It becomes all the more interesting when History, the one with ta capital H studying among the school benches, is intertwined with the stories of small countries and suspended in time like Casamassella.
La Filanda at Casamassella, charme and history in Salento
And it is even better to hear the story of these stories, woven into memory, from the voice of those who host you that somehow lived on his skin or reminded them of why they have told them as a child, as others tell about the fables of his good night.
All this makes you feel privileged, but also protected as in a cocoon…
It is no coincidence that we have used words related to the weaving world, just as it is no coincidence that Baco, Gelso, Bozzolo, Farfalla, Ordito and Liccio are the names of six rooms of La Filanda, a refined structure that define bed and breakfasts is very reductive, which is located near Otranto in the hamlet of Casamassella, which, as Roberto Campa and Irene Antonio, husband and wife, as well as exquisite home guests, explain to us is the non-Riviera country in the east of Italy. And this is already enough to unleash our curiosity and imagination.
But listening to Roberto and Irene is really a pleasure that we were very happy to have told us about La Filanda’s story, tied to a double thread with that of the country in which it rises. But also linked to the personal story of Roberto, an architect deeply in love with his land: in fact, his mom worked between these walls and the drawings used for the fabrics’ decorations have become the original paintings that adorn the rooms.
On the back of the ancient spinning mill, active until 1924, there was a large plantation of mulberry trees, which in the past was one of the most widespread crops in Salento, along with vines and olive trees. From here we can deduce that the silkworm rearing was very important for the agricultural economy of the time.
In Casamassella, the marquis Antonio De Viti De Marco planted it at the end of the eighteenth century and was a great source of income until the Marquis decided to turn the mulberry plantations into vineyards and eliminate the bachiculture from the productive cycle of his lands.
The transformation of the building, which rises a few steps away from the main square of the town where the castle, which was owned by De Viti De Marco, was dominated by the imposing ruler, was Roberto, who instead wanted to launch for the interior furnishings a Competition of Ideas.
The result of the winners of this competition are the contemporary hand-made furniture by the craftsman Damiano Greco. Every furniture is in dialogue with the architectural elements of the building that was built in two moments: the ground floor in the first half of the 1800s and the first floor between the second half of the 1800s and the beginning of the following century.
At the street level there were two large rooms with star vaults and four fireplaces, used for processing agricultural products; then another bathroom room was used as a guesthouse that welcomed Adele Rossi, wife of the philosopher Benedetto Croce, friend of Donna Carolina, sister of the great economist Antonio De Viti De Marco. And Roberto reveals to us that the same Croce was more and more visited in the country and that he himself collected the memories of Mrs Marinella Terlizzi, who then worked in the private post office of Uggiano la Chiesa and still remembers a very distinguished gentleman he was often accompanied by a big dog owned by the De Viti De Marco family.
In our room, Liccio, the furnishing elements are made of iron rods and wood and recall the part of the frame that serves the movement of the warp yarns and which gives the name to the room.
It is not only the largest room in the whole structure, but it is also the most special because it is enriched by a beautiful vaulted pavilion with small red bricks uncovered and left behind after the renovation: far away from the traditional Salento types because it is built during the First World War with typically Anglo-Saxon materials and techniques.
The furnishings, including the canopy bed, were made on a project by a team of Roman architects, ranked second in the Ideas Contest. But we do not want to reveal it anymore because it’s really exciting to hear the story of La Filanda’s latest rebirth, which was also a tobacconist, food store and elementary school, from the lips of Roberto and Irene.
Owners rightly proud of this charming home near Otranto, the ideal place to enjoy a relaxing holiday in Salento, which provide guests with spacious and charming rooms with air conditioning, autonomous heating, fridge, safe box, Flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi.
The only risk behind a stay surrounded by peace and the history of these walls is that they do not want to go any further, scoured by the scent of cakes that Irene prepares for breakfast and from which they are abducted by returning from the sea going up the 17 steps leading to the structure: we did not resist and we “stole” a slice!
Also be careful not to let dreams impinge on plots and warps! The desire will be to return to pick them up: the excuse to taste the famous and delicious dishes prepared by Roberto we already have it…
Via Uggiano 27, Casamassella – Lecce
Info: +39 339 1669502 – firstname.lastname@example.org