‘Lemon tree’ bed and breakfast is in the Contrada district of Ostuni, 10 minutes away from
beautiful white beaches and clear blue sea. From the centre of Ostuni, take the San Michele road,
and 6 kilometres from Ostuni, on the right hand side a large sign with ‘Lemon Tree’ bed and breakfast is visible.
Guests are advised to hire their own transport to make travelling easy to the bed and breakfast and all the other wonderful tourist attractions that are available in the
area. Alternatively guests can be picked up from the airport if required and there is a reliable taxi service from
‘Lemon Tree’ bed and breakfast offers 5 star accommodation at 3 star prices and is situated in the rich red fertile peninsula of Puglia’s tableland. It is enveloped by an ancient olive grove, a small vineyard and a fruit orchard. The villa is built in part ancient lamia with half metre thick walls with niches cut out of the walls, thus keeping the bedrooms cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The bedrooms have high vaulted star shaped ceilings, one bedroom has a double bed, the other has twin beds; these lead out to a spacious breakfast room with a large guest bathroom leading off.
The English rose meets the Mediterranean olives and lemons in the tasteful interior design. The bedrooms and bathroom are decorated with the theme of roses, in the bedding, curtains, towels and decoration. Whilst the breakfast room embellishes the lemon and the olive, in the tablecloths, china, decor and this is also echoed in the large drapes which lead out onto a large veranda and sun soaked terrace, where guests can sit relaxing, absorbing the atmosphere of this enchanting place, making it ideal for a perfect family break.
Sue Robinson, who is the proprietor and owner, offers a warm welcome to all her guests, who are made to feel totally relaxed during their stay. She is a horticulturist and photographic journalist travelling regularly to Italy every year for her work, so decided to make Puglia her home.
Sue has put together with her creativity of cooking, all her favourites that she has tasted in her travels throughout Italy, in a full course continental breakfast with regional food of the area. Guests can squeeze their own orange juice, slice the home made olive bread and sweet pastry's, taste the local cheeses and meats and sample the home made jams and preserves made from the fruit which is picked from the orchard.
There are two international airports, the ‘Palese' at Bari and the ‘Casale' at Brindisi, with Ryan air offering low cost flights every day from London Stanstead, making the region extremely cheap and accessible, with rail and bus links to all areas.
What's Available In Puglia:
Puglia also known as Apulia is the sun drenched stiletto heel of Italy's boot. It is the southern most region of Italy and gateway to the east, with ferries leaving every day from Brindisi and Bari for Yugoslavia and Greece. It has so much to offer with a wealth of things to see and do, it is the jewel of Italy's crown. Blossoming Puglia is now becoming as popular as Tuscany was in the 1980's. With tiny churches swathed in mystery, isolated coves and seas, this area is steeped in thousands of years of history and tradition.
The Nearest Town:
The hillside town of Ostuni, also known as the ‘White city' rising up out of the Puglian countryside is a real magnet for tourists. The ‘centre historico' the historic centre is made up of a tumble of dazzling white washed houses and shops accessible through a labyrinth of tiny cobbled back streets. The old centre comes alive at night with restaurants and pizza houses. Marina di Ostuni is just 10 minutes away; this is a stretch of deserted beach some 20 km long.
Puglia was always a summer destination for northern Italians, but it is steadily becoming more popular with visitors from the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. Its friendly local people, the fine Mediterranean climate, beautiful scenery and long stretches of coastline make it a real tourist magnet. Celebrities including Tom Hanks, Sophia Loren, George Clooney and Helen Mirren have also discovered its charm and made their homes here.
Puglia is the centre for ancient Greek music, brought here in the time of the crusades. Puglian folk music is also popular along with the traditional brass bands, and music festivals are held throughout the region during the year.
Food and Wine:
For lovers of Italian food and drink Puglia produces more olive oil than the rest of Italy put together, and around 75% of all Italian fruit and vegetables are grown here too, that is why it is called the garden of Italy. Local dishes include orecchiette which is pasta in the shape of little ears, a broad bean puree, rolls of meat stuffed with cheese and garlic and antipasto misto consisting of battered vegetables, fried local cheeses, sea food and local salami.
This area of Italy also produces a huge range of Puliese wines, the region accounts for nearly a sixth of the nations grape harvest. In recent years wines of real character, quality and excellence have appeared, competing with other well known brands. Puglia today has emerged as one of most exciting of all Italy's wine producing regions.
Having the longest coastline also ensures you will find fabulous fresh seafood wherever you go. So if you want scenery, sunshine, a relaxed and civilised attitude to life and a fabulous cuisine then look no further and visit Puglia and discover this unspoilt part of Italy.
Things To See And Do:
The coast has some marvellous beaches overlooking the crystal sea, many having a blue flag status and local authorities battle each year to maintain that status in keeping them up to standard.
The Castellana caves (Grotto di Castellana) are the most spectacular geological complex of caves in the whole of Italy, lying slightly east of Bari near the small town of Castellana, discovered in 1938 by Franco Anelli. The main chamber which is called ‘Grave' is 70m deep consisting of a huge passage 50m wide, 60m high and 600m long. This area is separated into 2 chambers and alcoves by huge formations forming towers and castles, walls and bridges. ‘Grotta Bianca' leads into the south east section which houses a show case of pure white stalagmites and stalactites forming a curtain of calcite crystals.
The architecture is completely unique and has a considerable amount of well-preserved Baroque architecture in many of the towns in the province of Lecce, which is known as the ‘Florence of the south'. In Lecce's heyday in the 17 th century, noblemen, merchants and religious orders of the city competed with each other on who could build the most sumptuous palaces. This type of architecture is characterized by the extremely ornate carvings that cover the entire surfaces of the churches and the
Several Italic tribes settled in Puglia's fertile peninsula, records go back as early as the Bronze Age. Illyrians from the Balcanian peninsula on the opposite side of the Adriatic Sea invaded between 1600 and 1100 B.C. In the 8 th century B.C. Puglia was colonised by Greek settlers who brought a lasting imprint of their Hellenic civilisation with them, in the Greek culture, architecture, dialects and religious rites. Taras now named Taranto was a rich and important Greek capital and the area was known as Magna Graecia meaning Greater Greece. Puglia was conquered by the Romans in the 4 th century B.C, they built the surviving Roman roads, organised the land into agricultural parcels and established new settlements.
Puglia was held after the fall of the Roman Empire, alternatively by the Goths, the Lombards and the Byzantines. In the 11 th Century the Normans conquered it and the Duchy of Apulia was set up and then it became a province of the Norman Conquest. The Turks and the Venetians both occupied the coastline at different times until 1861 when Puglia was united in becoming the Unified Kingdom of Italy. Social reforms proceeded gradually in the 19 th century and accelerated in the 20 th century.
Many different animal species originating from the Balkans inhabited Puglia, and were stranded here when Yugoslavia broke away from the Italian Heel.
Puglia which is dry with low rainfall has the longest coastline in Italy, It also boasts the best beaches along both the Adriatic and the Ionian seas. Where ever you are in Puglia you are never more than 40 kilometres away from the golden sands along its coast, making it a sun worshipers dream. The five provinces of Puglia are Bari which is the regions capital, Brindisi, Foggia, Lecce and Taranto. Although industry has expanded rapidly in the 20 th century, there are still large tracts of stunning countryside. The region includes two island groups, north of Gargano are the Tremiti islands and in the gulf of Taranto are the islands of Cheradi.
The terrain of Puglia is mostly absorbed by plains and hills apart from some lower mountains of the southern Apennine chain and the Gargano promontory. The hilly area is called Le Murgi, whilst the plains are called Terra di Bari being the second largest in Italy.
Le Murge, meaning rock or stone is characterised by the sharp rock which lurks close to the surface of the land; the rock is used for the dry stone walls that criss-cross the landscape and also for the local stone buildings. This area covers the towns of Ostuni, Martina Franca, Alberobello, Locorotondo and Selva di Fasano, and is considered the heart of Puglia. This is an area of undulating, red coloured tableland, similar to the English countryside but with the marvellous weather and Mediterranean skies. This area is rich in low vineyards, olive groves, almond and cherry orchards, and green woods of ilex and carob; the breezy hills of this area providing respite from the summer heat.
The Gargano hills are a stark contrast to the sun kissed wheat field plains below. As the road meanders and rises leading to Foggia the main town in the area, it reveals breathtaking scenery including magnificent views of the blue waters caressing the many beach resorts. The hills are quite modest the highest only reaching 200
The Gargano promontory, an area of outstanding natural beauty gives way to attractive rocky coves, some with marvellous sea caves. Stunning views at almost every angle can be enjoyed, taking in an area of 11 thousand hectares of national park, which is home to an abundance of natural fauna and flora.
The Property Market:
Puglia is land of the trulli, which are quaint gnome like cylindrical huts made with local stone and no mortar, and topped with conical grey stone roofs resembling beehives. These can be found in the Itria valley, with the main concentration being in Alberobello which is the ‘capital' of the trulli. This unique town has been made a UNESCO heritage site.
Puglia is, at the moment, one of the cheapest areas to buy property. With properties there usually comes attached several acres of fertile land containing olive groves and vineyards. This can be converted into a second home for an investment, to have for holidays or to rent out for self-catering. A derelict trulli or lamia can be purchased quite cheaply but does need skilled local craftsman to restore them.
A masseria usually built in the 16 th and 17 th centuries is a large old farmhouse, these come dearer, but they are also very popular to restore and are usually finished to a high standard, making a plush resident, hotel or restaurant.
Local companies can oversee the restoration, from the planning, right through to the building work and completion.