The room Arcangela palace Muci, decorated with panels of chinese fabrics of 1828, collection of François Dautresme, and the vases, signed Auguste Jean, Gaetano Pesce and Gio Ponti for Christofle. MICHEL FIGUET

say nothing… We would be tempted to keep for itself the memory of the past few days in Nardo, city of the discreet region of Puglia, which unfolds its geography in the south of Italy. A christian South, where more than elsewhere in the country, you feel very close to Greece and the Levant. They become rare the beautiful places full of history, able to be forgotten. Index good news on the screens of the GPS, the name Nardo comes in smaller than that of Lecce, a postcard of the baroque exuberance. This writing in lowercase is an invitation to divert the course too arrow, to take the tangent of it to slip further down in the heel of the boot: there, where from one coast to the other, the jagged black rocks ever closer to make the walk to the Adriatic, to the east, and the waters of the ionian to the east. This brotherhood between the earth and the sea, it is the nature of Salento. After this ultimate plunge on the ocean, just to stop dead, this will be the jump of the angel!

check out the entire (F, Art of living

View from the beach of Santa Caterina. MICHEL FIGUET

say nothing… We would be tempted to shut up even a little the existence of this blessed place where Guy Martin comes to restore the two buildings converted into guest rooms. Address confidential, that does not appear on Booking, or on Tripadvisor. Their stories dictate another music-free larsen of modern times, and other measures that impose the flat… no One tumbles not hurry to the palace Maritati or palace Muci, located a few steps from one another. By car, one arrives there by lifting the foot from the accelerator to borrow piano piano the maze of alleys in Nardo, as did, three years ago, the chef of the Grand Vefour, and his wife Katherina.


On the advice of friends, the couple used to flee the destinations window displays where strut the peacocks, and other me-tu-vu, has chosen to spend a family vacation. Landing at the airport of Brindisi. It is there that Jules Verne made sail for the Suez canal, the hero of his around the world in 80 days . Phileas Fogg looked out into the distance, Guy Martin, him, found in Apulia, to 1 900 kilometres of France and of his native Savoie, that he loves: a world of traditions and values preserved where the inhabitants have learned to be themselves with pride and simplicity. Every morning, their crostini morning are as many outstretched hands in a candid and friendly: “Here, people will say “quiet, quiet!”. there’s a real kindness, a warmth, a sweetness of life amazing… Thanks to my job, I’ve traveled a lot in the world, discovered many beautiful spots, but in the Salento, I found the positive energy of the mountain. It is really an uncommon experience.”

Church of San Trifone, small jewel of baroque piazza San Domenico in Nardo. MICHEL FIGUET

We honor the saints of the calendar under the bright lights of the funfair. On the piazza Salandra, the retired priest and the papys of the district formed an active club whose name, in the Circle of the Future, enjoying the time. It’s simple, here, the time does not count any more. It will not file, nor does it weigh: it belongs to everyone. Do nothing, or almost, with an application carefree… For vacationers organizes a gentle routine summer in which the scenario takes place in a setting of dolce vita that is not cinema. The baroque palaces of Nardo, the monastery of Santa Chiara, the church of San Domenico or the cathedral’s medieval Guglia dell’immacolata display their beautiful and without artifice. The sound of the bells rhythm of the days. At the time of bathing, a few strokes of the pedals through a countryside speckled with olive trees several times centenaries will be enough to get down to the sea, 4 km away. Rocks, coves or beaches, mileage… The mood of the moment will decide.

Jars in glass in the region of the beginning of the XIX e. MICHEL FIGUET

Then, the setting sun will bring back the one and the other to Nardo at the time when the hour pink dorera on the edge of the white stone monuments offering a perfect venue for parties as soft as joyful. The men, passed through the cut-sprouts of the barber Paolo Marzalo, have donned on their skin tanned a shirt of light-coloured linen. The women, naturally elegant, will cover their shoulders as a stole purchased from Appia Appia. All will gather at the Caffè Parisi where staff in white jacket with gold epaulettes will serve as a spritz for the price of a parisian café. Not peanuts, but olives from the corner, cecatelli, and generous antipasti served on a board as long as your arm. Tomatoes, burrata, eggplant polpettes, fish of the day… The cuisine of the region has no claim, but she was still the palace of the michelin-starred chef welcomed as a friend by Carmela and Gigi, who run a restaurant and pizzeria, near, to Galatone: “ Guy is a great cook but, more importantly, he is a man of big heart , ” says this mistress woman who is not the only one to greet the enterprise of the French, become the owner of the two buildings abandoned for decades.

Terrace of the palace Muci. MICHEL FIGUET

This purchase? A blow of heart: “ Never during our stay, the idea of buying a house we had very little. It is a friend that we visit the first palace, the Maritati, in ruins, but ranked among the most beautiful historical buildings of Italy, and then a second, the Muci, who also belonged to an aristocratic family .” On these two buildings dating from the Seventeenth century but parts of which go back to the Ninth century, the time has completed a patient work of undermining and disrepair: walls to support roofs missing, facades without window… others would have retreated, Guy Martin, the château de Coudray at the Divonne and then at Véfour, has always exercised his craft in sites marked by history and the stories, is immediately charmed by this architectural heritage. “ The old stones are a part of my life , he confirms. And then, it goes well beyond me, us… I like the idea of giving a future to these palaces! ” Duration of the project? Three years.

dining area with two works of Claudine Drai, chairs Sika. MICHEL FIGUET

The skills of Luigi Rippa, architect of historic monuments Italian, and his wife, a specialist in the light, have helped to restore flesh to the skeleton of these two captives of a long-forgotten. The eyes of the French decorator Jérôme Nearly-Dumas and Katherina Martin gave them an identity that is both respectful of the past et totally contemporary. A feat that would not have been possible without the investment and the know-how of the local craftsmen of great talent. The ferronnier was chiseled tools missing to be able to work some of the works, as did his grand-father. The painter Claudio has spent days to scrape the walls of the comb to reveal their original colors. A window has been remade several times for touching the perfection. On a white wall of the palace Maritati, the caress of the sun draws now arabesques of a poetic decal light. The heart to work… out of pure friendship, the tiler Manco has offered two mosaics, and Davide Caprioli, without even having worked on the renovation, a gift which was a low table of brass that throne now at the entrance to the palazzo Muci… ” With Salvatore, the upholsterer, it would be necessary to list them all, because without them nothing would have been possible “, insists Guy Martin who is involved in the adventure with the enthusiasm of the first times and the desire to create an intimate universe open to all.

mural Painting of a Virgin in the streets of the city. MICHEL FIGUET

The three guest rooms of the palazzo Maritati, including one suite, and five, including two suites of the palazzo Muci have been designed as family homes. The furniture, the personal objects of the owners, the art works of Laurence Bonnel or Claudine Drai, have found their natural place. The couple has clouded, collected for years of rare pieces signed including Italian designers. Chair Leggera by Gio Ponti, library of Ico Parisi, ceramics Tramonti or Enza Fasano, lamp Pausania or typewriter Ettore Sottsass, low table chinese of the Eighteenth century… The inventory is impressive, but has nothing of a museum. In these spaces, elegant without being ostentatious, friendly and comfortable, it feels good simply. “ I did not become a hotel owner , explains Guy Martin. What are the palais d’hôtes, where, received by Isma and Damiano, it is simply a good place to live. Finally, I hope .”

Not to say anything… It would be nothing to write about these two nests of paradise. You know Nardo? Answer and especially lying! We put for you a candle in the chiesa di Santa Maria della Purita, everything is already forgiven.



Palazzo Maritati

Two rooms: Angelica, from € 150, and Raffaella, from 300 € per night. As a result, Gabriella, that can accommodate up to 4 persons, from 600 € per night with a private access to a kitchen, a living room and a terrace with jacuzzi.

Via Giovan Bernardino Tafuri, 7.

Palazzo Muci

Five rooms, including two suites, for two people, from € 300 the night.

Via Cialdini, 38.Int. on and + 39 327 766 4632

Many activities are available on request: private tour of the region, wine tastings, olive oil, cooking lessons of 3 hours with the “mamas”, to Cupertino (from 90 € per person, aperitif and lunch included).


pizzeria College. MICHEL FIGUET


Caffè Parisi. The cappucino at limoncello the end of the evening, passing by the gelato artisan and antipasti, this is the place to be

Caffè Parisi, piazza Antionio Salandra, 38.

Hostaria Corte Santa Lucia. A trattoria nice to taste the local specialties.

Corte Santa Lucia, via S. Lucia, 46.

Lido Beija Flor. On a wooden terrace, a cosy bar where you can drink in front of the sea a spritz or the cocktail of the day
after a tour to the market of the fishermen of Gallipoli.

Lido Beija Flor, via C. Cantu, 30.

Barbier, Paolo Marzalo. Impossible to miss this ritual in which the Italians lend themselves to.

Barbier, Paolo Marzalo, via Lata, 78.

Shop decoration Appia Appia. Katherina and Katrin have created a concept store where they displayed a selection of objects that pay tribute to the mediterranean art of living, among which the beautiful ceramics of Enza Fasano.

Shop decoration Appia Appia, via Lata, 92.



The restaurant Gustavo and the pizzeria College, held by Carmela and Gigi, a former lawyer spent behind the stoves. They offer Gustavo an exquisite family kitchen. They also own the pizzeria College where the pizza dough is made from four kinds of ancient wheat.

The restaurant Gustavo, via Gallipoli, 48. The pizzeria College, via Lecce, 1.

The Pastry Andrea Ascalone, via Vittorio, 17.

SERVICE: Discover The Puglia in Italy with The Houses of the Trip


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