When you walk through the gate, passing through the garden around the villa at the seaside, you enter the octagonal tower from which the scenic staircase leads to the upper floors, you can feel light footsteps passing through the large rooms and the halls of the old building.
Atmospheres of the past
Suggested or not, it is not difficult to imagine the elegant Baroness Raffaella of the Barons Lubelli, for which Villa Raffaealla was built and that here spent her holidays, which is surrounded by the rooms of this nineteenth-century home of the eclectic style with elements of Romanesque architecture and Gothic ones with elements of Moorish reminiscence.
Built just a few steps from the sea and the rocky coast as the summer residence of Baroness Raffaella by her husband Antonio Giuseppe Primaldo Papaleo, the villa was designed by the Milanese engineer Emilio Corti, the same who worked on the construction of the spa and father of Maria Corti, author of “The Hour of All”, novel about Otranto’s story.
The exterior is characterized by an elegant façade of eclectic taste, with tones ranging from white to ocher and elegant red profiles. The interiors, on three levels connected by the sumptuous staircase, boast high ceilings decorated with stuccoes, large balconies from balustrades supported by arches on columns and a large terrace on the top floor with stunning sea views.
In the furnishing choices, owner Vincenzo Lezzi opted for continuity, trying to interpret the spirit of the historic building through the approach of old family furniture and a refined selection of antiques.
Today, Villa Raffaella is a welcoming and elegant hotel run by Luca Epifani, with spacious rooms and real flats like our one, the two-roomed Mezzogiorno, located on the ground floor and directly overlooking the garden by the sea side. Like the other rooms, which have all the names of winds, it is equipped with air conditioning, tv and free wifi. In the living room there is a comfortable kitchenette and a double sofa bed for two additional beds.
This vintage residence inviting for quiet stays and romantic love breaks has often been used as a movie set: you can recognize in some scenes of the film “Nassiriya, not to forget”, on the terrorist attack at the base of the Italian contingent in the peace mission, in 2003 in Iraq.
From the villa you can easily reach the center of the village and the thermal spas, but also suggest the walks to the bay of Porto Miggiano by the spectacular cliff overlooking the sea, especially after enjoying the abundant breakfast rich of every good thing from sweet to salad prepared by Mrs. Patrizia.
Greatly appreciated by foreign guests who like to feel welcomed in a real home, as already announced in the floor writing at the base of the stairs at the entrance: Domus tua haec, this is your home.
And the immediate feeling of being welcomed into the home of thoughtful friends is what we had from the very beginning, we too, thanks to the care and attentions of Ercole and Glauco that when we left, greetings to us, they invited us to retake for a greetings and maybe a coffee. We will do it in the spring, when Villa Raffaella will be reopened after the closure in October for renovations: it’s a promise!