2016: My Year in Pictures

Villa Allegra. Moving in. October 2016

What a year this has been! In 2016 I sold my perfect apartment in the Euganean Hills, got married, built a new house in Puglia and moved there. Yes! All in one single year.

Stepping into 2016 saw Tom and me heading to the Italian Dolomites for settimana bianca, though I have not skied for more than twenty years, I immensely enjoyed my second year of being a non-skier amongst such an energetic crowd.

Dolomites. January 2016

Then, at the end of January we visited Puglia, in the south of Italy, to continue our house hunt. We had inspected nineteen houses with various estate agents the previous September/October and were revisiting Ostuni for another look around.

That was when we were shown a house in the initial stages of its build.

It was love at first sight! The idea of being able to put our own stamp on a potentially beautiful home in the Valle d’Itria had great appeal, so we decided to buy it there and then. We put in an offer which was accepted and we were ready to roll.

Villa Allegra. January 2016

The Valle d’Itria is an exceptionally beautiful part of southern Italy. On the ‘stiletto heel’ of this long, narrow country, it is on a peninsula which divides the Adriatic and Ionian Seas and is the largest olive growing area of Italy.

Valle d'Itria. November 2016

I made several visits to Ostuni during the course of the next several months. The flight from Treviso to Brindisi on Ryanair made this pretty easy and the building progressed fairly seamlessly.


In May I visited Verona for an all-day blogging event.

View from Piazzale Castel San Pietro. Verona

View from Piazzale Castel San Pietro. Verona

In June, Tom and I went to Russia as the guests of Insight Vacations and we both blogged about it afterwards.

Peterhof. June 2016

My Year in Photos 2016 l ©ornaoreilly.com

Peterhof. June 2016

In early July some dear friends from Ireland visited Lake Garda. We decided to visit them and to stay overnight in Sirmione. We spent a lovely day and evening there.


On 16th July, Tom and I got married in a small tower in Fontanafredda in the Euganean Hills. It was a wonderful day, attended by only immediate family and our witnesses.

After the wedding, when our families had departed for Ireland and the USA, we headed off to prosecco country for a few days to recover. Valdobbiadene was the venue and we had a wonderful time tasting prosecco and walking the steep hills.

Valdobbiadene. July 2016

Valdobbindene. July 2016

My Year in Photos 2016 l ©ornaoreilly.com

In September, the sale of my apartment was finalised. Bought by an American lady, I can only wish her the best for her future in my first Italian home, which will always have a place in my heart. I loved living in the Euganean Hills and we would have been happy to stay there, but we just did not manage to find a property which fitted our particular requirements.

Euganean Hills

Loving Puglia as we do, we made our choice and our new home near Ostuni, which we named Villa Allegra, was the place for us.

We moved into our new home in October.

As Villa Allegra is situated on an almost bare 8,000 sq. metre site, we have begun planting.

Now it is Christmas and, though there is still lots to do, we are snug in our new home in the Valle d’Itria.

Then, as a fabulous way to end my year, I won an award from Italy Magazine: Best Photography in a Blog. For those of you who voted for me, thank you very much!


Happy New Year everyone!

Villa Allegra. October 2016

Orna O’Reilly Weber

Ostuni, Puglia

26 thoughts on “2016: My Year in Pictures

  1. What an amazing year you have had. I read with pleasure your post about Villabassa as a non-skier. For years we have gone to Moso, to the Berghotel, for summer vacations and a few times for the holidays. We absolutely love the entire Val Pusteria. May 2017 be another amazing year for you and Tom near Ostuni in gorgeous Puglia. All the best.

    • We love the Val Pusteria too. We have enjoyed both summer and winter visits there and I hope we will revisit the area soon. Probably the most picturesque part of Italy, in my view. Happy New Year. 🙂

  2. So nice to read that 2016 was a great year. You and Tom are a wonderful reminder that what really counts is love and friendship, new places to discover…may 2017 bring all this this in abundance. Xx

  3. Ciao Orna. I am a recent follower and recent blogger with an Italian-American heritage and first time homeowner in Italy. My roots and citizenship come from Puglia but I have yet to visit the area. Buona fortuna on your new home/life e buon anno.
    Saluti, Lisa

    • Ciao Lisa. Thank you for following, and good luck with your new home and blog. Puglia is definitely a place one needs to visit; it is just so different! Buon anno to you too. 🙂

  4. Auguri! You certainly had a great year. Benvenuti in Puglia! I have a tiny place in Orsara di Puglia, where I was born and I spend time there every year. I hope 2017 is even better. Buon Anno, Cristina

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