Second week in October 2013 - a week earlier or a week later and the weather would have been wonderful. But we'd arrived to torrential rain and thought the holiday was going to be a disaster. NOT SO!!
First, the apartment was charming, comfortable and ideally placed to explore the wonderful old town and restaurants of Ostunl. And the mountains of local information supplied by our hosts Angela and Tim left us in no doubt there were rich veins of culture and gastronomy to be mined in the region.
Ostuni is centrally placed to explore the many delights of Puglia, which we did in abundance, having only managed one successful sunny day on the beach. But we ended up being almost thankful for the inclement (but always warm) weather that forced us over the course of the week to thoroughly tour and investigate the southern area, from the delightful coastal towns of Polignano and Monopoli, down to the baroque gem of Lecce in the south, across to Taranto and back through the central areas and their magical hilltop towns - the stand-out one being, Locorotundo,
And now, for me, the most important part - the food. Boy was it good!! I'm half Italian and so is my wife so we are not easily impressed but I have to say we both thought it the best food we've ever had in Italy, and much to our amazement, the most reasonably priced. The meals were too numerous list but if if you like both sea food and pasta and you only eat out twice on your whole holiday, here's what to do.
For the ultimate Pasta (and here's a paradox) go to the DELFINO FISHMONGERS just up the hill from the apartment. It has a few basic tables outside, so if you don't want to cook their fish at home they will cook and serve your choice from its incredible array of fresh daily catches. I asked them to make me a sea food pasta with Rici (fresh sea urchin roe) - an idea I'd got from a Rick Stein food programme and always wanted try. It was so good we revisited another two evenings for the same dish, unheard of for us. I urge you try it.
For the ultimate sea food meal go to the Ristorante Miramare da Michele near the Torre at Santa Sabina. It's situated on a tiny harbour wall in a small cove with attendant beach where fishermen sell their daily catch direct from their tiny, beached boats beneath the restaurant's kitchen windows - and you don't get fresher than that! We eat there three times and it just got better and better. Difficult to recommend just one thing because it depends on the daily catch, but whatever it is, the level of cooking expertise and presentation are first class - and again - great value for money!
The beauty of Puglia was that it was the first time that an intended beach holiday having gone pear shaped(and there have been a few) where we found so much else to do to turn a disaster into a triumph. Puglia was a truly memorable destination to which we will certainly return and hope to incorporate the only missing ingredient of our recent trip - the wonderful southern Italian weather.
Thanks Angela and Tim, we couldn't have done it without your help, encouragement and spot on accommodation.
Kadi and Kim
Booking the apartment was easy and straightforward. Info received from Angela and Tim on Ostuni was very comprehensive.
The apartment was clean, very well equipped and spacious for the 4 of us.
We didn’t cook as we were so close to lots restaurants, only problem was choosing where to eat! Little shop just round the corner to get milk etc.
We had a perfect break for 4 nights. Hired a car – not the easiest roads to navigate in Ostuni, but we soon got the hang of it. Jane the house manager was most helpful. Would highly recommend L’Ombroso and can’t wait to go back.
This is our 4th stay at this beautiful apartment and we have booked for next year too! Once you have climbed two flights of stairs the apartment is then all on one level with the most beautiful terrace and an amazing view of the old town of Ostuni as well as its lovely Cathedral.
The apartment consists of an open plan lounge and kitchen (with every facility you could want to prepare family meals); there is a family bathroom off the lounge as well as a separate bedroom with canopied double bed and bath as well as an ensuite toilet and basin in the bedroom. The open plan area is full of light with 3 pairs of french doors; there are 3 sofas for lazing on (or for sleeping if you need more than the double bedroom).
The whole place is air conditioned and it really is a pleasure to stay there. On the beautifully paved terrace there is a large table/chairs and a huge parasol as well as sun loungers. There is also a staircase up to the roof terrace above the lounge and bedroom for even more stunning views (and hanging out the washing if you have used the washing machine!). Ostuni is a lovely town and La Terrazza is an amazing apartment.
Finally our only connection with the owners is as returning and satisfied guests.
Just got back from a wonderful weeks break in this delightful, perfectly located apartment. Everything has been thought of by Tim and Angela. Including a very welcome welcome pack. Prosecco included. Highly accurate descriptions and directions of sights and restaurants were also supplied. Which immediately get you involved in Ostuni life.
The apartment even has a washing machine on the balcony to rid shirts and blouses of the unavoidable tomato based sauce stains. (Or is that just us!!)
The town is very special. We slipped into the Italian lifestyle of long lunches, afternoons on the roof terrace, then unusually for us old fogies, very late nights in the really cool bars. A bar called Passion is a must. There you will find Franco, the flamboyant owner, who will keep you highly entertained!
Every place that we ate in was fantastic and I've got a hunch that there isn't a bad restaurant there.
We did have one very special evening dining at a farm called Masseria Il Frantoio. Ten minutes in a cab. Everything you eat there is grown on the farm. They rarely serve anything twice and I guarantee you will have a very memorable evening.
We became Italian for a week and it's something we can't wait to do again.
Such a beautiful apartment. Tastefully decorated and amazing stone architecture. Space to sit at the table on the terrace. Really romantic and cosy. Lots to see in Ostuni and the surrounding area. Brilliant restaurants, shops, lovely beaches and countryside. I would definitely recommend hiring a car (smart cars most practical) to make the most of the area. The owners provide a huge amount of advice and information which really helps you to make the most of your stay and have an authentic Italian experience. I can't recommend L'Alcova highly enough!
This is a wonderful apartment with air conditioning and wi-fi and an array of books and films to view which was an asset for our 15 year old son. The decor was perfect with a shabby chic theme. It was a treat to wander around the town each evening and soak in the atmosphere with each trip uncovering new gems! Fantastic cafe culture and our excellent hosts, Tim and Angela's tour guide information and tips allowed each day to be completely different. We loved the views of the sea and city from spectacular roof terrace and had the opportunity to learn Italian cooking from AnnaMaria and more importantly how to make orriechete! A repeat visit to this property is a must!
My husband and I stayed at l'alcova to celebrate our wedding anniversary, it was perfect! We have visited puglia a couple of times before but always stayed just outside ostuni, it was lovely to be in the town this time. L'alcova is a beautiful, bijou apartment, but has everything that you need! Angela and TIm were brilliant at passing on lots of valuable local knowledge on restaurants, beaches etc and we really appreciated the wonderful arrival pack including fresh bread and prosecco! It was a fabulous holiday and we hope to return shortly!