A castle has towered over Ugento for over a thousand years, protecting the town and its people. As the visionary renovation work has peeled back layer upon layer of history, the roles it has played over the centuries, from Norman fort to elegant Baroque palazzo, have been revealed.
The castle's turbulent history stretches over a thousand years. Built on Messapian remains, at one time a motte and bailey castle, the circular tower dates back to the Angevins who ruled the region in the 13th century. The castello was destroyed by marauding Turks, restored by a French king and extended in the 17th-century by luxury-loving Italian nobles…
A groundbreaking renovation project began in 2013 to restore this magnificent castle to its former glory and breathe new life into the golden stonework. The foundations of a Norman tower, hidden for 900 years were discovered along with Bronze Age artifacts.
The first area of the castle to be restored was the 18th-century walled kitchen garden or 'giardino di piante utili'. The castle's kitchen is once more harvesting seasonal vegetables, herbs and fruit from the orchard.
Ugento is a tranquil town in the region of Salento in Puglia, the low-lying peninsula lapped by the Adriatic Sea to the east and the Ionian Sea to the west on the heel of Italy's boot. Salento is peppered with historical sites from Messapian dolmens to Roman amphitheatres and Angevin castles.