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Time to visit Italia!
15th June 2016

We’re just back from Puglia, Italy. The Courtyard is a new place for villas4kids when we first saw it we loved its rustic Italian simplicity and village setting. It is a couple of old, stone courtyards linked a round a stepped pool and garden luscious with lavender, rosemary and thyme.

There are eight flats, all one and two bedroom (you can add cots and beds as needed), each with their own shaded outdoor eating area. Our favourite might have been Anna with a terrace out to the pool but it was booked so we chose Rosa . Rosa is up a flight of stairs from the pool and has a gate at the top. Some might be put off by the stairs but we live in a town house so we don’t worry about them much and we liked being able to withdraw from the pool area to our own world. The bigger girls were thrilled with the high bunk beds and we loved our large bedroom and bed at the back of the house. The flat reminded me of an old, very simple chapel. Limestone walls, cool, dim interiors with old wooden shutters so you rarely need the air con turned on even in the heat of the day.

The central pool and garden with a play area were an immediate hit with their girls. We arrived late in the evening and they threw themselves in and would have been perfectly happily have spent the week there, playing with other kids had we not dragged them to the beaches. The pool has a shallow section that is about 9 inches deep – ideal for our 18 month old. It also has steps that our three year old enjoyed clambering on and off. Our five year old mastered the remaining length under water and spent most of the holiday fishing toys off the bottom.

Outings included a really deep, salt water pool perched above the Med with an old fashioned diving board. The shallow, sandy beaches of Pescoluse and Gallipoli – which were abuzz with Italian life. The village restaurants that enable free-style children feeding as they run about and make friends. The historic town and beach of Otranto. Maybe our favourite thing was hanging out in the local square, where everyone meets: little kids, pre-teens, teens, couples, families, cyclists, old folk and dogs. Although a nights of star gazing from our terrace when we spotted the International Space Station was really exciting.

The girls wouldn’t agree of course: they’d say it was the pool and the new friends they met. That and the strawberry gelato.

If fancy taking yours, drop us a line. If your kids are pre-school, then September is a perfect time to go. You fly into Bari or Brindisi.

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