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When we arrived at 'Villa Del Geco Nella Natura Salentina' we had a welcoming party - the whole Cavalera family were waiting on our front verandah to greet us warmly. What a great beginning to a very comfortable and cosy few weeks in this area of Puglia. Antonella and Cosimo have little or no English and we definitely have NO Italian and yet we managed to communicate - with many smiles and some laughter helping us along the way. Silvia, daughter of Antonella and Cosimo, was around much of the time to act as interpreter for both us and her parents and she did this very graciously.
Our accommodation was huge! Much more than we expected - about three times more actually. It felt like a home and not just a scantily put together four walls for people to have a fleeting stay in. We could, if needs dictate, live the rest of our lives very comfortably, and with everything we could possibly need, provided in this house. It is not presented like a 'display home' but a lived in, functional home. Antonella is a very proud housekeeper and everything was spotlessly clean and well presented. She had thought of everything, even down to local breakfast pastries for our first morning. Our bed was very comfortable and the house caught cooling summer breezes which flowed through the back to the front of the house. Just being two of us we had no need of the second bedroom so we kept this door closed. The bathroom was quite large with an over bath, hand held shower rose. This solved the problem of my husband having to fit into a shower cubicle half the size of himself which is common in Italy! We had a lovely front verandah where we ate our meals and this overlooked a restful, swaying willow tree and rustic garden. Olive trees were our neighbours. The Cavaleras encouraged us to pick fruit and herbs from their garden and eggs from the chicken coop, we were willing gatherers and had a lot of fun!
We originally intended spending 5 weeks in the south of Puglia in the Salento area however the area is much smaller than we first imagined so we decided to move along earlier than planned. Lecce, Gallipoli, and many other towns in the area were very interesting to visit as was both east and west coasts. On this occasion we were not looking to lie on the beach but there are some very nice beach areas, both sandy and rocky, if you are wanting to soak up some sun.
When looking for restaurants, please take the advice of Cosimo as his recommendations were really great - good food, good...