Our move to Puglia – the real Italy

Richard & Noirin

How we ended up, living here in Puglia with our beautiful holiday homes available for you to rent –  Villa Nicola and Villa Suzannah –  was as much a surprise to ourselves, as it was to all of our friends and people who knew us. Our love for Italy was kindled on a family holiday in 2001 which, apart from a one night stop-over in Venice in 1986 and another near Pompeii at the same time, was our first taste of the country.

Years of daily grind from setting up and continually expanding our business, whilst working 7 days a week had started to jaundice us, and we finally took time from the treadmill in summer of 1997 to take our first family holiday. On our return home from this break, we vowed that in future we would take time out every year, because our children were growing up fast and we had always been putting work first.

In 2001 our younger son, then 12 years old had done a school project on San Marino. We were cajoled by him to include it as a destination for oursummer holiday that year. We also toured south to Naples and Sorrento and discovered more of Italy to enjoy. Returning home to Ireland in a soggy, boggy, foggy summer after a wonderful holiday, we played with the idea of perhaps one day buying a holiday home in Italy, as an escape from the treadmill at work.

In 2002, holiday time again found us in Italy, we visited Puglia and were enchanted by it, being stunned to find it so different from the descriptions in the few available guidebooks at the time, which we began to suspect might have been written by armchair travelers, just basing their descriptions on previously read 19th century travelogues on the region.

In 2003 we bought a beautiful seaside place, Villa Sun Beach, which we later mainly used for long-weekend wintertime breaks.

In 2006 we started an appraisal of our lives. We were continually expanding a business which we were constantly tied to. Our children were entering adulthood and choosing their own paths in life, which did not include a career in our own business. We were faced with a fork in the road… to continue as we were – or change everything about the life that we were used to.

Noirin and I discussed the idea of us selling our home in Ireland and using the proceeds to relocate, whilst selling or leasing out the family business. With our daughter at University in Ireland, it just left our son Simon, who decided after he finished school in 2007 that he would try Italy for a year. If it didn’t work out for him he could return and look for a career back home in Ireland. We visited Puglia several times more that year  to look at various potential properties. The time came when the big decisions were finally made and we set the plan in motion in 2007.

We leased out our business and sold our house in Ireland, when our own home here in Puglia had been renovated and ready. With our original holiday home Villa Sun Beach being rented out to guests, after extensive reconstruction and renovation we added Villa Nicola, thereby bringing the number of PlaceinPuglia holiday Villas to two. In 2012 Villa Azzurra was included to our range. Villa Suzannah was acquired and renovated in 2014 – thus giving an option of 4 different but all beautiful properties for you to holiday in.

However nearly 20 years from when we first re-located, the hard decision has been taken to start winding down and so we have sold Villas Sun Beach and Villa Azzurra to families that we are sure will love and enjoy them in the future, every bit as much as we have.

As suitable buyers are found in the future, we will also retire from Villa Nicola and Villa Suzannah, though we may like to delay that for a little longer… we shall see what the future holds.

We still adore our present life here, from our early morning frothy cappuccino and pastry, still hot from the local bakery, to evening-time when the sun’s molten copper orb finally sinks into the distant olive groves. We have made wonderful friends both with the local Italians  whilst living here who throughout all our comings and goings have been supportive and helpful, and have been responsible for encouraging our present lifestyle here in Puglia.

Now we would welcome you to enjoy the experience of Puglia as well, in one of our remaining holiday villas. Villa Nicola located in the beautiful seaside village of Lendinuso on the shores of the Adriatic sea and Villa Suzannah – only 250 metres from the sandy beaches at Lendinuso’s south Piazza.

So come on over here to Puglia and experience a holiday in one of them for yourselves.

Richard & Noirin Bates