At the very tip of Italy’s heel, located in Salento, is the small town of Gagliano del Capo, where you’ll find Palazzo Daniele – a nine-suite artist guest house, and aristocratic palazzo, built in 1861. It’s the newest addition to the GS Collection, created by entrepreneur Gabriele Salini, owner of G-rough in Rome.
Built in 1861, the year of Italy’s reunification, by local famous architect Domenico Malinconico, and remodeled by the owner’s family in the early 20th century, Palazzo Daniele was home to four generations of Daniele’s family. The last member of the family was Francesco Petrucci, who lived abroad for some years while collecting contemporary art before returning to his roots, moving to Gagliano del Capo, and bringing some of his world and passion into the palazzo.
The ancient building was heavy and full of old furniture, so he decided to restore and renovate it with Ludovica + Roberto Palomba from Milan. He entrusted them with the architectural restoration and the space redistribution of Palazzo Daniele.
Founder of Capo D’arte, he transformed Palazzo Daniele into an art house hosting artists from all over the world. He wanted to strip the rooms, highlighting only the history, details and absence, in order to create a flow of energy for the needs of the artists that Francesco hosted, allowing them to imagine and create new works.
In September 2018 after speaking with his close friend and art collector Gabriele Salini, he decided to hand over the keys of the Palazzo, allowing him to open the doors to new travellers and art lovers.
In April 2019 Palazzo Daniele opened its doors to the world with a different hospitality concept, where historical spaces are still preserved, maintaining its majesty while combining it with contemporary art and local culture.
“Architecture and art are fused to serve the needs of the latter in order to stimulate the creation of art and installations that have become intrinsic parts of the house.”
Reshaped by the Milanese duo Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, and inspired by the idea of absence, there has been a stripping back of as much as possible whilst restoring historical features such as ornate frescoe and mosaic flooring to create the space for a contemporary art collection all around the property. Monastic décor and bare walls boost the 19th-century frescoes ceilings with cracks. Each room has a different artwork. Ancient family portraits alternate with works of contemporary art.
The 19th-century history, architecture and art are fused to serve the needs of the latter in order to stimulate the creation of art and installations that have become intrinsic parts of the house.
“Artworks and minimalist designed furniture are combined in all rooms. ”
Art pieces become functional, such as the light box of Simon D’Exea, illuminating most of the rooms, or the rain shower installation in a bathroom where the shower is replaced by an archaic source of water falling from a six-metre-high ceiling in a large basin designed by Andrea Sala.
So if you are an art lover, passionate about design or simply travelling through Italy’s most southern tip, be sure to add this most uncommon of places to your accommodation mix. You won’t regret it.