Tucked away, just behind the main piazza in Nardo’ is Palazzo La Rosa. Despite the very central location, it is in a quiet square, reachable by car and with parking outside, which is unusual in the Centro Storico. Nardo’ itself is twenty minutes from Lecce, under an hour from the airport, and very close to some superb beaches.
Dating back to the 16th century, the Palazzo is beautiful inside and out, with soaring vaulted ceilings and an internal courtyard garden. On the ground floor there are three rooms with stone barrel vaults, originally used as storage rooms and an atrium with an elegant staircase leading up to the piano nobile, or first floor, and the loggia overlooking the square.
On the first floor there are fifteen rooms, with star vaulted ceilings, many with well preserved floors from the late 1800s, though the tiles in the specatacular salone are older. A balcony overlooking the courtyard garden runs along the side of the house.
The Palazzo is in fairly good condition, but needs rewiring and replumbing, bathrooms, kitchens and a general sprucing up. At the moment there is one bathroom for the whole Palazzo which, period piece though it is, is hardly adequate!! One of the problems with a building this size is usually the running costs, but we will be using the extensive roof surface for a photovoltaic system which will render the place almost self sufficient in the summer months.
The intention is to completely restore the building and turn it into a boutique hotel (see here for background).
Nardò is getting increasingly popular with foreign visitors, due to the stunning Baroque centro storico, and its proximity to the sea (3km). The roads in the historic centre have been repaved, and new bars and restaurants are opening but the process is still at the early stages. The Palazzo will have a wine shop and a winebar on the ground floor, which will be the first in this area of town. On my many recent visits I found that it was quite difficult to find somewhere to eat a light meal, and that many of the restaurants, though good, were closed at lunchtime during the week. For this reason visitors to the Palazzo will be able to have a simple lunch or snack with their glass of wine, either in the courtyard garden or, in the winter, in front of an open fire. There will also be regular events such as winetastings, as well as a weekly dinner which, like the other meals served, will showcase the superb local ingredients.
Guests staying in the Palazzo will be able to have a simple meal, or drink, at any time, but the wine bar will only be open to the general public at lunchtime and in the early evening. The guest accommodation will be on the first floor – two suites (one with two bedrooms and a livingroom and one with a bedroom and livingroom) and two other bedrooms. The rooms will be comfortable, luxurious and well appointed with modern bathrooms and lots of pampering extras, but still at a reasonable price.
With luck, a following wind, and a lot of hard work, we hope to open in spring next year so watch this space!
I am still looking for outside investment, needed to complete the project. All investments will be secured against the property, which is being bought at below the valuation price, and provide a 6% return monthly for the first two years. Investors will then have the option to exit in the third year with a 10% bonus or to stay as an investor and become a share holder. Investments start at 10,000 euros and all investors will get a 25% discount on accommodation at the Palazzo, as well as a large discount on mail order wine and olive oil from Puglia.
For further details see here and please email me on email@example.com