• Before & After: The Renovation

    Castello di Ugento has been in the d’Amore family since 1643. Its history, however, stretches back far further. The tower that was unearthed, hidden to all for 900 years, dates from the 12th century and was built by the Normans. The walled garden, ”giardino di piante utili”, meanwhile, was created in the 18th century. Once an elegant Baroque residence over the years it had fallen into disrepair.

    A groundbreaking renovation project

    The project to renovate and restore the castle and give it a new lease of life began in 2013. During the renovation huge blocks of stone attributed to the Messapians from the 8th century BC, were also unearthed beneath what is now the restaurant. Ancient artefacts uncovered during the architectural work, meanwhile, date from the Bronze Age, around the 12th century BC. Findings also indicate that there were people living here as far back as the Hellenistic period, around the 3rd century BC.

    The painstaking renovation work has peeled away layer upon layer, new evidence emerging from the rubble has helped to piece together Castello di Ugento’s turbulent and fascinating history.

    Then vs. Now

    Over the past few years, the painstaking renovation work has gradually transformed the crumbling castle into a magnificent golden palazzo once more.

    The impressive Eastern Bastion , from the Porta del Paradiso hamlet, before and after the six-month renovation.

    The Angevin Tower seen from the walled kitchen garden before and after its restoration which took one year.

    The Main Staircase leading up to elegant first floor apartments which now house the museum. The original blue-grey paintwork had been hidden below a thick layer of chalk for around 200 years.

    The Courtyard where guests arrive from the main gate, and enjoy aperitivi and al-fresco dining.

    The Internal Courtyard, "androne", which leads to the Puglia Culinary Centre

    Sala del Trono, before and after the careful restoration by a team of al fresco painting restorers.

    The Salone di Mercurio, detail

    Corte del Pellicano before renovation was part of the Castello's staff quarters.

    The Gastronomy Kitchen before renovation and in its current state-of-the-art teaching kitchens.

    The Pasticceria functioned as the Castello's lighting olive oil press in the 1800s. It is now the pastry kitchen, or "pasticceria".

    The Kitchen of the restaurant Il Tempo Nuovo, once the bakery for the soldiers, now fully equipped with Electrolux Professional Thermaline equipment to the delight of our Chefs.

    The Walled Kitchen Garden, was the first part of the project to be restored.

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