Palazzina Alchimia is a vacation rental in a Puglian townhouse from the 18th century with one bedroom, tasteful interiors and a beautiful roof terrace with views of the sea.
How would you describe Casa Pinta in a nutshell?
Casa Pinta is a contemporary Mediterranean house by the sea that has been renovated by local craftsmen while respecting the original building techniques. It features natural colours, minimalist furnishings and authentic hospitality. It’s an ideal place for guests who seek out the Mediterranean lifestyle and the simple pleasures of daily life.
What is the story behind Casa Pinta, what was your inspiration to create it?
I have been working in hospitality for many years with my partner, Andrea. Over time, I felt the need to create a space that reflected me, as close as possible to my ideal aesthetic, which differs from that of the properties I take care of. While I give a very personal welcome in my managerial role, I remain bound by the choices of the property owners in terms of interior design and building materials.
Thus began my obstinate search for a space that was capable of expressing the architectural and artistic potential of Apulian towns — the high-domed vaults, the sea views, the small terraces, the floors with the “chianche”. The real estate agency promised me a house that, while perhaps in very bad shape, would have a view that would take your breath away.
When I saw Casa Pinta, I was struck by the volume of the rooms, the large vaulted ceilings, the unhinged wooden frames. It literally rained concrete on our heads and in the walls we could see stones, tuffs and carousels — elements from old construction techniques that were so suggestive I thought “I am going to leave everything as it was, scrape off the lime and nothing else”.
Instead, I started a long renovation project to bring back to life an abandoned house from the early 20th century. I felt the need to create a simple, authentic, contemporary and minimalist space that was able to connect its guests with that Mediterranean part of ourselves that is independent of any place of birth.
How would you describe the atmosphere and the interior design of Casa Pinta?
The feeling that neutral tones and natural materials evoke is a tranquility of the soul. You are immediately enveloped by this atmosphere of calm and well-being. The contemporary and simple interiors create space (instead of taking it away) and that space returns us to ourselves and to our thoughts, which flow slower when we are on vacation. New creative energies are created.
Casa Pinta’s building is inhabited by both locals and vacationers, and in the warmer months, the atmosphere is of a classic Italian summer retreat. People descend the ancient stone stairways and walk the vaulted corridors of the building with inflatable mattresses in hand, rushing to the small beach out front. From here, it is possible to reach the lighthouse island by walking through the shallow water at low tide.
To you personally, what is so special about Casa Pinta?
The roof! Spending time on the rooftop terrace of the house, lying on the sofa (perhaps with a glass of wine) while enjoying a view that literally takes your breath away is a unique experience that deeply satisfies the mind. The most beautiful part of our job is witnessing the exact moment our guests discover the space and reading the enchantment in their eyes. Some evenings, before sunset, the sky is tinged with a mauve colour and the town appears as though it has been painted.
What do you particularly like about this part of Italy? How would you describe the region to somebody who doesn’t know it?
The Gargano region and Vieste are places that preserve an almost intact beauty. Man's hand has been light, which ensures a powerful natural energy that is capable of regenerating the soul of anyone who visits.