The Palazzo


Welcome in a secret 18th century palazzo in the heart of San Cassiano, a small Salento town. Its owner was Don Totu, the land steward of the Cito family, the lords of San Cassiano. Like all secret palazzos in Salento, it is in a central position, has a small façade, very large indoor spaces and large terraces: the privileges of the land steward.

Don Totu was a big man in the local agricultural economy, as he managed rents for the landowners and the work of farmers, thus contributing to the prosperity of the community. He was entitled to be addressed as “Don”, a mark of respect, and enjoyed privileges, including ownership of a secret palazzo.

The best part of the palazzo was inside, to protect the good life of someone who worked hard all day long. From the terraces where the starry nights could be enjoyed, to the courtyards where to rest under the pergola on sunny summer days; from the cellars storing oil, good wine, cheese and tomatoes during the winter to the large kitchen and halls, so large and with very high ceilings, where amiable conversation could take place.

After careful restoration, the secret palazzo is again expressing its personality, reflecting that original delicate atmosphere of elegance without excess.

Everything conspires to make your life as relaxed, as simple and as enjoyable as it can be. It is the place where productive leisure takes a new meaning. The magic of Salento all around does the rest.

Mauro and Chiara, the current owners, have adapted the palazzo to the needs of the most demanding traveler. So, to the secret of the internal courtyard with a centuries-old olive tree and succulents, the terraces for your well-earned relax, the portico for breakfast, the large indoor areas with a library on Salento and a modern cellar to taste excellent local wines, new secrets have been added which are totally unexpected for a small town palazzo. There is a swimming pool steeped in the green, a small lovely hammam, an orchard with aromatic herbs and fruit trees. Everything runs on self-generated power, thanks to a small photovoltaic plant.

At the time of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the province of Lecce was in Terra d’Otranto (Otranto Land), whose symbol was a fierce dolphin laying on the bottom of the sea with a crescent in its jaws. The dolphin represented the Otranto Land and the crescent the Saracens. The dolphin on the bottom of the sea with the crescent in its jaws indicated the ability of the Salento population to fight bravely the Saracens.
Don Totu’s logo is composed of an ancient key, a symbol of hospitality par excellence of historic homes, and a jumping dolphin, an element of vitality and joy, that catches a crescent, the symbol of the marvelous starry nights of Salento.