CASAMATTA, THE GOURMET RESTAURANT
The Casamatta restaurant offers a fine gastronomic experience in a suggestive setting. Tables of different eras are combined together in a casual way and set up with ultra-modern northern European style chairs.
The lighting is made of traditional Apulian illuminations of the 50s, placed on the ceiling in a very unusual and innovative way. A big handcrafted iron fireplace stands at the end of the large restaurant room.
The talent of Valeria Piccini, the Tuscan Two Michelin stars chef, characterizes the unique Vinilia cuisine and menu.
Casamatta represents the wine and food challenge of this part of Salento where the gourmet cuisine doesn’t usually embrace the local tradition. A careful research and selection of the ingredients produced by local farmers led chef Piccini to base her cuisine on a mix between the flavors of this magic land and the elegance of a fine style.
Everything will be interpreted by the resident chef Pietro Penna.
After training in the kitchen of Sergio Mei and the Four Seasons George V, Two Michelin stars in Paris, he came back to Puglia to give a gourmet soul to Casamatta, and to link the classic French cuisine to the essence of this land.
The ethical castle and the idea of a pop culture tourism.
Contaminations. Culture and identity. Tradition and applied home automation. And so the chaos at the center of the blue universe finds its harmonious synthesis in the modern vision of a tourism that comes into an ambitious and welcoming design signature.
Vinilia Wine resort represents the pop expression of a travel idea applied to a sophisticated taste in a seemingly casual form. Vinilia gives you the sensation of something known, like home; it has the taste of an emotion before lost. It is a reassuring deja vu and at the same time, it is rich of turn of events which taste of editerranean. It is an ongoing heartbeat within an alternation of sensations and flavours.
Vinilia is the story of a dream, the one of two sisters: Marika and Simona Lacaita and it represents an evolution of their Southern Italian innate attitude to enhance and promote the beautiful things. Vinilia is a castle, an ancient house dated early 1900s which used to be the summer holidays house of a local noble family, the Schiavoni. After a careful and refined restoration, it is now ready to become the ideal place for those who want to enjoy the local hospitality and to live an authentic experience in the land of Primitivo.
Vinilia is in Manduria, in Contrada Scrasciosa, in the heart of Salento and the land of Messapi, in Puglia, between olive trees and Primitivo vineyards, and only at a few steps from the sea and from the mouth of Chidro river. Marika and Simona, daughters of a metal mechanic industrial, developed their expertise in the family business and then decided to put their knowledge to the benefit of their territory by initially creating a farm, and investing in the recovery of the castle afterwards.
They have been producing organic wines on the 40 hectares of the family’s land for the last 3 years, launching 5 new labels. This lead to the idea of portraying the Castle as a “Wine Resort”, since it is right there, at the heart of the Primitivo land, that it will be possible to live a full experience between tradition and history.
Vinilia is worth the trip. By plane, by car or, why not, by train to take advantage of the changing sight of landscapes across Puglia which prepare the traveler to the unique experience in a Castle restored in an informal way.
THE RESTORATION: RECOVERY AND DESIGN’S ALCHEMY
The dominant theme at Vinilia is the ethical and informed recovery.
This neo-medieval Manor House dated early ‘900s has been renovated preserving its original style.
It consists of a dominant tower and four little side towers; its majestic battlements look like embroideries between the blue sky and the green of the countryside and they stand out in a landscape that will make the visitor’s mind travel and relax between a red sunset and a colourful sunrise while sitting in the garden or looking up from the watchtower.
Vinilia renovation has been driven by an architectonic and stylish choice and moreover by a conscious ethic desire aimed at the protection and the preservation of the local identity.
In order to bring the Manor House to its original solemnity, all the materials found in the original building were used again and new ones were bought in antique markets and stores; and it is this special care that has led to the rediscovery of the story hidden in any single piece of the complex mosaic that gives a style and a soul to Vinilia.
The austerity of the castle is toned down by the natural familiarity of all the surroundings. A mix of pop and vintage furniture, pieces of design, ornaments dated 50s and 60s.
The ground floor, used to be a deposit for family vehicles: it is covered by a system of 7 meters high vaults, and it has been turned into an elegant but informal hall where the guest can relax and be welcomed. The lobby is decorated with a large desk made by the original iron gate of the building and some original Apulian armchairs dated early 1900s renewed by unique sartorial tapestries.
The floors are made up of cement tiles produced and designed by local craftsmen. A series of decorations, art pieces and local craft complete the environments, following a playful and magical mood. All this is complemented by a modern kitchen and a wine bar with tasting-room.
THE ROOMS: THE ESSENTIAL UNIQUENESS
The Hotel is made up of 18 rooms including 1 Classic, 7 Deluxes, 5 Superiors, 2 Junior suites with bathtub, 2 Junior Suite and 1 Suite. Each room is unique with an exclusive atmosphere. In the rooms the beds in “tufo” (a typical local stone) are alternated with those in iron and wood made by local craftsmen. The style changes from the more rigorous minimalism to the deco, according to unusual and irreverent combinations. There are also common areas where it is possible to relax, read and contemplate the surrounding landscape with its countryside, vineyards and small rural buildings.
THE MYSTIC ANIMAL SYMBOLISM
Everything at Vinilia recalls the essence of the mysterious relationship between nature and man. Walking in the countryside or through the large rooms, it is easy to find decorations shaped like animals. It is a tradition in this part of South, crossed by Arabian, Roman, Spanish and Norman dominations, to entrust your own good fortune to the evocative power of the animals.
Here’s the cock, linked to the symbolism of the sun, protective and benefic, perching on the lobby desk to welcome the travellers arriving to Vinilia. There are owls who, in the tradition of some Mediterranean cultures, are associated to the crescent moon power and the fertility. And finally It is easy to find the sparrows leaning on the tanks between cardoncelli mushrooms and grapevine saplings, and it is there, where nature evolves with the seasons, that these little birds find a shelter where they choose to nest.