Relais l ‘Oliveto – “Il Noce”: A Review of our Airbnb Stay in Surano, Puglia

Updated August 4, 2023 | Original Post-June 26, 2022

There’s only one Airbnb I can think of that my family repeatedly talks about, in a good way, of course. Don’t get me wrong, we have stayed at plenty of Airbnbs and most have been positive experiences. But, if there’s one that stands out the most, it’s a farmhouse style townhome in Puglia. During our week long roadtrip through the heel of Italy’s boot, staying at this Airbnb was one of the highlights of our visit; this Airbnb had it all. Here is our review of our Airbnb stay at Relais l ‘Oliveto and why we found it to be a hidden gem in Puglia.

Relais l’Oliveto at First Glance

Relais l’Oliveto is located in Surano, Puglia, a small town situated in the province of Lecce in the Salento region of Southern Apulia (aka Puglia) in southeast Italy. Though the town is small, yet charming, it is very close to many popular sites and attractions (more on that in a bit). This makes it a perfect home base location to travel to different areas of Southern Puglia. It’s not a tourist-laden town, but it feels like you are staying off the beaten path.

I found Relais l’Oliveto while I was searching for that perfect stay, “away from it all” and within our budget. Additionally, I wanted to be close enough to the city of Otranto and the beaches in the area. Surano was the perfect medium for this.

Driving into Surano, at first impression, there’s not much to see. It’s tiny and there was no crowd of tourists walking around, but I was ok with that. As we pulled into a gate with a stone wall surrounding this small property, at first, I thought Google Maps had sent us to the wrong address. It just did not look like what was displayed on Airbnb, and I got worried. I double checked my WhatsApp messages from our host to make sure we had the proper address, and it was.

Finally, the gates open to reveal what we had seen on Airbnb’s website. We were taken aback and pleased to see that this property was much more beautiful in person as it was in the photos. It was a small slice of Heaven in the middle of Puglia.

Il Noce

Our host, Alfredina welcomed us with open arms with Beatrice by her side, assisting with translating so as to not be lost in translation. They took us on a tour of our townhome. Kindly explaining the property, the pool, and the unit we’d be staying in.

At Relais l’Oliveto, there are six attached, private townhome units, each with a kitchen, living room, dining area, upstairs loft, and back patio. Our unit, the “Il Noce” was perfect for my family of four. As you walk into “Il Noce,” you are instantly fascinated by how quaint this townhome is. From the lovely modern, farmhouse decor and facade of the entire unit, to its cleanliness, the whole place screamed Puglian charm! You can tell the owner, Alfredina, put her heart and soul into renovating this property to something magical.

The loft upstairs had a large full sized bed, while the downstairs consisting of the main area to include the living room, dining area, a small kitchen, and bathroom/shower. The girls each had a small bed in the living room, one being a trundle bed. Not necessarily in the unit itself, there is a washer on property you can utilize for your laundry during your stay; just inquire with the host. Additionally, an important essential in the Puglian heat, the townhome had air conditioning.

As you step outside into your private patio, each unit is separated by long curtains that gently laps against the wind. Open the curtains and you’re welcomed with the beautiful views of olive trees, the pool, and the garden on property. It was all perfect.

Relais l’Oliveto’s Property

Relais l’Oliveto sits on a privately enclosed property with gates and well-manicured fenced-in shrubs around the yard, so you feel like you are in an oasis. The Olive trees on property are a mixture of newly planted and centuries old trees that have been there for ages. The intricately manicured green lawn and landscaping gives the land a resort feel with the aqua color of the pool in the background.

The Pool

One of the real reasons why we booked this Airbnb is the pool. This was a must for my family if we were not staying by the beach, especially during the June Puglian heat. Additionally, the photos of the pool on Airbnb is what drew me to the property. Just the fact that the property and the pool is on a small Olive Tree farm sounded enticing!

As a rule for staying at Relais l’Oliveto, wearing swimming caps inside the pool is a must, which will be provided by the host. You’re not allowed to swim in the pool without a swimming cap or have hair exposed while in the water. Not really bothersome on our end, we didn’t mind at all.

We were very grateful for the pool. Not only did we spend more time at the pool here, but we spent most of our time relaxing during this portion of our trip that we decided to forego some of our plans for this trip. It was the saving grace from this Puglian heat and much needed relaxation that we had been looking for.

The Garden

Young and centuries old Olive Trees perfectly line Relais l’Oliveto, bringing a lovely appeal to the property. Additionally, a beautiful garden lines the back side of the property. On the last morning of our stay, my husband and I took a nice walk around the garden and enjoyed the morning peacefulness. We came upon the owner’s father, tending to the vegetables. He asked my husband if we wanted to take home some of his beautiful peppers from the garden. We kindly had to decline, but we did take a huge, zucchini that was offered to us, straight from their garden. While exploring the garden, we also found one of their oldest Olive Tree trunk and the realization sets that this tree has been around for centuries.

Farm to Table Experience

One of the most unique opportunity we did during our stay at Relais l’Oliveto was a farm to table experience. At check-in, we were asked if we would like to partake in a pasta making experience on the farm on the last evening of our stay. We were delighted to take advantage of this opportunity.

On our last evening, we arrive around 7:00 PM for the pasta making class. We gathered at the outdoor eating area, next to the garden. Another English speaking family staying on the property had also joined us. We were all there to experience an evening of making pastas and enjoying our meals prepared for us for the evening.

Two ladies arrived to help teach us how to prepare homemade pasta and this was one of the highlights of the evening. During the pasta making lesson, Beatrice was kind enough to translate the language for us. We learned how to make the dough for the pasta from scratch, how to properly roll it, and make different pasta shapes. It was an informative and fun evening. Not only were the kids enjoying themselves, but the adults were happy to also learn the Italian techniques for pasta making; I know I really enjoyed this experience myself!

After we made our homemade pasta, we had the opportunity to watch Alfredina and her family prepare the rest of our dinner in their outdoor kitchen. The outdoor kitchen was small and lovely, exactly what I would have pinned for my Pinterest board for “dreamy outdoor Italian kitchens.” It had everything you’d need in a tiny kitchen, to include a stovetop and sink inside this quaint kitchen.

Besides the Spaghetti Bolognese, we were served some of the most delicious local Puglian dishes such as appetizers of fresh grilled peppers from the garden, Impasto per pittole or pettole (fried bread goodness), taralli, and more. Here are a few of the dishes served. It was all delicious and homemade and most of the ingredients were straight from the Alfredina’s garden.

This experience only cost my family of four around 115€, which we thought was worth the experience. We were so full from the meal, we had extra for leftovers the next day. There is a minimum of eight participants recommended to do the pasta making experience.

Additional Experiences

Besides their pasta making class, Relais l’Oliveto also offers many other recommendations for experiences in the area. These experiences include a hand-weaving class, pottery workshop, boat excursions, horse back riding lessons, and pizzica lessons. You can find all of their experiences on their website, here. Advanced notice is recommended if you are interested in any of their excursions/experiences.

Day Trips from Relais l’Oliveto

Relais l’Oliveto is a perfect home base in the Salento region. We chose the area for convenience of travel along Southern Puglia. Here are a few day trip ideas you can take from Surano. There are many more places to visit, but I’ll focus mainly on a few we visited.

Otranto & Surrounding Areas

Charming Otranto, Italy’s easternmost town, jetting out between the Ionian and Adriatic Sea is one you should not miss. Only less than a 30 minute drive from Relais l’Oliveto, this charming seaside town is small but boasts of amazing beaches, historical sites, and wonderful places to try wines and the local cuisines. Additionally, get lost in the cobblestone streets, visit the cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Annunziata) with its largest floor mosaic in Italy, admire the Centro Storico, and visit the Castello Aragonese.

A recommendation from our host is to visit Otranto by taking the coastal route starting from Castro to admire the landscape. Along the way, drive by Porto Miggiano, Santa Cesarea Terme, and Porto Badisco where the water is supposedly calm due to the inlet and a great beach to relax with umbrellas and chairs available for rent. This area is also famous for tasting sea urchins (a local delicacy). Furthermore, as you make your way towards Otranto, only 4 miles south of Otranto is the Punta Pelascia, also known as Capo d’Otranto, the easternmost point of Italy. You can also hike and watch the sunrise here and see the Adriatic and Ionian Sea meet.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do any of what the host recommended above and I wish we had. We did explore Otranto a bit, twice actually, and did some wine tasting during our visit at L’Ortale which our Airbnb hosts recommended and made reservations for us. This was a fun day date with my husband.

Visit the Grotta della Poesia

Only a 40-minute drive Northeast from Relais l’Oliveto, Grotta della Poesia, aka Cave of Poetry, is one you should also visit. Although not really a beach, this is a grotto cave with beautiful aqua/blue/green waters. From the cave’s name, you’ll find handwritten poetry along the walls. Additionally, it’s also fun to watch cliff divers from here and swim inside the grotto. I’ll be writing a post about our visit here and will update this blog post once its complete.

Beach Day at Baia dei Turchi

About a 30 minute drive to the coast from Relais l’Oliveto is a beach worth going to, or rather one right next to it, but in the same vicintiy. Baia dei Turchi is known for their beautiful waters. To get to Baia dei Turchi, you’ll have to walk or take a tram to the entrance of the trail to get to the beach, but it’s not a hard trek. We parked here and paid about €8 for parking which also included the tram ride to and from the entrance of the trail. Once the tram dropped us off, we walked the short distance following a trail in the woods to this beach. Baia dei Turchi was extremely packed when we got there, so we walked a few meters and climbed down the ladder (very short) to this beach. The beach felt like bath water at the end of June.


Rich in historical and artistic culture with baroque architectures and background, Lecce is the main town of Salento in Puglia. It is named as the “Athens of Apulia” for unknown reasons. and is only a 30 minute drive from the Airbnb. Lecce can be a quick day trip as it is only a 30 minute drive from the Airbnb. We actually spent a few hours in the town just meandering around the cobblestone streets. Some ideas for your visit include not just wandering around the historic center, but also, visiting the Roman Amphitheatre in Piazza Sant’Oronzo, discover the portas or city gates into the city, visit the many churches such as Lecce Cathedral and Santa Chiara, try the local cuisines, and more. You can find more Lecce things to do, here.


Finally, you’ll want to explore Surano since you’ll be staying in this town. Although we didn’t get to venture here much, we were able to do some essential exploring, like walking to a nearby grocery store conveniently located near the Airbnb. During our walk, we also noted some cafes, a bar, a playground, not far from the Relais l’Oliveto. One area to check out, however, is the Piazza Martiri d’Otranto; you can find more information for Surano in Relais l’Oliveto’s website, here and also in this website.

Practical Information

Relais l’Oliveto

Airbnb website: https://www

Main website:

Location: Surano, Puglia

Find their Experiences, Here.

Nearby Grocery Store: SuperMercato COOP; a 4 minunte walk from the Airbnb.

Amenities: Pool, Garden, Kitchen with stovetop, Shared washer for laundry (inquire with Airbnb host). Relais l’Oliveto also sells local Salento souvenir and delicacies in their main office; just inquire with the host.

Nearby Park and Restaurants: Playground/park right next to Chiosco Todo Loco, a restaurant just walking distant from the Airbnb. For more restaurant recommendations around Surano, you can find that list here.

According to their Airbnb site, a minimum of 2 nights must be booked in order to stay at their property. Please inquire with them if you have questions.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve ever wanted a relaxing, true Puglian holiday, staying at Relais l’Oliveto is one you should consider. It’s an oasis in the middle of Southern Puglia and an easy access to so many beautiful sites and beaches. Alfredina and her family will make you feel at home, giving you the true Puglian welcome as well as treat you like a part of her family. If we ever return to Puglia, this will be a place we would return to. I hope you’ve found this write-up helpful! Until next time friends! Alla prossima amici!

***Disclosure: All views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the opinions of others and in no means an affiliate to any of the companies discussed.***

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