We're after a reliable sitter(s) to look after our house, land and four animals in southern Italy or Puglia. Sitters should be physically active, environmentally sensitive, self-reliant, and above all enthusiastic about country living. A love of animals is a must, and an interest in edible gardening a definite plus.
The house has been substantially refurbished over the past few years, and is now a rustic but comfortable rural dwelling. Apart from your bedrooom, there is a sunny breakfast room, a fully-equipped country kitchen, a utility room/larder, a modern bathroom, and a large living/dining room. The house has 6,000 square metres of land, with dozens of fruit trees, and more than twenty vegetable beds. It is located in lovely countryside, just three kilometres from Ostuni, one of Italy’s most beautiful towns. A regular bus service to Ostuni (which continues to Brindisi), stops about 100 metres from the house. A car is not necessary, athough occasional hires are recommended and can be covered by petty cash.
The housesitter or sitters, would have three main tasks:
1) Making sure that our dog (Tilly), our cat (Bella) and our pet pigs (Franco and P o), are happy and healthy. Tilly needs one good walk a day, and plenty of attention. Bella is very playful, affectionate and always hungry. Franco and P o just need lots of food and drinking water. Just to be clear, Tilly and Bella live in the house, while the pigs have their own enclosure.
2) Ensuring the house is kept safe and sound. This means being there as much as possible, and definitely no overnights away. It should not be regarded as a hotel or crash pad, but somewhere which is the focus of your stay in Puglia. On satisfactory completion of your sit, you would be welcome to stay on and use the house as a base to explore Puglia.
3) Taking care of the outside space. A proportion of the 6,000 square metres of land is given over to vegetable beds, and these need occasional watering, even during winter. The sitter or sitters will I hope regard tending (and eating) the plants as enjoyable rather than a chore. The rest of the land, pretty much looks after itself.
We are away from November until February , but have put November 26 as the start date, to ensure a thorough handover. If you would like to arrive a few days earlier, then you would be very welcome.
Winters in Puglia tend to be sunny and dry. But they can also be surprisingly cold, especially at night. We will do everything to ensure that you are as warm and comfortable as possible - plenty of wood for the living room stove, electric blanket, winter duvet, etc. However, anyone used to central heating, or who lives in a perpetually hot climate, needs to be prepared for colder conditions than they are familiar with.
Apart from electricity, the house is mostly off-the-grid. Water has to be delivered by truck (or collected from rainwater), and sewerage goes to a septic tank on the land. Managing water use is important, as is making sure no chemical nasties go onto the land. The main water cistern will be full when we leave, and with reasonable usage should last your stay. But if not, we will show you how to get a water delivery (which would be covered by petty cash).
We have internet access but there is no landline and mobile reception is flaky. We will leave a local sim and to make sure you are contactable in emergencies.
We will pay for utilities (electricity and internet) and leave petty cash to cover any incidental expenses which may arise as part of the assignment.