Palazzo De Castro welcomes its grandeur and its noble atmosphere guests in the main square of Squinzano, one of the more authentic villages of Salento, a few kilometers from Lecce.
Viceroy nights in the Palace
Once through the large door you enter the bright atrium and already you beginsto breathe the history. The palace, now restored to its former glory by careful restoration, was the noble residence of the Viceroy of Spain, Count of Lemos and the family arms dominated by the impressive living room fireplace. From the large courtyard leads through a spectacular staircase, on the upper floor, where are the reception rooms and bedrooms.
Mrs. Anna Metrangolo, the current owners bought the building with her husband fifteen years ago, has been a guide along with the general manager Matteo Pacella in this place that for centuries has hosted the notables of the Kingdom of Naples and that for some time it is open to all those who love the charm of living their stay between walls that exude history. The six suites, spacious and elegantly decorated, revive guests the atmosphere of the palace of the heyday of the palace, including hand-embroidered linen time valuably, antique furniture, ornate ceilings, frescoes, paintings and works of art, a little ‘ you feel like noblewomen and noblemen of the past.
We settle on one of the sofas in the sumptuous hall where dominates the elegant fireplace and here we talk of history but also of the future of the building, which has always been the site of receptions and stately dances, has now become an ideal place for receptions, small weddings, personal or corporate events and private parties, but also television, movie, photo shoots and commercials.
“We chose to live the place leaving as it was, without distorting it” – says us Mrs. Anna. Much of the furniture comes from family homes but also from extensive research among antique shops and brocante. Everything aims to define a place that has seen the scroll story of the noble lineage of De Castro, gentlemen of the County of Lemos, who arrived in Italy in July 1599 in the wake of Fernando Ruiz De Castro VI Count of Lemos, appointed Viceroy of Naples from Spain’s Philip III of Habsburg. The great palace was built by the descendants of the family in 1795 and retains the main features of the period. Later but lovely big stove, once a place of preparation of food for the nobles, now magnificent scenic backdrop to enjoy, on waking, the sweet and savory craft products of Salento in the rich breakfast.
Among the rooms of the building the dialogue with the past is a constant: just open one of the doors, which have preserved the ancient ceramic handles and a special opening system, to find themselves in an almost museum.
To us it has been assigned the Viceroy Lemos De Castro suite, a large bedroom elegantly furnished with period furniture overlooking the town’s main square. It was the private residence of Count De Lemos Castro during his stays in the palace, while the private residence of the Countess was the elegant double room with frescoed walls, and the original floor earthenware decorated with period furniture, including the original “toleta” before which the bridesmaids were her long hair. The room is communicating with an adjoining room with a separate entrance with two single beds or double bed, called Handmaid’s. Also on the main square overlooking the Don Francisco, large double bedroom furnished with antique furniture and frescoed walls with adjoining another room with French bed. Then there is that of Notables with important dark wood furnishings and a large bathroom Nouveau. In setting up the Donna Rita, a brightly lit room that overlooks a lovely terrace and is suitable for a family as it hosts over the double bed also a bunk bed.
But the restoration of the palace, which covers an area of over 2000 square meters, has not yet ended. Currently there are works to restore the ancient tower defense incorporated in the patrician residence to be followed by those for recovering the rear of the building in which they should be housed a spa and pool.
The perfect completion to make Palazzo De Castro in Squinzano a point of reference and an obliged stop in the Salento’s welcome.