Palazzo Bozzi Corso — Lecce, Italy
Antonia Filali and her brother Giacomo-Fouad were clearly so taken by the experience of opening their first boutique hotel La Fiermontina in Lecce, that less than three years later, they have debuted a second in the ancient Puglian town.
Wisely, French studio Laboratoire Design Rabat have worked light touches on the aristocratic bones of the 1775 baroque palazzo to carve out ten large suites, whose original high ceilings and light-filled volumes are contrasted by long creamy drapes, Le Corbusier Escargots lamps, and classic furniture by Gio Ponti and Ettore Sottsass.
What is unexpected, though, is the colour palette of plum, teal and green which creates a dramatic backdrop for the owners’ tastefully curated art and sculpture collection – the latter a stylish teaser for their family’s modern art museum, nearby.
In this part of Italy, there is no shortage of diversions, not least a day’s cruise on the Adriatic, a picnic in an oak orchard on the Byzantine Road, or, a post-nap lap in sister hotel La Fiermontina’s pool. Chef Maria Carla Pennetta, meanwhile, tempts with a cucina povera menu based on her family’s recipes – think, stuffed eggplants grilled with mink, alongside farm-fresh caciocavallo and cacioricotta cheeses. §