A retreat from the world, Bosco degli Ulivi is tucked two miles inland, nearly at the tip of the peninsula. (...) As its name suggests, it lies in an olive grove, though the first sign of its presence is a flash of afternoon light on its windows. A three-bedroom property, it is a cocktail of modern and traditional. The villa is boldly 21st century: cement floors and hard counters in the open kitchen; white linen on the beds; a swimming pool outside. But the loamy red soil under the trees is classically Puglian. (...)
On our third evening, we return to Bosco degli Ulivi knowing that we have help. Think Puglia offers in-villa dining service. Gina Vesuvio sweeps in, ushers us away with the unquestionable authority of a kitchen matriarch, and prepares a feast. There are plates of prosciutto and heaped bowls of pork marinated sharply in lemon juice, and a fruit salad of local peaches and plums. We have little in the way of shared vocabulary, but the meal needs no translation. At the end of the night, she nods curtly and departs, leaving us to contemplate our bulging stomachs.