In Puglia, a noble family palazzo is reborn


At the very tip of the heel of Italy in gorgeous, sun-bleached Puglia, an opulent 150-year-old palazzo, rich with history and cultural resonance, has been reimagined as a sophisticated art house and next-wave accommodation. Located in Gagliano Del Capo, the last town on the promontory dividing the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian, Palazzo Daniele is the former family palazzo of Francesco Petrucci, co-founder of Capo d’Arte, a not-for-profit organisation promoting contemporary art in Puglia. Together with his friend Gabriele Salini, owner of G-Rough in Rome and also an avid art collector, Petrucci set out to turn the noble palazzo into a contemporary art space that will host artist studios and a residency program.

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Inspired by the idea of “absences,” Milanese duo Ludovica and Roberto Palomba stripped back as much ornamentation as possible while painstakingly restoring original features like ornate ceiling frescoes, mosaic flooring and religious altars dating back to 1861, when the property was built, to make room for a unique art collection. The former ground-floor living areas will now serve as exhibition spaces, where historical family portraits in rich oil paints are juxtaposed with contemporary site-specific artworks, installations and design pieces, like Luigi Prescci lamps, sculpture by Roberto Cuoghi, work by Mohamed Namou, and Carla Accardi lithography.

At the back of the palazzo, looking out on a series of courtyards, are the nine guestrooms, elegantly outfitted with minimalist design furniture, like black steel-framed open wardrobes custom-made by Palomba SerafiniZucchetti faucets, and breathtaking bath installations in which the shower has been replaced by an archaic water source that cascades down from the six-meter ceiling into a large basin made by the Milan-based designer Andrea Sala. Fortuny lamps populate the living areas, while light boxes by artist Simon d’Exea illuminate the two suites and Acapulco chairs, a 1950s Mexican design classic, flank the pool.

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Palazzo Daniele is part of Gabriele Salini’s just-launched GS Collection, which will link a set of storied properties—each with no more than 10 guestrooms—in unique areas of Italiy where local life, tradition, and history come together with art and design.

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019