Villa San Michele
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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
COVID-19 Update: Change of Dates
Should Coronavirus related travel restrictions mean your villa holiday cannot go ahead then simply request a change of dates. Read full T&Cs here
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
What you should know…
- An additional bed can be addded, on request
- The pool is reached by twin sets of steps 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
- 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
- Fully-equipped kitchen with oven, hob, grill, microwave, fridge, toaster, dishwasher and coffee maker
- Two 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
- Suite with king-size bed, sitting room with desk, printer/scanner and en-suite bathroom with double bathtub and circular shower
- Twin bedroom and stairs to roof terraces
- Swimming pool (13m x 6m), open approximately April to October
- Covered veranda for al-fresco dining
- Large original stone courtyard
- Olive, Almond, walnut, mulberry, fig, pomegranate, lemon, quince and prickly pear trees
- Covered wood-fired oven- Sun loungers
- Outdoor shower
- Table tennis
- Iron and ironing board
Villa San Michele is situated in Ceglie Messapica, a charming small town of whitewashed houses and narrow streets located in the province of Brindisi on the edge of the Valle Itria. It is famous for its Trulli; 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 Ceglie 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 regarded as 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 an hour on the other side of the peninsula are the stunning beaches of the Ionian coast where mile upon mile of white sandy beaches extends 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.
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.
Shops and supermarkets
Bars and restaurants
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.
Baby and Toddler Equipment
- High Chair(s)
Kids Activities Close-by
- Beach Nearby
- <1hr to Airport
- Outdoor Pursuit & Activities
- Tourist Towns & Villages
- Historical Sites
- Outdoor Games
- Fenced Grounds
- Chef/Cook Available
- Maid Service Available
- Wine-Tasting Available
- Chef/Cook Available
- Maid Service Available
- Welcome Pack (food and local wine) Included
- Local Guides Available
- Cycling Tours Available
At Oliver’s Travels we pride ourselves on going that little bit further for our guests. From private chefs to babysitters we can help you arrange those little extras that make it a truly memorable holiday. Simply fill in the concierge request form or contact the Oliver’s Concierge Team who will be happy to help. We can typically help you arrange any of the following:
- Maid service/extra cleaning
- Private chef/cook/catering
- Welcome hamper/pre-stocked fridge
- Local day-trips or tours
- Airport transfers
- Babysitting/childcare services
Extras included at this property:
- Welcome Pack
Extras available at this property:
- Extra cleaning
- Private chef
- Olive oil and wine tasting
- Local guides
- Cycling tours
- Bike rental
Please note that all services are subject to availability and must be requested in advance and that due to some rural/remote locations, not all services will be available at all properties. Prices are on request. We will always do our best to fulfil your requests!
Oliver's Travels Chef Service: A Gourmet Dining Experience
Make hosting a memorable dinner party at your villa an absolute breeze with our superb Chef Service. Our chefs will take care of everything for you from start to finish so you can just sit back and enjoy the gastronomic experience. They will bring all the necessary ingredients, cook and serve the food and even clean up afterwards. To find out more visit www.oliverstravels.com/chefs
These terms and conditions may be amended from time to time.
|Security deposit||€500 paid in cash to the owner upon arrival and refunded upon departure, subject to full inspection.|
|Arrival time||3.00 p.m.|
|Departure time||10.00 - 10.30 a.m.|
|Energy costs included?||Yes.|
|Linen & towels included?||Yes.|
|Pets welcome?||On request only and with prior agreement with the owner.|
|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.|
|Heating costs included?||Yes.|
|Internet access?||Wi-Fi internet access included.|
|Changeover day||Saturday. All other changeover days on request.|
|Minimum stay||7 nights. All other durations on request.|
|Other Ts and Cs||An additional bed can be addded, on request.|
|Pool towels included?||Yes.|
|Other Ts and Cs||Weddings, stag/hen parties and any special events are not allowed.|
|Other Ts and Cs||The pool is open approximately April to October. Please note that pool opening dates are subject to local weather conditions and pool maintenance requirements and that cooler months may not be suitable for swimming.|
Prices based on an occupancy of 8 people:
|Jun 21st 2021 - Jun 26th 2021||£3,512|
|Jun 26th 2021 - Aug 28th 2021||£6,235|
|Aug 28th 2021 - Oct 2nd 2021||£3,799|
|Oct 2nd 2021 - Oct 30th 2021||£3,211|
|Oct 30th 2021 - May 28th 2022||£2,795|
|May 28th 2022 - Jun 25th 2022||£3,512|
|Jun 25th 2022 - Aug 27th 2022||£6,235|
|Aug 27th 2022 - Oct 1st 2022||£3,799|
|Oct 1st 2022 - Oct 29th 2022||£3,211|
|Oct 29th 2022 - Dec 23rd 2022||£2,795|
Prices based on an occupancy of 8 people:
|Jun 21st 2021 - Jun 26th 2021||€3,841|
|Jun 26th 2021 - Aug 28th 2021||€6,819|
|Aug 28th 2021 - Oct 2nd 2021||€4,154|
|Oct 2nd 2021 - Oct 30th 2021||€3,512|
|Oct 30th 2021 - May 28th 2022||€3,057|
|May 28th 2022 - Jun 25th 2022||€3,841|
|Jun 25th 2022 - Aug 27th 2022||€6,819|
|Aug 27th 2022 - Oct 1st 2022||€4,154|
|Oct 1st 2022 - Oct 29th 2022||€3,512|
|Oct 29th 2022 - Dec 23rd 2022||€3,057|
Prices based on an occupancy of 8 people:
|Jun 21st 2021 - Jun 26th 2021||$4,560|
|Jun 26th 2021 - Aug 28th 2021||$8,096|
|Aug 28th 2021 - Oct 2nd 2021||$4,932|
|Oct 2nd 2021 - Oct 30th 2021||$4,169|
|Oct 30th 2021 - May 28th 2022||$3,630|
|May 28th 2022 - Jun 25th 2022||$4,560|
|Jun 25th 2022 - Aug 27th 2022||$8,096|
|Aug 27th 2022 - Oct 1st 2022||$4,932|
|Oct 1st 2022 - Oct 29th 2022||$4,169|
|Oct 29th 2022 - Dec 23rd 2022||$3,630|
Please note that these prices/rates are a guide only and may not be correct at the current date. For an accurate quote, please enquire.
How long have you owned the property?
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...
Wander around the charming medieval heart of Ceglie Messapica, our local town.
Ceglie Messapica is justly famous for its restaurants. The simplest ones are often the best.
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.
Idyllic and beyond expectations!
Our group of 6 adults (3 couples) thoroughly enjoyed our idyllic week at this beautiful masseria! It is spacious, comfortable and visually stunning, with lovely areas both indoors and out for gathering. The property is quiet, yet well-situated for day trips to nearby towns. The collection of books and reference materials were impressive and Maria was attentive and helpful. This property exceeded our expectations.
What a lovely villa
Lovely villa for a family holiday and to celebrate daughter's birthday!
The house is quite something, the long approach to the wisteria-covered courtyard gives way to a beautiful and unique property.
Magical week in Puglia
We spent a week at this lovely place, private stone residence amidst beautiful vegetation, olive trees, stone walls and a herbal scented path full of flowers and diverse plants leading to a gorgeous pool. The location is within minutes of a very charming, culinary-oriented town and not far from many others that should be visited. There are many places to sit and enjoy the property of to dine outdoors. The residence is historic, full of character and charm, but with every convenience and comfort. The owner supplies a fabulous collection of very helpful information regarding nearby restaurants, towns to visit and beaches. The gracious caretaker, Maria, is readily available for any questions or requests that may arise. In particular, she arranged for two fantastic dishes to be served at the house for us. One of the most satisfying and memorable trips I have ever taken.
We really felt spoiled
Our visit to Villa San Michele was simply amazing. Thanks to the fantastic staff and the services provided. Kids and adults loved the pool and the grounds. We really felt spoiled! This place is a treasure and we will back.
What a treat!
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: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-5055635/Oliver-s-Travels-family-friendly-break-perfect-Puglia.html
It was perfect as always
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!
Thank you for the most fantastic holiday. We absolutely loved your home. We felt such at home in this beautiful villa and a beautiful city. Thank you for the excellent recommendations. We loved our dinners, and our children loved their babysitting evenings with the staff. The wine tour was fantastic. We enjoyed every minute of the villa. Everything exceeded our expectations. We hope to be back soon as there is still so much more than we want to experience.
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- Concierge service
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Book this property today for just
The balance of will be due 12 weeks before you travel.
Need to check with your party?
Reserve today and if for any reason you change your mind in the next 48 hours you'll get a 100% refund, no questions asked!
Please select your arrival and departure dates on the calendar.