Palazzo Ducale Venturi
What We Love
- A five-star stay at a luxury palazzo in Puglia, with flawless interiors and landscaped groundsStaying in the lesser-known Puglia, the remote region that makes up the heel to Italy’s boot
- Spacious guest rooms with living areas, well-equipped bathrooms, and antiques galore
- The heavenly pampering treatments and underground heated pool at the spa
What To Know
- The front desk staff is multilingual and speaks Spanish, Italian, and English
- Pets are allowed on request
- Free WiFi and onsite parking are available
Characterised by sizeable amounts of priceless antiques and heritage décor, this intimate property in the Puglia town of Minervino di Lecce raises the bar for stays in the south of Italy. Housed in a carefully-renovated palazzo that was built in 1500 as a Templar settlement, it’s the perfect base for exploring a lesser-known region that’s chock-full of interesting Baroque towns, vineyard-sprinkled countryside, fine-sand beaches, and sun-soaked olive groves and orchards.
There are just 13 beautifully-appointed guest rooms and suites, all of which are uniquely-styled and paired with good-looking bathrooms ((some have original fireplaces and elaborately frescoed ceilings). Further visual highlights include a secret garden with citrus trees and a fountain, a dip-worthy outdoor pool lined with sunloungers, and a laid-back bar for Italian beers and wines.
Elsewhere, you’ll find a spirit-soothing spa with an underground heated pool converted from an antique oil mill, and a treatment room for customised facials, massages, body wraps, and scrubs. There’s also a gym with advanced Technogym equipment, group yoga classes on selected dates, and free-to-borrow hotel bikes for cycling around the lovely surrounds.
Good to know
Please note there is a local tax of €1.50 (per person per night) to be paid directly to the hotel.
How to Get There
We stayed for 4 nights at the Palazzo Venturi, and it was one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. The welcome was incredibly warm, and the staff throughout our stay were unfailingly helpful and thoughtful, booking restaurants and suggesting places to visit. At first glance the town of Minervino is not hugely attractive, but once you have walked about it a few times you discover many beautiful buildings and it has an historic central square. The hotel itself is in a very grand building, which has been beautifully renovated. Our room was spotlessly clean, very comfortable and spacious. The swimming pool area was lovely - the gym could be a bit bigger and better equipped, but I think that is being remedied. Breakfast was excellent with some innovative dishes. My only quibble would be with dinner - it was very expensive for the food provided, which, while tasty, was not 'fine dining.' There are two very good restaurants in Minervino - Oregano stands out, and nearby Matisse was very good too. Overall a lovely place to visit, with lots to do in the locality (excellent sea bathing) and nearby Lecce is historic and stunning - take the walking tour.
Had four nights here as part of a package. It was absolutely amazing, from the attentiveness of the staff, to the excellent food and beautiful surroundings and room.
A renovated medieval convent, the hotel has sympathetically restored it to a fine hotel. We had a fantastic four course meal (expensive - very - but worth it) accompanied by local wines. Breakfast (included) was also made up of carefully prepared food, accompanied by local fruits and pastries.
The room was exceptionally large and comfortable. Serviced twice daily, it had period furniture, artworks and a large king bed.
Downside - the town is a very basic country town. No public transport, you will need a car unless you are happy to be driven by the hotel (at a cost) to attractions which are all 15 minutes plus away. Not really somewhere you wander around at night (not dangerous as such, but very closed up) so be prepared to eat at the hotel.
Central location, this hidden gem is unbelievable. The saltwater pool, the architecture, the story is truly a special experience that I am happy to have found! Would stay here again for more than 2 days!