Castello di Ugento has been in the d’Amore family since 1643. Its history, however, stretches back far further. The tower that was unearthed, hidden to all for 900 years, dates from the 12th century and was built by the Normans. The walled garden, ”giardino di piante utili”, meanwhile, was created in the 18th century. Once an elegant Baroque residence over the years it had fallen into disrepair.
The project to renovate and restore the castle and give it a new lease of life began in 2013. During the renovation huge blocks of stone attributed to the Messapians from the 8th century BC, were also unearthed beneath what is now the restaurant. Ancient artefacts uncovered during the architectural work, meanwhile, date from the Bronze Age, around the 12th century BC. Findings also indicate that there were people living here as far back as the Hellenistic period, around the 3rd century BC.
The painstaking renovation work has peeled away layer upon layer, new evidence emerging from the rubble has helped to piece together Castello di Ugento's turbulent and fascinating history.
Over the past few years, the painstaking renovation work has gradually transformed the crumbling castle into a magnificent golden palazzo once more.
The impressive eastern bastion view, from the Porta Del Paradiso hamlet, before and after the six-month renovation.
The Angevin Tower seen from the walled kitchen garden before and after its restoration which took one year.
The main staircase leading up to elegant first floor apartments which now house the museum. The original blue-grey paintwork had been hidden below a thick layer of chalk for around 200 years.