Masseria Alchimia is a charming boutique hideaway located on the coast of Puglia, with just 10 beautifully designed self-catering holiday apartments.
How would you describe Distilia Dimora Salentina in a nutshell?
Distilia is a luxurious 19th-century home once belonging to a large, bourgeoisie family. Full of charm and natural elegance, it is located in the town of San Cesario di Lecce, just five kilometres from Lecce.
What is the story behind Distilia Dimora Salentina, what was your inspiration to create it?
When Lilia and her husband arrived in Salento for a vacation in the summer of 2017, they certainly didn't think that the trip would change their lives. While accompanying some friends who were looking for a house, they saw a building in San Cesario di Lecce and immediately thought it was the right place for them.
For years Lilia had fantasised about creating a place of hospitality where she could live for a few months each year as an alternative to Milan. When she entered through the small door of the property, she immediately felt welcomed and almost embraced by its two wings, which surround an entrance courtyard built from Lecce stone that stands out against the periwinkle sky.
When Lilia reached the interior garden, she thought it was a pleasant and relaxing place, perfect for hosting people and sharing this serenity with them. Thus, the idea of Distilia was born.
How would you describe the atmosphere and the interior design of Distilia Dimora Salentina and the apartments?
All of the ceilings are more than five metres high, with star vaults and some with original decorations. In others, this splendid Salento architectural element has been emphasised with the use of different colours.
The neoclassical terrazzo floors have been preserved, as has the neoclassical hall. With a decorated barrel vault, it features original furnishings and large mirrors. These are accompanied by 20-century design classics, such as a table by Enzo Mari, chairs by Charles and Ray Eames and the Arch of Piergiacomo and Achille Castiglioni.
Lilia’s passion for design (she has curated an art gallery for years) is evident in the interiors. The vintage and design furnishings selected are a narration of her life story: the pieces, indeed, belong to her private collection. Some of the signature pieces you will find include works by Osvaldo Borsani, Giuseppe Pagano, Paolo Buffa, Ilmari Tapiovaara, Enzo Mari, Scarpa, Angelo Lelii, Giò Ponti and Max Ingrand.
To you personally, what is so special about Distilia Dimora Salentina?
To me, it is the atmosphere and energy created by the lights and the warm colours of the place that create a sense of peace and comfort.