The Thinking Traveller launches Think Puglia - source of the most desirable rental villas in PugliaAuthor: Max Lane
When we launched Think Sicily in November 2002, we filled a gap in the market. No reputable villa rental company had ever taken Sicily seriously as a destination and there were almost no high quality rental villas in Sicily. Seven full seasons have gone by, and the Sicilian villa rental landscape is unrecognisable. We have raised the bar dramatically and Think Sicily now leads a quality villa rental sector that has contributed to a huge resurgence of Sicily as a desirable destination. The most recent confirmation of this vastly enhanced profile was when, in September 2009, Sicily was voted "best of the best" in the annual Conde Nast Traveller Readers Awards. In the same awards, The Thinking Traveller was again recognised (for the second time in three years) as one of the top 10 villa rental companies in the world.
So why expand to Puglia?
Since our first clients returned home with smiles on their faces in 2002, people have been asking "do you do other areas?". Finally, last year, when a client who had taken a Think Sicily villa for one month in each of six successive years, asked us "do you know anyone in Puglia?" we felt we couldn't possibly let them travel without us. So we called some friends and went to "the heel" of Italy to take a look. There we found a wonderful area with some fantastic people, towns and beaches. We also found the perfect villa for our loyal client, in the beautiful Salento peninsular, which although relatively little known outside Italy, is home to some of Italy's best loved beaches and has recently become a magnet for leading figures in Italian fashion and show business.
Key to our business is locating the most desirable villas in an area, securing exclusive contracts so that we know we will be able to manage them properly and then identifying the people who will provide award winning service on the ground. We've been to Puglia several times over the past year, and have established some privileged relationships with people we can trust to fulfill the expectations of our clients.
As with Think Sicily, we are starting out with a small selection of hand-picked gems, the result being that our Think Puglia villas are the most desirable in Puglia's Salento Peninsular. Villa Blanca or La Sarica for Luxury, Villa Elia for a mix of style and history, Le Antiche Pajare for a fabulous old trullo on the beach.... and expect to see a few more join the Think Puglia range over the coming months.
All members of our London team have already or will shortly be visiting all these villas so that our clients can count on the same level of expert advice when selecting their villa that they have become used to with Think Sicily.
We'd love to talk to you about Think Puglia, and we've got plenty of news, views and photos to share with you... we're also very keen to discuss press trips and ideas for features. One interesting possibility, for example, is provided by the new Ryanair flight connecting Trapani (Sicily) to Brindisi (Puglia).... now there's food for thought for The Thinking Traveller!
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