A pared-back Puglian palazzo lifts art and soul

A pared-back Puglian palazzo lifts art and soul

Minimalism meets majesty at Palazzo Daniele, a nine-suite hotel in Puglia. Set in the village of Gagliano del Capo, where the Adriatic’s rocky coastline meets the sandy beaches of the Ionian Sea, the property is the former family palazzo of Francesco Petrucci, founder of Capo d’Arte, a not-for-profit organisation promoting contemporary art in Puglia.

Reshaped by Gabriele Salini’s GS Collection and Milanese duo Ludovica and Roberto Palomba of Palomba Serafini Associati, the 19th-century pile has been turned into a host of suites and an art space. Inspired by the idea of ‘absence’, the architects have stripped back as much as possible, while restoring historical features such as ornate frescoes and mosaic flooring, to create a dramatic canvas for the palazzo’s contemporary art collection.

Grand front communal living spaces welcome guests, branching off to the nine suites at the property’s left and right wings. At the back of the building, the suites and common spaces look out onto a series of courtyards, with an orangery and an inky-black swimming pool. The contrast between the traditional and the contemporary, art and function, extends to the suites, where the monastic décor is boosted by vaulted, frescoed ceilings, their exposed cracks conveying over 150 years of history. Minimal furnishings include a central bed and a black steel-framed open wardrobe, custom-made by the Palombas.

In the palazzo’s grand kitchen, orecchiette-making courses are on offer, but it’s best to let the local village cook whip up a range of rotating Pugliese specialities prepared using ingredients from the surrounding farms. Think cuts of local beef with Negroamaro sauce, tubettini with scorpionfish and lemon linguine with thyme and prawns, as well as homemade pasta, pastries and bread.

While no longer a family home, Palazzo Daniele is a haven for the discerning art-and-design-minded. This is further highlighted by the marble plaque at the entrance, which reveals a message from the past for future generations to abide by: ‘This is a place to be shared.’ §

A version of this article originally featured in the October issue of Wallpaper* (W*235)

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