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.
What is the story behind Palazzo Ventidue, what was your inspiration to create it?
I’ve had a connection with Italy since I was 25. I was living in Milan and Bologna for a while and often travelled to Italy in the summer. But I hadn’t visited Puglia until around three years ago when my partner and I ended up in Nardo by accident.
I’ve always had a dream of having a house in Italy and when I found this place, I knew it was “the one”. You could say it was love at first sight. However, it took a couple of years to convince my partner.
In the beginning, we thought it was too big for what we needed but we loved its high ceilings and location in the old town. So we decided to make something that was not only for us but also to share with other people. We officially opened to guests in August 2023.
How would you describe the atmosphere, architecture and interior design of Palazzo Ventidue?
Palazzo Ventidue is a mix of Italian design pieces and modern, custom-made furnishings with a balance of old and new. We wanted to create a contemporary look that suited the historical place but it also needed to be comfortable.
I work in brand consulting and my partner teaches mathematics and geography, so we are not really in the architectural or interior design worlds. We worked with an architect from the region, Luigi Albano, and we had help from friends with colour selections and mock-ups to help us imagine the space.
When it came to the interiors, we mostly did it ourselves. We decided to bring in our own style and create something more personal instead of giving the project out of our hands. It was new for us and a lot of fun collaborating with the workers, and choosing materials and furnishings.
In addition to working with local craftsmen and artisans, we found some pieces at antique markets in the region. It was often about talking to the right people. Sometimes it was stressful and it may have been faster with an interior designer that takes care of everything, but it’s nice that we decided on our own and achieved a more personal result. I really enjoyed the process and this won’t be the last design-focused project hopefully.
To you personally, what is so special about Palazzo Ventidue?
For me Palazzo Ventidue carries the essence of a serene, old soul, with its huge ceilings echoing the tranquility of a chapel. We added a bit of comfort while retaining the approach of “less is more”. The house has several sections, each with its own distinct atmosphere. As we continually generate ideas and make changes, we envision it as a living space that should evolve with time, for example through artist residencies.
By opening it to guests, we aim to share this and establish a unique and private space for quality time with family and friends, where one can fully embrace the authentic Italian lifestyle.
As special as the house is to us, so is the location. Nardo with its particular baroque architecture is one of the most beautiful towns in the region, offering a calm Apulian experience and a rich culinary scene to savor. We absolutely fell in love with this place and its people.