We are considering moving our young

jayneandanthony Image
08/24/2014 - 18:04

We are considering moving our young family to Puglia and are wondering if anyone out there has any information / opinions on the area around Ostuni.  We are undecided as to whether we should live in an apartment in town or a small house in the country.  Does anyone know of any areas to avoid, or if any are better / safer than others?  Does anyone have any experience of sending young children to school around Ostuni?  Any information will be greatly appreciated.Another point is this: we've seen (small) houses with a couple of acres of olive groves advertised for incredible prices.  We would be willing to add an extension / pay for renovations, but we are worried these prices seem too good to be true.  Compared with the UK, the beauty of the area and what you get for your money is very appealing but we're wondering if there's a catch?  We want to get immersed in learning the language and putting our cash into a place that we are willing to own forever.  We're not worried about capital growth or rental yield, it's about a change of lifestyle.Please let us know what you know about the area and any postives / negatives you've experienced from living there.  We holidayed outside Ostuni a number of years ago and we're planning a research trip in October, probably to look for somewhere to rent and to view some properties to buy.Feel free to PM us if you have a place that you are willing to rent for a few months too. 



We have had a trullo just outside Ostuni for over eight years.  We love it but we are a semi-retired couple.  Over the years we have seen a lot of families from the UK be a bit disappointed with their Italian dream.  The education system seems to be very rigid, with little time given to physical sports or creativitiy.  Also you may imagine a lovely outdoors lifestyle for your children.  Unfortunately, Italian parents are very over-protective and it is very rare to see children playing outside at all.A town property would probably help your children integrate more easily as they can feel very isolated in a country property and you would find you were a permanent taxi service.The winter over here can also be quite difficult depending on the property but most properties are not insulated and have insufficient heating - it can be very cold and damp.  The dampness is the main problem.  Energy costs can be very high and the reason many properties are so cheap is that they can only be lived in in the summer.  Having building work done is very costly.There are many considerations but renting before you burn your boats and sell up in the UK would give you a good idea of whether you wanted to permanently relocate.  A year out for children of most ages is beneficial and it would give you an idea of location, town or country, etc.Making a living over here can be difficult, some manage it but it can be very hard work and take a long time to get established.  If you can continue working over the internet you should be alright.Sorry not to be more encouraging but would prefer to be honest.  Good luck with your new adventure and hope it all works out..  

Thank you so much all, and please, be brutally honest. It's a big decision for us and we want to manage expectations and have a balanced view. I'll definitely contact Marco the builder, thanks for the contact.Rather than ask for areas to avoid ( some might feel awful answering that one), are there any country areas you would recommend outside of Ostuni or elsewhere?  The thought of outside space after living in London is very appealing and thanks for the tip regarding getting carried away with loads of land. We are really looking forward to our research trip. Renting for a while is a good suggestion. We'll let you know how we get on.If anyone can give examples of costings for draught proofing and heating, please write away. We'll find it very interesting reading! I'm also anticipating new electrics for any place we buy as I want it to be safe. Any advice is welcomed, we don't find informed opinions negative, it's all part of information gathering! Massive thanks for the answers so far smiley

We have a home outside of Ostuni which we bought 11 years ago. My 20 year old son was yes 9 at the time! We love the area and some of his closest friends are from Ostuni, which has been a dream because we bought because it is so beautiful, friendly warm and heavenly and so close to the Adriatic and the Italian influence on our family has been and will continue to be a magical bonus. Integrating has not been difficult but some administration for bill paying of electricity is interesting because they have eco allowances of tariffs for example and we are not on mains water but a builder friend of ours from England who stayed with us  was astonished at how rapidly the response was to unblock a drain or refill our water. His friends who went to the Latin School (they appear to help you select school on strengths there are Science specific for example)are amazingly well travelled from an early age so I'm not sure I would say they are overly protected just that in Italy it is all about the family who share expereinces together. Families spend time on the beach and naturally a lot of Italian families live in cities rather than in the countryside but may have a holiday home in a rural location. Having brought my son up in the Cotswolds he is used to not being surrounded by friends next door but country living is sensational for kids. It's always more difficult to earn in a rural location. Our farmhouse in Gloucestershire can feel damp and cold in the winter but we don't plan to leave after 17 years, we know what to do. My son's best friend in Puglia is now at the University of Essex and first went to London by himself at 16 and learnt a lot. Equally my son, after exploring Ostuni for 11 years is happy to explore every aspect of London as he has always done with all the layers that exist in the natural world.Just outside Ostuni would provide the best of both worlds. Having stayed in the area throughout the seasons it is quiet in the winter but there are always restaurants open and festivals around the place. Music, food, laughter and friendship is never far away. My son will embark on his Italian Odyssey next year after three years of a four year Engineering Course and it won't be a mapped out Gap Year, but in the true spirit of an Epic and with his Italian and Greek friends. We have been broken into by some local ragazzi while we were away but nothing was stolen possibly because we don't have much to take. Bikes appear to be top of the list around here in Gloucestershire!  Good Luck.

Tarantbella, what a wonderful account of your life in Puglia, thanks so much for sharing. I feel buoyed by it. My children are 4 and I very much want them to speak Italian and enjoy their childhood in a rural setting. They were born in London and of course, when they are older I want them to experience a big city again. We'll keep you all posted.Thanks again for your time everyone  

Try getting in touch with this guy...he's very good.www.sites.google.com/site/buildersinspectionsHe is a mine of information, for a few hundred euros he can tell exactly what is involved with the house you are looking at...

We live near the Flying Pigs and agree totally with their advice, we spent a great deal of time, energy and dosh getting our house insulated and draught proofed ready for the winter. We have 130 olive trees and the usual mix of fruit trees, managing the land is a full time job!                                                                                                         You can get a lot for your money down here but don't bite off more than you can chew.wink