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Ostuni for retirement?

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FlowerFairy
12/31/2015 02:26 EST

We are dual British/Australian citizens in our mid-late 60s and after spending the past 10 months in Ireland both the weather and trials of Irish real estate are contemplating Plan B, retire to Italy and because we like the sun and are pescatarians are thinking that the Ostuni region would suit. We would welcome comments (pros and cons) of living/retiring in Ostuni. Thanks in advance.

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Sanmarco1
1/4/2016 14:46 EST

Hello Flowerfairy, having bought a house in Puglia, near Locortondo three years ago we can highly recommend this area. We have recently sold our villa and returned to Australia however we miss Puglia very much and do plan to return even if our plans are to spend small amounts of time and not actually retire there. Of course the Italian bureaucracy is sometimes challenging but the people are very friendly and it's easy to soon feel at home. The weather is much like our QLD weather and the seafood and fresh produce really good.. A few problems can be to find an English speaking Dr and once a resident for over one year the need for an Italian driving licence however the British driving licence may be possible to be exchanged..if that is the correct word! Good luck ...Sue

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FlowerFairy
1/4/2016 16:20 EST

Thanks Sanmarco1. We have just arranged a short visit (5 days) to Ostuni in March. It will give us an idea of the feel of the place and Elite Puglia estate agents are going to show us a few properties. We know we are facing huge challenges without speaking the language, etc. I think it will be a matter that the heart will have to win over the sensible head. Since being in Ireland my husband has exchanged his Australian driving licence for an Irish one which allows him to drive in the Eurozone. We have given up on Ireland and unless we experience a 'eureka' moment in Italy I think it safe to say we will be returning Downunder. The problem for us is with having lived in Oz for 43 years, we did not visit Italy until 2014. If we had visited more often over the years, we would have a better idea of Italy and where to live. Thanks again for your comments.

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trentinoDave
1/5/2016 12:07 EST

I'm an American who lived and worked in Puglia for over a year. I have friends from that time that will never be forgotten. Living in a villa etc. In a place like Ostuni has some challenges. I had to have water brought in by truck and pumped into a tank. My oven ran off of propane and heating came by way of a pellet stove. Drying clothes outside on a drying rack, even in winter.
If you live in the city areas these things do change to be closer to the way you live now but the prices increase.
Can't remember the name of the restaurant we ate at in Ostuni but it was very good. You have picked a great location to search. I loved in the hills a few miles outside of Monopolies which I think is a great little town. City living in Lecce is not bad either! Good luck.

By the way, Trento is a first class town for living, quality of life... Doctors,etc.

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FlowerFairy
1/5/2016 12:28 EST

Thanks TrentinoDave for your input. We are looking forward to March when we will see for ourselves. Puglia certainly looks a very interesting area.

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zanzara72
1/12/2016 08:47 EST

Ostuni is not a region; it's a town in the province of Brindisi (pronounced BRIN-di-si, not brin-DI-si), which is in the REGION of Puglia.

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carlococuzzi
1/19/2016 07:33 EST

Hello FlowerFairy,

My wife and I are in the process of moving to Italy where we plan to enter into active retirement in a place called Ceglie Messapica, 20 minutes drive away from Ostuni.

We loved Ostuni and spent hours walking around looking at the houses, the people and places to eat. When it was time to eat, we found an outside bar with weirdly shaped bean bags and sat there taking in the sun and atmosphere all afternoon. It was so beautiful.

My wife intends to write her novel and I will continue to sell homes for CasaPuglia and we believe retirement should be a good balance between something enjoyable to do, lovely culture of course the sun :)

All the very best
Carlo

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FlowerFairy
1/19/2016 10:28 EST

Thanks Carlo, sounds very exciting! Interested to read you are with CasaPuglia. We are viewing a few properties with Elite Puglia in March when we are spending 5 days in Ostuni. We are very much looking forward to our visit.

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carlococuzzi
1/19/2016 11:06 EST

Hi FlowerFairy,

Sounds very exciting to be viewing a few properties in March for your 5 days in Ostuni!

We were doing all our viewings a year ago and found a place we can call home and going through the paperwork to finalize the purchase.

With CasaPuglia, I am working with Johan selling homes and its a dream come true. Helping people follow our path brings joy. Just google CasaPuglia if you want to find out more.

My mother comes from Abruzzo and I lived in the 'village' as a child for a while so moving to Puglia is like the feeling of coming home again as I have a LOT of relatives just 5hrs drive away.

My wife, Annie before she met me wanted to move to France upon retirement, but when she me, also fell in love with Puglia. In fact, Puglia was here idea :)

We will most likely be visiting in March so let us know how your getting on and maybe meet for coffee and cake.

Carlo

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whidden39
1/19/2016 15:00 EST

I bought my villa near Locorotondo from Antonio Sansonetti of Sansonetti Immobiliare. He has many listings and speaks English well. In fact he has bee such a help with all the myriad things I needed to do after moving into my new home. He is a great local resource. His website is http://www.sansonettimmobiliare.com/
He made the process very pleasant and he is very knowledgeable about the local market.

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FlowerFairy
1/19/2016 15:59 EST

Thanks for the heads up, always appreciated. Any knowledge of ElitePuglia?

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whidden39
1/20/2016 04:25 EST

I had a short association with Elite Puglia and found them to be professional and personable. They all appear to be expats from England. We saw some newly built properties and some existing villas. We were looking in August and some properties were let out and not immediately available for showing. The few properties we saw seemed either tired rental properties with poor finishes or new villas in remote areas. We were looking for a well established, year-round residential community where Italians and expats lived. I also wanted to be in the Valle d'Itria -- Locorotondo, Martina Franca, Ostuni, Cisternino, etc. And I had to have a pool. Those requirements limited what was available to view. But I think if I had given Elite Puglia more time, they would have continued scouting for me. When Sansonetti found what I was looking for, the process ended with all other estate agents. Another agency in the Ostuni, Carovigno, San Vito area is AltoSalento Immobiliare. Angela is the owner and she speaks English and other languages other than her native Italian. She had a wide variety of listings and I enjoyed working with her. Her website is very extensive. In the US, where I am from, agents share all listings on a "multiple listing service". So, you can maintain a relationship with one agent you like. Here in Italy, you must deal with several agents if you want to see more of what's available on the market. Some properties are shared, but it is not the norm across the landscape. Buona fortuna!

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FlowerFairy
1/20/2016 04:29 EST

Many thanks!

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carlococuzzi
1/20/2016 04:59 EST

Good luck FlowerFairy and trust your intuition.

You will know the place that feels right when you see it.

Exciting times!

Maybe we will stories one day in Ostuni. After our conversation, I was inspired to create a postcard about Ostuni that is going our to 100's of our happy people :)
http://casapuglia.com/postcard-from-ostuni/

Thank you for the inspiration.
Carlo

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GiovanniR
1/28/2018 15:36 EST

Hi Carlo (Carlococuzzi),
Im curious to know how things are working out for you and your wife. We, a family of four are seriously considering moving to Alto Salento with Ceglie being high up on our list. We have been actively researching the area and all of the amazing properties that are currently listed for sale. To be honest, the selection is a little overwhelming to say the least. So much to choose from...we have decided that a trip is warranted to get a better feel for the area. Would love to hear more about your experience and perhaps even a little advice. My wife is Pugliese, and I myself have family origins in Puglia. The biggest hurdle for me at the moment is the exchange rate...Cdn to Euro :((

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FlowerFairy
1/28/2018 17:26 EST

Feedback: We are now back in Australia. Went to Ireland in January 2015, departed June 2016. We sold everything in Australia as we had no intention of returning but to cut a long and sorry story short, the dysfunctional Real Estate system in Ireland and the wet weather finished us off! We did go to Ostuni in March 2016 but it did not strike a chord and we did not like the few properties we saw. We have had to start from scratch again in Australia (now 67 and 70) but frankly we find life here boring and are thinking (believe it or not) of perhaps selling up again. Having said all of that we have no regrets as we won't be thinking in years to come "what if?".

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velvet
1/28/2018 20:30 EST

Good on you for giving it a go. At least you tried.

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