Italian couple and their feline friends love new home at Heron’s Mead near Newport

An Italian couple have fallen in love with their new home in Wales where they have settled in with their beloved cats.

Vito Bellini, 31, and Maria Giampietri, 38, have moved into Bellway’s Heron’s Mead development in Llanwern on the outskirts of Newport with their feline friends Charlie, Mollie, Birba, Lucifero, Nanu, Clio and Milka.

Maria, who is a veterinary surgeon working in Cardiff, and Vito, who works from home as an online tutor, moved into their three-bedroom end-of-terrace house in Bellway’s Tailor house style, at the end of January.

The smallest bedroom has even been given over to the cats, for their food, litter trays and (some of) their toys. But they have more scratching posts and cat beds strategically placed around the house and plenty of toys to keep them entertained, as they are indoor cats.

The purchase happened quite quickly as the couple only decided to buy the property in October. Work on the house was well advanced by then, though not complete, and the sales advisor was able to show them around as, though still under construction, it was safe to enter.

Vito said: “We fell in love with the house when he showed us the plot. The sales advisor Andrew has been absolutely brilliant with us and gave us plenty of time to explain everything to us.”

Although they had looked at some other new-build homes, they preferred the style and size of Bellway’s houses. “It was mostly the room sizes. This house looks like it has been set up absolutely perfectly for us,” said Maria.

“Others we saw were much smaller for roughly the same price, and with Bellway we just liked how the houses were made – the finishes and the style of the house.”

Vito, who is originally from Bari, and Maria, who is from Perugia, moved to Wales for work. They had lived in their previous rented property in Newport for nine years and both were glad to leave that location because they found it very noisy.

“This development is much quieter than where we were before,” said Maria. “It’s a new residential area far away from the main road. At our rented house we were close to the main road and the motorway with a garage behind us. There was always screaming traffic. Now we wake up and it’s so quiet that for a moment we think… ‘is everything ok?’”

Although they have moved slightly further away from Maria’s workplace, the extra drive is well worth it, she says. “It’s a little bit further compared to before. It takes a bit longer in the morning, but I’d rather take an extra 15 minutes to get to work and have it nice and quiet at home,” she said.

They are also glad to have left behind the frustrations of being a tenant – such as not being able to change things in the house and having to go through the landlord or a third party to get something fixed if anything breaks.

“When you own your home, you can do everything you want inside. That’s the best feeling,” said Vito.

The rental was also an old property and, having previously bought a new-build home in Italy, Maria was keen to do so again to gain all the benefits of a modern construction. They have noticed that their new home is very warm in comparison to the older house.

Everyone settled into the new place quickly – including Charlie, Mollie, Birba, Lucifero, Nanu, Clio and Milka.

“After we had been here a week it was like we had been here a long time,” said Vito. “And we thought the cats would have a hard time moving as they can get stressed, but it was ok and after the first day everything was perfect for them.”

There’s currently a choice of three and four-bedroom houses available to reserve at Heron’s Mead, with prices starting from £274,995.

To find out more, visit or call the sales team on 01633 928687.