"The first thing I remember when I think about Villa Cappelli are its owners, Paul and Steven. Not in memory have I ever felt so welcomed and included in the lives of these two perfect strangers. It just seemed like the moment I checked into the villa, I was part of the family, and the day to days activities that happen there: sometimes there is olive picking, other moments the lavender in the garden is being harvested or tomatoes are being dried on the terrace. This is a place for travellers to visit if they are into committed to seeing the real Italy, which is more about breaking bread with beautiful friends than seeing the coliseum or the grand canal.
Paul and Steven are amazing cooks. When I visited, it sort of felt like every day was thanksgiving, or some celebration of friends and food. It goes without saying that the villa itself, positioned as it is on the ancient Roman road, Via Adriana, is an incredibly stunning and special place. The road is lined with umbrella pines, and I remember seeing a group of bikers staying at the villa, ridding it off into the acres and acres of olive groves that surround the villa in every direction. I know these guys have put great care into revealing and preserving the history and traditions of this part of the world, evident in the care they took with repairing and pouring all their energies into breathing life back into a place that they originally found in absolute ruin.
Honestly, what I can say about the villa, and recommend to friends, is that if you're in the market for a vacation that actually has another dimension to it; learning about a community, its food, its history, this place ticks every box. But it also is an amazing spot if you just want to loaf by the pool, have cocktails and catch up on reading. I am not a cyclist myself, but I know that Paul organises extensive bike excursions for guests throughout greater Puglia, as I saw many of them coming and going when I stayed there. They were also planning a wedding during my visit and I watched how excited the bride to be was as she walked through the villa's courtyard out into the rose covered garden, and I thought to myself, how awesome it would be to get married here!
The other cool aspect of staying at the villa was that you could make it as fancy or laid back an affair as you wanted. These guys will cook your meals, or let you run the kitchen. I will come back to see Villa Cappelli again, both for the beauty of the place and its owners."
Date of Stay: April 2015
Review Submitted: May 31, 2015