Classic 10 room country villa with high ceilings and potential for large family villa or B&B.
This villa has beautiful high vaulted ceilings and large rooms. It is situated on a beautiful plot of land with great views over the surrounding country side and has a large roof terrace.
Part of the hose is over 200 years old, all made by using local stone, called tufo. The house was extended and modernized in 1960, using tufo and concrete.
The accommodation comprises of 8 rooms and is currently laid out as two very spacious double bedrooms each of 30 sq.m with beautiful old vaulted ceilings, 2 bathrooms, living room, dining room and kitchen. The living room has doors straight out to the covered veranda as well as the kitchen having its own entrance from the terrace for kitchen deliveries.
The other half of the ground floor of the villa to the east has three rooms; the original kitchen with the pizza/bread oven; the inner room (used to collect the grapes for pressing and connected to the underground large storage with several large vine-containers); and the garage; which can be converted to a self-contained apartment with 1-2 bedrooms, bathroom and open plan kitchen.
The owner's story:
Well, to a certain degree it was why not? My wife and I had both spent time in Italy (she being Italian and me being a New Zealander who likes to wander) and we both liked it. The allure of the south with its Mediterranean heat, famous hospitality and access to three different seas (Adriatic, Ionian and Tyrrenhian) sealed the deal. We looked at a number of houses, but once we had seen this one, nothing could compete. It was huge, quirky and unique. When we arrived to view it, the house had not been properly lived in for decades and so had a tangible air of neglect to it. However, once through the gates the grounds themselves stood out straight away. Stone walls, pine trees, an outbuilding, olive grove and what (we soon discovered) is the largest grotto in anybody's backyard in the area; complete with its own garage door.
Inside, things got even more interesting. As soon as we walked through the front door, the high vaulted ceiling just blew us away. Nearly every room on the ground floor has a vaulted ceiling in excess of four metres high, giving that space that we had craved while living in London; the bedrooms the biggest we had ever been in. Two garages, two bathrooms, seriously massive basement, outside shelter for whatever we wanted...It was sold to us instantly.
After moving in we had all the major work done. The bathrooms had been...shall we say...somewhat unloved. I knew there was a small problem when, in the middle of the night, water shot out of the high cistern and landed on my head after flushing the toilet. So, they were both completely ripped out and two brand spanking new bathrooms built by local guys who have since become good friends. While we were at it, we had the place completely rewired, new double glazed windows, fly-screens and a couple of pellet heaters put in. Now we were ship shape
It was with a little trepidation that we planned to first venture to the neighbour's house. You never know...will they be nice, or will we regret meeting them? However, they beat us to it, arriving to say hello and carrying a bag of fresh eggs and freshly baked focaccia. Luckily, you couldn't meet nicer people...which is a thread we have pretty much discovered all over the area. The neighbours own and operate an organic dairy farm, and we get our freshly made cheese (three types), free-range eggs and occasional focaccia refills from them. We also used to get fresh milk, but it was so creamy my waste-line began to strenuously object. Vito (so many 'Vito's here) also ploughs our olive grove for us every few months. Oh yes! The olive grove. We have over forty trees and finally started harvesting our own olives last year. We managed about one third of the trees, took them to a place in Castellaneta where they will press them for you, and for less than fifty Euros (and after a string of coffees and a beer or two at the bar next door) ended up with 42 litres of virgin olive oil so good you virtually want to drink it!
Castellaneta lies to the south, about fifteen minutes by car. Birthplace of Rudolf Valentino (my grandmother would have loved that, as she had quite a thing for the 'The Sheik') it's a town with good bars, restaurants and everything you need that you may not find in Gioia del C.