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ANDREW JACKNESS AND CANDICE DONNELLY

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE IN PUGLIA

This is a diary of our progress

April 2019 we traveled to Puglia to buy a house.  I'm not sure that we really thought we would do it, but we did.  Here's how it happened.  And how a couple-married costume and film designers managed to agree that this was the right thing to do; and the right place to do it, while sharing our discoveries.  Here's how it's going.

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WE WERE LOOKING IN SOUTHERN LECCE

For months from New York Candy had tried to make appointments with realtors in various places; but aside from one, most respond when you're there and ready to look.  
Just as common is the local rumor mill.  When people find out that an outsider is in their neighborhood looking, everyone has a suggestion.  The bar is the best place to start.  Introducing yourself is the easiest way to become friends with the locals.  It helps to speak Italian.  We speak enough, but the three weeks in April that we spent in Puglia, were like an Italian immersion class.

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Candice had gotten Italian citizenship in the late 90's, and through a convoluted and sometimes inexplicable process, I had finally become a citizen myself in 2018.

We had been to Puglia the year before staying outside of Otranto, and loved it.  There was a consideration of going back; but when coincidently I heard from our friend Eve, who lives in Rome that she had bought, and was renovating a place in Marittima Del Diso, and that there was a small community of artists and filmmakers in the area, it helped us decide on where we were going to look.

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Puglia is not Tuscany
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Puglia, the heel of the boot of Italy is long, and the area around Bari which has the major airport is easier for Europeans to get to, so the larger number of foreigners stay north of Lecce.  Italians are the majority of summer residents of Salento.  
On our second trip we traveled to Monopoli and spent several days investigating that part of Puglia: Polignano a Mare, Oria, Francavilla, Sava, Putignano. 
Diego Moretto, a realtor from Oria Candice had contacted showed us some great things, was charming, and would be the last agent we worked with who spoke english well.  We had been to Ostuni and Alberobello the previous visit, and didn't have an interest in the picturesque stone Trulli of that area, having small rooms with little light.

 

The architecture of Puglia is predominantly stone, and rooms are designed around columns with arched ceilings called "volte a stella."  These vaulted ceilings make for high rooms, and very high 2nd floors with many steps to climb.  The ceilings are often defined with painted lines showing the shapes of the vaults.  

April 6, 2019

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PUGLIA IS NOT TUSCANY

The bay of Otranto

Around Bari

Alberobello, Oria, Francavilla, Monopoli, Putignano Al Mare, Polignano, Sava

Our real interest was farther south, down to Lecce the lower part of the heel of the Italian boot.  The province is home to the beautiful city of Lecce, filled with baroque architecture and a large historic center, it's one of the most beautiful cities in Italy.  The twisting streets follow no rule, and it's easy to get completely turned around and lost while gawking at the golden buildings constructed with "Leccese" stone, the most common of materials in Puglia.