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“Italian love affair”

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Relais Villa Scinata
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 24, 2008

Wow, finally you can have a slice of heaven....! My job entails me to travel and travel we do. Combine it with a zest for life, ( after beating serious cancer two years ago) and a camera man, video production company that specialises in travel, what l found at this place was what l had been searching for, my only regret, was leaving it behind. The reason l mentioned the above was merely to allow you know that when l do find a diamond, like most, l want to tell people about it.
I have an Italian background and live in Australia and have been traveling to italy a lot, particularly in the last five years, again, l am stressing this to merely let you understand that this review comes from deep with in the heart and to let you understand the place and region where this beautiful B&B is situated and the region that it is in, Puglia, is some of the most breath taking and tranquil areas l have ever been too.
It was destiny that led us there, after spending two weeks driving down the Puglia region, we literally just was in the right place at the right time and now, l feel it is my duty to let the rest of the world know about this place, it's people and it's heart and soul.
From traveling around italy last year and seeing the wonders of Sicily, Sardinia and the usual tourist hot spots, l was in the airport in Milan and saw this book which detailed the Puglia region, well, l live by the idea that the one you miss is the one that you will never get back so four months later after returning from italy, we decided on going back there, ok, ok, l do have a love affair with this country as even like most places, including mine, Melbourne, Australia, we have our problems but italians life for life and not for work and this region even goes one step better, there hearts are as big and there arms are open...!
Ok,Ok, it has been like, three days since we got back now writing this, l am feeling emotional and feel the need to go back.
This region is not your average tourist spot, it predominately is local italian, with the odd German, very small amount of English and from what the locals kept telling us, we were the only Australians they had ever spoken too but don't let this deter you, it is not because of some small or yesteryear village, just no one ever bothers as they have never heard of it and the pulling power of the cities like Rome and the likes has a strong magnetic pull to it.
The surrounding beaches and country side has immense history,in fact, this very B&B dates back more than 1200 years, ok, the very modern and big and luxurious rooms are pretty new!
just the family that lives there and no, they are not 1200 years old either, in fact, in all my travels and l mean all my travels, including my fathers family who are near Rome, with the exception of some cool cousins, they have made us feel closer than that and so accommodating that to write this review, is the least l can do.
Ok, l could ramble on about this region and in fact l am seriously going to go back and do a travel series on the left of centre places in Europe but with returning from Lake Como, which was beautiful and flying into Bari, getting a car and driving down the coast, there is so much to see, just check out or google Polignano a mare, Santa Caterina, Santa Maria a bagno in the Puglia region and get a glimps of what it means to see such beauty, ok, l am going off the track and l will get back to the place, Scinata Dimora Antica, the B&b in Nardo but actually five mintues by car from Santa Caterina.
We drove into the service station about 50 meters from the B&B and asked the owner, Fernando if he knew of any places near by, he pointed to this Mansion and l was like, hmmm, l think he has got it wrong, l am so glad he got it right as when we drove down this stupendous driveway, all you could hear were birds and all you could see was lush greens with a carpark that had shade cloth protecting the cars from heat and pine cones, this place is so amazing, have l said that already, l thought l was in some contessas place and then the some of the family came to the grand old doors and were like, no, this is a B&B, well they said the only had the big apartment left and we could have it for minimum of two nights, hmmm, eight nights later, we reluctantly left.
We paid 90 Euros as it was, low season, July, no actually it is so cheap and when we got in the room, man, it was huge, with a big kitchen that then led into the main bedroom, basically two ajoining rooms and a very nice bathroom to match, after always having to be at breakfast between 6.30 and 10.30 at most places, here, they said the magic words, e leave you coffee, breakfast, Euro breakfast all here so you can have it when you like, not to mention the normal size fridge, well, two days later, we bought some local made pasta sauce, and cooked up a treat, not to mention downing a few bottles of stunning local white wine that was chilled to perfection...!
Look, l have rattled on for ages and l will post some video l took and some pictures with some more info on the place but l can not be more grateful to the owners of this place for showing what it is like to have big hearts and open arms and allowing us to sample some of the best beaches and best food and so so cheap too to eat in this region, hey, just ask Bill gates who was seen near by and some wealthy ENglishman who has bought five million Euro of property there, they say that this is the new Tuscany but it is better than that, it is it's own identity.
I could not rate this B&B any higher and if there were stars for B&B's then it would be "Seven' as the huge property that it is based on and it's tranquil surround with two, not on but two air conditioners gave us a real holiday and we had the best sleep.
There is no pool but a Roman style pool is on the cards next year .
From me, Michael d. it is a pleasure to be able to write and even though l want to keep it all to myself, get there and experience it yourself.
P.S I will post those pictures and videos soon, regards and of course, ciao, Michele

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank Michele1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 - 18 of 119 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2017
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Stayed: August 2017
Thank Amelia C
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Reviewed August 19, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: August 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank Fiorella S
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Reviewed August 13, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: August 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank Katja P
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Reviewed August 7, 2017
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Stayed: July 2017, traveled with family
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
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Reviewed August 2, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: July 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank Sonia P
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Reviewed July 20, 2017
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Stayed: July 2017, traveled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank marcoaU7236DL
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scinata, Proprietario at Relais Villa Scinata, responded to this reviewResponded July 21, 2017
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Additional Information about Relais Villa Scinata

Address: Via Santa Caterina 201 | Porto Selvaggio, 73048 Santa Caterina, Nardo, Italy
Location: Italy > Puglia > Province of Lecce > Nardo > Santa Caterina
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Caterina
Price Range: $78 - $195 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Relais Villa Scinata is a historic guest house located on a hill 500 meters from the Ionian sea of Porto Selvaggio and few kilometers from Gallipoli, Lecce, Otranto and Leuca. Surrounded by a park of 5 acres with tall trees and ancient olive trees, the garden is peaceful and relaxing walks in the shadow readings of the foliage. Has within junior and superior suites and independent air-conditioned rooms with facilities from 2 to 4 people, each existing amenities (TV, DVD, WiFi wireless internet) and outdoor area of relevance. Big size jacuzzi on green, represents the ideal setting for a relaxing holiday immersed in the quietness of the Salento. Use this charming Mediterranean environment offers the guests stay the natural beauty of the beach of Porto Selvaggio, the intoxicating flavors of local cuisine and cultural heritage that the extended Puglia region still preserves intact. ... more   less 
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