When talking about Palazzo Guglielmo you can’t ignore the noble family that had it built in this part of Salento, a few kilometers from the sea between Castro and Santa Cesarea Terme. The Guglielmo family used to live on the upper floor. The oldest rooms, today transformed into large rooms for guests, were used as kitchen and laundry. In the ’50s, to the already impressive complex located in the heart of the small town of Vignacastrisi, a new wing was added, connected with the warehouse where once the tobacco was processed.
In the same period and, specifically, during the first free elections of 1948, Don Pippi Guglielmo was elected mayor of the town: from that moment the Palace, became not only the driving force of the economic and social life of the country, but also the beating heart of the local politics.
Passing through the front door, you are not prepared to the magnificence opening in front of you. An open space between the inner courtyard, protected by high walls of local stone, and large garden of rare beauty and grace, with palms, ferns, tall pines, fruit trees and orange groves, connected by a series of paths leading to private lounge areas with sofas, tables and hammocks. On the ground floor there are also six large rooms equipped with every comfort, except from the television by choice of the owners, and recycled furnishings “reinvented ” by the landlord, the lawyer Sergio Positano, who in 2008 completely renovated the palace, respecting its original features .
Each room is named after a writer and inside, scattered here and there, are the author’s books, often left as a gift by guests who have visited the palace. We have been given one the largest rooms, the one dedicated to Camilleri and located on the right side once crossed the big entrance door. We think now that it is no coincidence that our room was the one dedicated to the Sicilian author, as this tour is leading us from the Salento to Sicily!
Even the living and dining room, with high ceilings with star vaults, overlook the courtyard, while on the other side, glimpsing amidst the lush green there is a pool available to guests, who can also enjoy an honesty bar with regional red, rosé and white wines, soft drinks, beers and spirits.
Everywhere a vintage touch and recycled brocantage in a place that retains its nobility: the interior of the building, dating back to the 18th century, with marble staircases, high ceilings, walls in “ pietra leccese”, the local stone, fabrics and precious objects recall the origins of the building.
During the hot season, a part from the pool, a roof terrace is also open, fully furnished in Moroccan style, with large sofas and comfortable pillows, whirlpool and loungers for sunbathing, and a breathtaking view on the lush garden to enjoy the sunset when the sun’s rays color the fine dust of gold. For dinner, guests at the palace can enjoy a delicious menu of local dishes served in the dining room where in the morning a rich breakfast is served: seasonal fruits, eggs, meats, cheeses, and delicious biscuits, cakes and jams homemade by Mrs. Margherita.
You really don’t want to leave from this oasis of relaxation and tranquility, where you are pampered by the staff, always friendly, ready to give advice and to meet all requirements. Like Marco, at the reception, who shows us the way to get to the bauxite quarry in Otranto and gives us a good idea of what to bring with us from this beautiful and hospitable land: a scented jar of honey produced in the family farm (Mieleria del Salento a Vignacastrisi di Ortelle – Lecce – firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: + 39 0836.920236 – + 39 392.3025339 Marco Antonazzo).
For those of us traveling with his four-legged friend, from the end of September will be available Casa Arciprete, an annex of the building, a stone’s throw from the same and which is accessed by a separate door.
(Traduzione di Monia Saponaro)
Piazza Umberto I°, Vignacastrisi – Lecce
Info: +39 0836 921004 – www.palazzoguglielmo.it