Having done virtually everything that could be done to the residence portion of the property, we took up Michele’s recommendations of how to deal with the exterior and the non-residential parts of the villa. For a better sense of the task, it might help to understand the layout of Villa Tutto. The front of the property, along Via Giugno which meanders through the village of Marinelli, is the residence. At the very front is the main entry door flanked by a large living room on the left and a sizable kitchen with space for a dining table and chairs on the right. The two rooms are separated from each other by a wide hallway with chestnut framed arches.
The hallway leads back to the sleeping quarters where there are two bedrooms, Jessica’s dressing room/work area, and the two bathrooms. In all, the residence takes up about half of the property’s building area. We normally leave the residence by way of the kitchen, the door from which leads to a covered veranda and on out to the front driveway. It is from that door that we have a framed view of a magnificent ancient olive tree just across the driveway. The vision of that tree is, for me, the iconic image of Villa Tutto and what it means to us.
As we step onto the veranda and turn toward the back of the property, we see two doors, one a modern storm door and the other, a heavy metal, garage-type door. The more modern door, the one on the left as we face it, takes us into, what we’ve called my “studio.” Once inside the studio, there is another room off of its left that was the storage area for canned goods and wine called a cantina. Behind the heavy metal garage door is the forno, the wood-fired pizza and bread oven.
An external stairway is adjacent to the forno and leads to the roof terraces. As we head back toward the rear of the building, we pass the external bathroom which includes a shower so that, after hours in the fields, one can rid himself of the soil of the day before entering the house. Continuing on, we come to the “dollhouse,” a small detached building that had been used to raise rabbits and which would become our summer kitchen.
At the back of the building are three rooms: storage for farm equipment on the left, clean storage on the right and, in the center, Jessica’s gym and workout area.
Lastly, around the corner and onto the second driveway, we come to the garage, a huge space with twelve-foot ceilings.
Before departing Puglia on our previous trip back to Italy, despite having just completed the major renovation of the residence, we asked Michele to paint the exterior of the buildings, cap some of the walls around the property, pour two new concrete decks and install additional lighting. When we returned several months later, the results were staggering. Some before/after photos give evidence to the improvement.