Relais Il Mignano is a noble building with a façade carved in the soft and blond Lecce stone softened by the embroideries of the “mignano”, the balcony from which, unseen, the ladies watched life flow by the street. The mignano is certainly the characterizing element of this place open to hospitality, so much so that the structure takes its name from this, that is part of a larger Albergo Diffuso project in the heart of the historic center of Nardò in Salento, which also includes Palazzo Sambiasi, the former monastery of Santa Teresa and Palazzo Manieri Zuccaro.
In Nardò where the past relives
But it is not the only one. Beyond the large door, an intimate courtyard with chairs and tables in white wrought iron welcomes those who enter and invites them to take a break before climbing the staircase that leads to the upper floors.
The first opens onto an elegant living room with a large fireplace that leads to a hallway which leads to the suites and terraces that stack one on top of the other. Then, through a spiral staircase, you reach the highest part of the Relais Il Mignano where you seem to touch the Aragonese Castle and admire a unique view over the whole city. While, on another shaded terrace, the tables of the restaurant housed in the building are arranged.
The large and bright suite of the Relais Il Mignano that welcomed us and our Otto is a room with light and restful tones, with a roof with exposed beamsin that in the silence of the night “chat” a little too much with creaks that put a strain on rest.
Maybe next time we will have the opportunity to stay in one of the rooms full of history and decorations of the former monastery that we have not been able to see as they are all booked. Thanks to the availability and courtesy of Sara, who accompanied us on a tour of the Albergo Diffuso facilities, we were able to admire the splendid halls of the Santa Teresa monastery.
Those on the ground floor, where you can still see the rotating window of the “ruota degli esposti” (baby hatch) in which the newborns abandoned who were entrusted to the nuns and the three coats of arms of the noble families to which the building belonged, are adorned on the walls and on the ceiling with Baroque sculptures by Maria Giovanni Tarantino, a flood of decorative elements with plant motifs, festoons of flowers and leaves in Lecce stone.
On the noble floor of the Sambiasi Palace there are large rooms with frescoed vaults and mosaic floors, which in the colors and decorations reflect the perfectly recovered ancient paintings.
We also managed to peek into one of the deluxe rooms created in the ancient stables of Palazzo Manieri Zuccaro. Here a wide staircase leads to the internal courtyard where the private swimming pool of the two suites is set, which also share access to the garden with the fragrant citrus grove.
We really liked the contrast between the modern design furnishings and the walls steeped in history that distinguishes the environments frequented in the past by the numerous illustrious figures of the aristocracy of the Kingdom of Naples and the Two Sicilies who came to Nardò.
Just as we found a nice idea to host the Mare Terra boutique curated by Spazioespanso, a Roman concept store that has chosen the former monastery in the town of Nardò as its summer home. The proposals that veer between the spirit of the territory with exclusive creations for the boutique and clothing, jewels and accessories of international scope are interesting.
We could not see from the inside instead the magnificent church of Santa Teresa finely decorated with blue stuccoes and with a cross vault.
Another missed opportunity was to be able to enjoy breakfast inside the Relais Il Mignano, on one of the terraces, but the alternative solution that was proposed to us allowed us to enjoy cappuccino and a delicious pasticciotto at the Caffè Parisi all shadow of the spire of the Immaculate Conception located in the center of Piazza Salandra, rightly considered one of the most beautiful in all of Salento.
Finally we were sorry not to be able to compare ourselves with Antonello Rizzello, not only the owner of the three structures that make up the Albergo Diffuso, but the one who restored them to their ancient splendor and who has undertaken the commitment to offer his guests the possibility to stay in the splendid rooms full of history of these magnificent buildings.
For us who are so passionate about history and who have often stayed in buildings belonging to the ADSI circuit, the Italian Historic Houses Association which brings together the owners of historic buildings from all over Italy (you can find our posts on Palazzo Ducale Venturi, Masseria Spina, Castello di Casamassella and Borgo della Marmotta), it would have been very interesting to have a chat with the founder of the Neretine Historic Houses also in relation to his activities of organizing cultural events and guided tours among noble palaces, castles, noble and eclectic villas, farms and secret gardens of the area.