables it produces. Locals claim that the best is kept in Puglia. There are an abundance of fantastic restaurants in the area from romantic cave restaurants in the historic centre to fabulous fish restaurants on the beach.
Kids Day Trip: For a day out just for the kids, there is the nearby Fasanolandia zoo safari and theme park
Getting There: The villa is a 45-minute drive from Brindisi, a 70-minute drive from Bari and a 10-minute drive from Ostuni. Check www.skyscanner.net for flights from UK airports to these destinations. Car rental is essential.