The idyllic region of Puglia in Southern Italy is dotted with farms, beaches, and trulli—iconic stone houses crowned with cone-shaped roofs. Amid this picturesque backdrop is Palazzo Daniele, a 158-year-old building converted into a posh, nine-suite boutique hotel.
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Located in Gagliano del Capo, a charming village in the Salento region close to the Adriatic coast, Palazzo Daniele is the former home of Francesco Petrucci, cofounder of the non-profit organization Capo d’Arte and its eponymously named annual art show. Fittingly, pieces from Petrucci’s remarkable stash of art and furniture, including Italian abstract painter Carla Accardi’s lithography work and stools by Swiss artist Nicolas Party, continue to adorn the rooms.
Palazzo Daniele is the latest venture from Gabriele Salini, founder of GS Collection, which includes sister property G-Rough in Rome. Like that petite hotel, situated in a 17th-century building near Piazza Navona, the palazzo thoughtfully showcases original architectural elements without sacrificing modernity.
"With a property like Palazzo Daniele, with such history and timeless presence, there needs to be an artful nuance, a harmony, between the building’s past and its future," says Salini. "What we aimed to do is create a sense of ‘contemporary nostalgia,’ blending centuries-old architecture and old-world luxury with contemporary artwork, avant-garde furniture, and site-specific installations."
Built in 1861 by architect Domenico Malinconico in the Neoclassical style, it flaunts colorful frescoes, vaulted ceilings, and mosaic flooring. To amplify those stunning period features, Milan–based design studio Palomba Serafini Associati muted the interiors, thoughtfully furnishing the suites that wrap around the centerpiece open-air courtyard.
Still, the pared-back spaces teem with details that exemplify craftsmanship, like the firm’s custom black steel-framed open wardrobes and Rome photographer Simon d'Exéa’s art-meets-function lightboxes.
Palazzo Daniele stars artworks from the likes of Mohamed Namou, Sergio Breviario, Claudio Abate, Eva Jospin, and Christian Frosi.
When guests aren’t relaxing on Driade sofas and armchairs, they find solace in the sauna or steam room, or perched at the communal table inside the open kitchen. "The front and back access to the grand kitchen is special; we re-opened an old arcade which was walled at the beginning of the 20th century," says Salini.
Once afternoon cooking lessons wind down, the cinematic pool becomes a magnet for guests. "Creating an indoor/outdoor continuity throughout was one of our biggest challenges," says Salini. "The severe 19th-century architecture was based on a clear separation of the two, which is not the way we experience architecture today."