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Press

6 celebrities, 1 holiday home

What happens when six celebrities share a holiday home? Karen Robinson visits an Italian villa owned by the singer Will Young, the Bond girl Eva Green and their showbiz friends.

"I am heading for... a luxurious villa behind high walls and electric gates, near Gallipoli, on the western coast of Italy's "heel", which was bought and restored by a consortium of famous names.

"The owners of Villa San Vincenzo are: the singer and actor Will Young; a Bond girl, Eva Green; and the television presenters Dermot O'Leary (The X Factor), Steve Jones (The X Factor USE), Tess Daly (strictly Come Dancing) and her husband, Vernon Kay (Family Fortunes). Making up the numbers are the creator of Moshi Monsters, Michael Acton Smith, and James Gallimore, a financial adviser.

"(They have) created a holiday haven in "classical crossed with Mediterranean style" that offers equal opportunities for deep peace and serious partying. Two single-storey 200-year-old houses with grand vaulted ceilings have been handsomely restored with local stone and tiles, neutral paint colours, eclectic old furniture and classy bathrooms. One has three bedroom suites the other two; both have a kitchen and a large living-dining room.

"Wander the classical colonnades and gravelled walkways through the seven acres of olive and fruit trees, impeccably tended by the gardener, Antonio, and you'll find yourselves at the true heart of villa life. In a large gated area - where the heated pool has an alarm, in case of straying children - is a pool house with a kitchen that can be turned into a bar when the mood transforms from outdoor dining at the 12-seater table to serious partying. There is LED lighting, a built-in sound system and a huge cinema screen on the far side of the pool and behind the screen is the DJ platform.

"Elsewhere, a sitting area with an open fire becomes an impromptu fish-grilling kitchen. Duncan James, from the boyband Blue, gutted and coked produce from Gallipoli's fish market there this summer, and tweeted about the experience. Alternatively, it can be a cosy area for cooler autumn nights.

"Villa San Vincenzo is the last word in relaxed showbiz luxe, but it takes work and planning to keep it that way.

"Rent it through Think Puglia."

Sunday Times Home, 28th October 2012 | Think Puglia


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