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I love the beaches in Puglia, especially the coast from Orte to Torre Sant’Emiliano. It’s a wild, sculptural, fantastic route with many coves. When I need a sugar rush, my go-to favorite is the Copeta Stella, a unique typical almond sweet made from the same family since 1881. My favorite spot to disconnect is Faro della Palascia, a charming place with a fantastic panorama to see after bathing. And while Puglia is known for its quaint towns and great food, we are immersed in culture. I love the Marta in Taranto and Capo D’Arte in Gagliano del Capo. One of my best spots for a coffee break is La Guardiola in Marina di Corsano.
A day in Lecce always starts with a good Quarta espresso. The first stop is for breakfast at Cotognata Leccese, where you can enjoy a great iced-coffee. You can’t leave before trying some chocolate Bon Bon, a delight for your palate and spirit! I think the best way to explore a city is to follow your instincts. Getting lost in the little streets of the old town is a unique experience. You’ll smell the spirit of Lecce by walking around the churches and the buildings in Baroque style. I believe every city has its scents, almost like people’s skins.
In the old town of Lecce, make a stop at the little shop Vico dei Bolognesi, selling apparel and accessories among other things. You won’t leave without buying something! In the small village of Tiggiano is Tessitura Calabrese; if you love high-quality linens, here you will find old-fashioned table cloths and towels made of natural fibers, from cotton to linen, by the expert hands of local artisans. In two locations (Gallipoli and Marittima di Diso Gallipoli) is Tulsi shop; here you can find hand-printed kaftans and unique fabrics, vintage clothes, and accessories from the private collection of Deborah Nolas, the owner of the shop. During her travels around the world, Deborah has gathered some beautiful pieces from India, South America, California, and Indonesia.
My favorite places where I feel pampered and at home: Masseria Prosperi, a place where the hospitality and the authenticity of Antonio and Mercedes, wonderful hosts, will restore your senses. A unique luxury experience framed by the colors and smells of the countryside. And Ostaria Aretè; just a few kilometers from Lecce, where you can savor traditional local specialties in a comfy and warm space during winter, while during summer you’ll dine in the garden, surrounded by olive trees and climbing plants. During winter, my advice is to grab a table by the fireplace where a bean soup will be cooking in a pignatta, a traditional cooking pot. I dare you to resist the temptation!
For sure Palazzo Daniele in the southernmost tip of Salento—Gagliano del Capo is the last city located on the promontory that separates the Adriatic sea and the Ionian. The renovation we did is aimed at introducing the contemporary inside a historic building, respecting the atmosphere of the environment. Our restoration project is aimed at highlighting the issue of detachment, to bring these spaces back to the idea of places that are no longer inhabited, but freed from their nature and their function incorporated with the aesthetics linked to the type of furniture for daily living. A few elements are contextualized and connected to the artworks exposed in a game of references that wants to highlight the sanctity of absence.