Villa Elia


Gallipoli, Puglia

  • 17 Sleeps
  • 8  Bedrooms
  • 9  Bathrooms

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About the Villa

A fascinating, stylish, rambling Masseria with extensive gardens and pool.

Just a short drive from Gallipoli and some glorious sandy beaches, Villa Elia has recently been restored and refurbished to exacting standards. The interiors feature a very stylish blend of local, ethnic and contemporary pieces, many of which are originals from Brown's Hotel in London. The house is surrounded by acres of garden, fruit and olive trees and plenty of outside living areas making it a superb choice for reunions of family and friends.

"The quality of Villa Elia was great." Anon, Australia, July 2019

Villa Elia inspired works by contemporary artist Henry Hudson, in his ‘Pellegrino’ Exhibition, click here for more information about it and his stay at Villa Elia. Find out more >>

Villa Elia in the press:
World Travel Magazine, April/May 2017

Internet Connections Explained


All The Thinking Traveller's villas have some kind of Internet facility and, where possible, we try to ensure that this is an ADSL broadband Wi-Fi connection.

However, some rural areas and those far from the main towns and cities have not yet been connected to the high-speed broadband network. Therefore, in some of our villas we offer an alternative type of connection (specified in the amenities table of each individual villa page). 

Please note that although we work very hard to provide reliable internet service at our villas, these services are potentially erratic and can fail due to network failures completely out of our control. We regret that we cannot accept responsibility for loss of connection due to such network failures.

Here is some information about the most common connection types:

ADSL Broadband

This is by far the fastest and most reliable connection type available and uses traditional copper wires. In the UK, ADSL is most commonly referred to as broadband. It is suitable for most surfing requirements. Generally an ADSL line is only available within two miles of a telephone exchange, so in rural or more remote areas it usually not available.

An ADSL Internet connection in a villa can then be distributed using a Wi-Fi router, allowing a wireless connection with one or more device, or by a cable, which can be plugged into most laptops.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with an ADSL broadband connection.

3G WiFi Internet routers

In some of our villas, 3G Wi-Fi Internet connections are provided by a small router unit that uses the 3G mobile network, similar to that used by many mobile phones. The unit receives the signal and retransmits it wirelessly making it possible for a few devices to connect at the same time. 3G Wi-Fi units work best in the immediate area around them (i.e. they won’t create a Wi-Fi environment throughout the entire villa) and so the best connection will be within close range of the unit, usually in the same room.

The signal may be affected by weather conditions (i.e. strong winds or storms), and the overall strength depends entirely on the service provider's presence in the area. We cannot accept responsibility for slow or absent signals.

Please note that 3G Wi-Fi is provided for basic Internet browsing and checking of email only. Guests are requested not to download large files such as movies or make Skype video calls, as most units have a maximum monthly data usage of 10Gb.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with a normal ADSL connection. 


Mobile Broadband Internet Dongles/Keys

Dongles, or Internet keys, can be slotted into a USB port on your computer and use a data SIM card to connect to a 3G or other data network, normally supplied by mobile phone networks. At the villas where this is provided, clients are usually requested to buy their own data SIM card and top up as they go (details of where and how to purchase one are provided in the House Guide you will receive before departure).

The signal may be affected by weather conditions (i.e. strong winds or storms), and the overall strength depends entirely on the service provider's presence in the area. We cannot accept responsibility for slow or absent signals.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with a normal ADSL conection. 

WiMAX / Satellite connections

WiMAX and satellite Internet connections have performance levels similar to cabled ADSL hi-speed Internet connections. Wi-Fi access within the property is provided by a special modem-router. WiMAX and Satellite connections are present in our villas when there is no normal cabled broadband infrastructure in the area (still quite common in more remote areas). These kind of connections may be affected by atmospheric conditions, however, so we cannot guarantee that the signal will be as constant as cabled connections. The connection speed of this type connection in our Ionian Island villas is a little slower and comes with a limit of Mbs, so guests are requested not to download large files, stream films or use Skype to make calls.

Connecting to the Internet abroad using your smartphone or tablet (roaming)

As of June 2017, there are no roaming charges for EU citizens (with an EU provider) travelling within the EU. 

If you are travelling from outside the EU and wish to use your smartphone or tablet while on holiday, here are a few tips for cutting down on foreign data-roaming charges:

The first thing to do is to check with your provider to see if there are any special deals available (there's usually something on offer). You should also make sure your phone is unlocked (you can ask your operator to do this) if you wish to buy a foreign SIM card while you're away.

If there are no suitable deals available from your operator (and your phone/tablet has been unlocked), we recommend you buy a local prepaid data SIM card (details of where and how can be found in your House Guide). It might also be useful to bring a cheap handset, put your UK SIM into the cheap handset and the local data SIM into your smartphone, so that any data you access will be charged at the local rate. If you do buy a local SIM, most smart phones can then be used to provide a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing data access for up to five devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Finally, when abroad, switch off 3G, switch off ‘data roaming’ on iPhones or switch the priority to Wi-Fi rather than 3G on Symbian devices, thus avoiding charges when your phone attempts to access emails.



  • Accommodates (max)  17
  • Bedrooms  8
  • Double beds  5
  • Flexible doubles/twins  1
  • Single beds  1
  • Quad beds  1
  • Bathrooms  9
  • ... of which en suite  6
  • Daily maid service ¹
  • Cook 
  • Pizza chef 
  • Breakfast preparation 
  • Pool (LxW in metres) ² 18x5
  • Gated pool (LxW in metres) 
  • Air conditioning ³
  • Open fireplace 
  • Wine cellar 
  • Washing machine 
  • Dishwasher 
  • Microwave oven 
  • iPod docking station 
  • Home cinema 
  • Satellite TV 
  • DVD player 
  • Stereo 
  • ADSL Wi-Fi Internet [i] 
  • Wood-burning pizza oven 
  • Barbecue 
  • Private Parking 
  • Hammam/steam room 
  • Table football 
  • Billiards 
  • Bicycles 
  • Shopping service 
  • Masseur 
  • Yoga instructor 
  • Cookery classes 
  • Wine-tasting 
  • The Thinking Traveller local support 24/7 
= yes/present = optional/on request
¹ Mon to Sat. 2 staff for 2 hours a day for groups of up to 10 guests, 3 hours a day for groups of up to 17 guests. Mid-week change of linen and towels, extra service available on request
² single depth 1.4m.
³ in the bedrooms only (except the single)
includes Sky Sport

Pool open from April to the end of October and is gated


The interior of Villa Elia is unique, rambling and a challenge to communicate in "technical" terms. So here goes:

Inside: the impressive monumental arch over the main entrance leads directly to a huge, vaulted living area which continues right through the house to the gardens on the other side. Also on the ground floor are two large bedrooms, a double on a mezzanine level and an en-suite bathroom with shower and separate sunken bath below, and a double-twin with a fireplace and adjacent shower room, a second living room, a huge country kitchen with open fire, a cinema room with DVD player, projector and Nintendo Wii console, a billiards table in the restored chapel, and a hammam with relaxation room.

The original stone staircase, worn considerably by hundreds and thousands of footsteps over the centuries, leads first to a single room with shower room across the staircase, then up to the "dormitory" style quad room, with en-suite shower room and a large, panoramic terrace. On the same level as the quad, there is a large apartment with three double bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms: one with shower, one with separate tub and shower (the master), and one with a tub and shower attachment. Accommodation on this floor is completed by a kitchenette, handy for preparing tea and coffee or breakfast and a central living area. Heading further up the stairs (which begin to narrow) one comes to a small double room with en-suite shower room and, further up still, to the large roof terrace with panoramic 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside.

Furnishings throughout are eclectic, stylish and exotic. Furniture from Brown's Hotel London rubs shoulders with wooden sculptures from the Gambia, Dogon masks, Jordanian carpets from the Queen Rania Foundation and much more besides, making it a colourful United Nations of artefacts.

Outside: the large gardens are completely surrounded by ancient stone walls and features a dining area outside the kitchen, several shady areas for relaxing, lush lawns, an orchard with fig, orange and apples trees and a wide variety of plants, including a superb selection of aromatic herbs for the kitchen. The pool, situated just beyond the original well, has a fully equipped pool house with showers. The pool furniture is of a particularly high standard and there is a shady pergola area just beside the pool providing a welcome respite when the sun is at its zenith.


Think About

Villa Elia is a superb house for groups of friends or family. The owner's dogs live in a secure compound at the edge of the large grounds far from the house and will not disturb in any way.

If you're looking to accommodate more than the 17-guest maximum capacity of Villa Elia, or simply need more bedrooms, why not take a look at Casina Elia, a 3-bedroom villa owned by the same family just across the road from Villa Elia (bringing maximum total group size up to 23). If you do go for this option, i.e. taking both houses, please note that there is an extra charge of €1,575 to be paid at the time of booking to cover the extra cleaning and house management costs.

Safely enclosed on the grounds some way from the villa are a pair of friendly donkeys, Dolce and Gabbana.