Villa San Michele

Sleeps: 8 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 4


Pool Beach Nearby Pets Welcome

Set on five acres among olive and almond trees and brimming with history, this villa in Puglia was once a chapel and monastery dating back to the 1300s. It’s now a tranquil and chic Italian getaway within 5-30 minutes of medieval towns and pristine beaches with secret coves.

Traditional stone architecture extends throughout, acting as a decorative piece of its own. The villa blends classic décor and antique furnishings with stylish modern features, such as craftsman vessel sinks. Four simple bedrooms sleep eight, each with their own bath, and the full kitchen and common areas are spacious and inviting, complete with fireplaces and ‘cantina’ dining.

Outside, a private oasis with sun loungers beneath canopies, a swimming pool, and exotic gardens with fruit trees await. Alfresco dining on original stone piazalle or covered terrace is a must with the wood-fired pizza oven on hand. Plus, the villa boasts a secret, underground limestone cave dating back to the 7th century with medieval frescos!

A stay at this ancient villa places you within walking distance to the foodie haven of Ceglie Messapica, complete with its famous Trulli houses. Be sure to try Osteria Pugliese – a local favourite and New York Times recommended.

Perfect Puglia: “Set in five acres of exotic gardens with olive trees and giant cacti (think Jurassic Park) our home for the week sleeps eight and blends stylish décor with antique furnishings and stylish modern features. 'Wow, we are sleeping in our very own castle!' shouted my excited five-year-old boy Zak…
Read the full review of Villa San Michele, over on the Daily Mail

Oliver Approved

What Oliver loves…

  • This villa in Puglia was once the Chapel of San Michele and Italian nobleman’s residence
  • The underground grotto with 8th and 11th century frescoes is a rare gem you won’t find elsewhere
  • You’re just a km from Michelin-starred restaurants in Ceglie Messapica and a half hour from enchanting coastlines

What you should know…

  • The pool is a short walk through the beautiful garden
  • While the nearest town is within walking distance, to really explore the region’s many treasures, a car hire is recommended

Property Features

Private Pool Internet Air-Con BBQ Ground Floor Bed & Bath Cable TV Wheelchair Access Bicycles Provided Outdoor Games DVD Working Fireplace Heating

Bedrooms and Interior
The accommodation is in the original stone construction whose thick walls keep the house cool in summer and warm in the winter months. There are four bedrooms and four bathrooms sleeping a total of eight people (further rooms can be added by arrangement).

Ground Floor (with limestone flooring throughout):
- Entrance room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace
- Large double height vaulted sitting room, 32' flat screen TV/DVD player
- Large vaulted´Cantina´ with a table seating 10, original stone floor, door to rear and large glazed arched doors to the front of the property
- Kitchen, with range style oven, dishwasher, large refrigerator.
- 2 double bedrooms leading off the main room, both with vaulted ceilings and en suite bathrooms with showers
- Stone vaulted rear reception room
- Large bathroom with shower
- Large bedroom, en suite bathroom with double bathtub, circular shower.

First floor
- Twin bedroom and stairs to roof terraces.

Outdoor Features
- Covered veranda for al fresco dining
- Large original stone courtyard
- Covered wood fired oven
- Swimming pool with loungers, pool towels, outdoor shower.
- Table tennis
- Barbecue

The 13 by 6 metre pool is reached by twin sets of steps and is surrounded by a large paved area with loungers and umbrellas. A shower is ingeniously placed under the branches of a spreading olive tree.

The grounds have been planted with desert plants, designed to stand the long dry summers in the region. Trees include Olives, Almonds walnuts, mulberries, figs, pomegranates, lemons, quince and prickly pears.

*The Grotto:
Near the property is a large natural limestone karst cave or grotto, some 52 metres deep. The entrance to the grotto, shaded by fig and olive trees opens to reveal a huge cavern. Stone stairs descend in two directions.

There is some evidence that the cave has been occupied by humans since neolithic times.The cave was settled from around the 7th century AD by Basilian (Byzantine) monks who had escaped persecution in Constantinople and this religious settlement remained there for several centuries.

Descending into the first part of the grotto, covered in stalactites, is a large altar hewn out of the solid rock. Above and to one side of the altar is a fresco of the Virgin (Vergine Orante), which studies have shown to be the oldest in Brindisi province, dating from the 8th century AD. Directly above the altar is a well preserved fresco of Christ, (Cristo Pancreator) and another of San Michele, both of which date from the 11th century.

Locals say that tunnels lead from the grotto and run for several kilometres. During the 1800´s the land surrounding the house was a vineyard and during this time an important ancient Messapican vase was found, 30 cm tall, which was transferred to the archaeological collection of the Museum of Berlin.


About the surrounding area of Villa San Michele
Beach Nearby Walk to Restaurant Rural Location Walking/Hiking Paths Wine Tasting Fishing Outstanding Landscapes Outdoor Pursuit & Activities Tourist Towns & Villages Romantic
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Van San Michele is situated in Ceglie Messapica, a charming small town of white washed houses and narrow streets located in the province of Brindisi on the edge of the Valle Itria. It is famous for its Trullis, stone built conical buildings typical of this area of southern Italy.

The landscape is typical of the area, particularly rich in nature and history. Dotted around the surrounding land are countless Trulli as well as ancient farms called Masseria. It is home to dry, stone walls, olive groves, vineyards, and woods with ancient oaks.

The town of Caelia is close and also rich in history and culture. It traces its origin back 15 centuries before Christ and was originally part of Magna Grecia (Greater Greece).

Puglia is considered one of the best places to eat in Italy by Italians, and Ceglie Messapica is considered one of the best places to eat in Puglia. There are many restaurants in Ceglie, ranging from simple trattoria to Michelin starred affairs. Many of them will offer some version of what is known as Cucina Povera, literally "poor cooking", derived from a time when the residents of this area of Italy had to make do with simple ingredients and transform them into something more.

Less than half an hour away are the beaches of the Adriatic coast where there are many quiet coves with crystal clear water and long, sandy beaches backed by dunes. A little over half and hour on the other side of the peninsula are the stunning beaches of the Ionian coast where mile upon mile of white sandy beaches extend south to the tip of the heel of Italy.

The airports of Brindisi and Bari, both with direct flights from the United Kingdom, are 30 minutes and 1 hour 10 minutes respectively from the property.

Local Amenities
Nearest Village Ceglie Messapica


Nearest Town/City Martina Franca

(30 minutes away)

Nearest Beach Costa Merlata

(25 minutes away)


Best Suited For: All Ages
Ideal for Teens

Baby and Toddler Equipment

  • Cot(s)
  • High Chair(s)

Kids Activities Close-by

  • Beach Nearby
  • Walk to Restaurant
  • Fishing
  • Outdoor Pursuit & Activities
  • Tourist Towns & Villages

Onsite Facilities

  • Bicycles Provided
  • Outdoor Games
  • DVD
  • Fenced Grounds

Services Available

  • Chef/Cook Available
  • Maid Service Available
  • Babysitting Available


Oliver's Extras

  • Chef/Cook Available
  • Maid Service Available
  • Babysitting Available
  • Welcome pack of food and delicious local wine will be waiting on your arrival
  • Wine, olive oil and cycling tours can all be arranged

Services Included
- Weekly maid service (more frequently by arrangement)
- Welcome pack of local produce and wine
- All utilities and firewood

At Oliver’s Travels we pride ourselves on going that little bit further for our guests. If there is anything you would like to arrange for your stay, please contact the Oliver’s VIP Concierge Team who will be happy to help. We can usually help you arrange any of the following:

- Cook/catering
- Maid service/extra cleaning
- Local day-trips or tours
- Airport pick-up/drop-off
- Babysitting service
- Welcome hamper/pre-stocked fridge

This is by no means an exhaustive list, so please just contact Oliver’s VIP Concierge Team to help you arrange any of those little extras that can really make the difference.

Enjoy gourmet dining experiences with our new Chef Service!
If you really want to kick back and relax, we can arrange for a professional chef to cater for the duration of your holiday (or part of it). With a range of options from simple family catering to full-on haute cuisine, we can organise a meal plan and a price to suit your needs. So why worry about self-catering when you can have everything taken care of? From peeling the spuds to helping with the service, our chefs will ensure you have the most relaxing – and definitely the most delicious – holiday you can dream of.

Of course, before booking this service, we suggest you contact the property owner as they might already offer a similar cook or chef service in-house. To find out more simply visit

Event information


Terms & Conditions

Security deposit €500. This is paid on arrival and will be refunded in full after departure subject to damage inspection.
Arrival time 4 pm onwards.
Departure time 10 am.
Energy costs included? Included in the rental price.
Linen & towels included? Linen and towels are included in the rental price.
Smoking Allowed? No smoking in the property.
Insurance It is recommended that all guests take out insurance to cover against potential cancellation and any accidental damage caused during your stay at the property.

Rental Rates

Prices based on an occupancy of 8 people:

Rental period Weekly
September 20th 2018 - September 29th 2018 £3,965.00
September 29th 2018 - April 13th 2019 £3,024.00
April 13th 2019 - May 11th 2019 £3,024.00
May 11th 2019 - June 1st 2019 £3,696.00
June 1st 2019 - June 29th 2019 £4,368.00
June 29th 2019 - August 24th 2019 £5,711.00
August 24th 2019 - September 28th 2019 £3,965.00
September 28th 2019 - March 23rd 2020 £3,024.00

Prices based on an occupancy of 8 people:

Rental period Weekly
September 20th 2018 - September 29th 2018 €4,269.00
September 29th 2018 - April 13th 2019 €3,256.00
April 13th 2019 - May 11th 2019 €3,256.00
May 11th 2019 - June 1st 2019 €3,980.00
June 1st 2019 - June 29th 2019 €4,703.00
June 29th 2019 - August 24th 2019 €6,150.00
August 24th 2019 - September 28th 2019 €4,269.00
September 28th 2019 - March 23rd 2020 €3,256.00

Prices based on an occupancy of 8 people:

Rental period Weekly
September 20th 2018 - September 29th 2018 $4,986.00
September 29th 2018 - April 13th 2019 $3,803.00
April 13th 2019 - May 11th 2019 $3,803.00
May 11th 2019 - June 1st 2019 $4,648.00
June 1st 2019 - June 29th 2019 $5,493.00
June 29th 2019 - August 24th 2019 $7,183.00
August 24th 2019 - September 28th 2019 $4,986.00
September 28th 2019 - March 23rd 2020 $3,803.00

Owner Profile

Property Owner

How long have you owned the property?
08 years.

What was it about the property that you first fell in love with?
When I first saw the house it had fallen on hard times and had been unlived in for many years. It was in urgent need of some TLC to bring it back to its former magnificence. It was clearly a house with a lot of history and it was this that made me fall in love with it.

Are there any interesting stories in its history?
The house is 700 years old and has a lot of history associated with it. It was a church, and after that the summer villa for a local noble family.

Have you ever had any famous guests staying?
We have had a well known actor and his family stay. He has starred in several big Hollywood blockbusters, and well as being in TV series back in the UK.

For anyone coming to stay is there anything in the surrounding area they should...
Really do?
Wander around the charming medieval heart of Ceglie Messapica, our local town.

Really eat?
Ceglie Messapica is justly famous for its restaurants. The simplest ones are often the best.

Really see?
The grotto in the grounds of the house, is awe inspiring. A huge underground cave 60 metres deep, which was used as a church between the 8th and 12th centuries. There is a large stone altar and frescoes from the 8th and 11th centuries.

Lastly, what insider tip would you pass on about the property or the area?
Ask Maria our friendly cook to prepare a feast of local food for you one evening.  Our guests always write to say how much they enjoy it.



There’s a reason Puglia is the region of the moment, or rather several: the excellent food, exuberant architecture dotted in the South, the breathtaking coastline and heaps more. Puglia is much bigger than you might first expect, but you’ll get both a wonderful and varied Italian experience here.Use our travel guide as a nifty sidekick (think of us like the Robin to your Batman) to help you plan the holiday of a lifetime. 

And don’t forget we’ve got a selection of villas in Puglia that will add that extra special touch to your trip.

Download our Puglia Travel Guide >>


  • What a treat!

    Posted by R.D on 05/12/2017

    Twenty-four hours after arriving at our destination – the really rather splendid Vila San Michelle, a fabulous family-friendly 13th-century former monastery with a swimming pool, pizza oven and even its very own medieval cave - I was on the phone to our 'hostess with the mostest', concierge Donatella Pia to take her up on her very kind offer of some babysitting. A definite holiday highlight was the lovely Donatella and her mother Mia cooking classic local cuisine – bellissimo. What a treat! Read Daniel's full review:

  • It was perfect as always

    Posted by P.S on 05/12/2017

    Dear Owner, thank you for all the effort you put into making our stay so enjoyable. Everything in the house is always so perfect - you are lucky to have good people there to keep it running for you. It is lovely to be welcomed by your staff and to have such a generous and carefully chosen basket of goodies. The cactus garden is progressing well and interesting to see. Back to reality and an over grown garden - obviously there was a bit of rain when we were away. Hope to return in 2 years time when we will be able to come in September. Thank you!

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