Nardò, Italy

Casa a Corte

Price per night from$241.63

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR222.73), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Go for Baroque

Setting

Salento’s sleeping beauty

All the boxes of a Baroque-look tick list are checked at Casa a Corte, a stay as Apulian as they come. Spanning six centuries, this ornate home-from-home is one of the oldest in largely tourist-free Nardò. But it’s not peaked yet – thanks to owners Anne and Sylvain, the casa’s newest iteration continues to charm with coo-worthy original details (corner buttresses decorated with chubby cherubs, Neretini arches, patterned floor tiles, and exposed stone walls), modernist and contemporary touches (mid-century furnishings, integrated tech and dusty-pink plaster) and distinctly timeless pleasures, like lapping up Salento’s sun from the citrus-scented courtyard pool.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Wine, local snacks and fresh fruit on arrival

Facilities

Photos Casa a Corte facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Five.

Check–Out

10am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £208.66 (€245), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.00 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Rates don’t include breakfast (€20 a head).

Also

The town derives its name from the ancient Illyrian word for water. In fact, according to one legend, the town was formed on the very spot where – much like the tale of Hippocrene and Pegasus – a bull produced a well, by striking the ground with its hoof.

At the hotel

Private pool and courtyard, fully-equipped kitchen, beach towels, and free WiFi. In rooms: Bathrobes, free bottled water and organic Essentia Puglia amenities.

Our favourite rooms

No two rooms are the same at Casa a Corte, though we do have our favourites. The two Grand rooms have heaps of space. The Colonna room leads out to the courtyard, and boasts traditional Neretini arches, original columns and a strategically designed open bathroom with a curvy custom sink made from Tuscan marble. But it’s the Cappella room that tugs hardest on our heart strings with its polished-up, patterned floor tiles from the room’s time as a 16th-century chapel, as well as restored frescoes painted on the ceilings and a huge ensuite bathroom with a shower big enough for two.

Poolside

You’ll find the casa’s petite pool tucked away in a shaded, courtyard nook amid leafy plants and fragrant orange trees.

Spa

There’s no spa but owners Anne and Sylvain’s little black book full of local experts includes on-call massage therapists for in-house treatments and a fair share of Nardò’s fitness crowd, who can offer guests everything from cardio sessions and boxing lessons to tennis-court access.

Packing tips

Bring a film camera for sun-bleached pool snaps, and leave plenty of space for bottles of Puglian olive oil, famed thanks to its intense flavour and high vitamin content.

Also

All common rooms and each of the Grand rooms are accessible for wheelchair users with large doors and roll-in showers.

Pet‐friendly

Your four-legged friends can tag along for no extra charge, just make sure they keep out of the pool. See more pet-friendly hotels in Nardò.

Children

Welcome, extra beds can be added to Grand rooms at no additional charge and babysitting can be arranged from €15 an hour.

Sustainability efforts

For Casa a Corte, sustainability also means the preservation of culture and history, which is why their focus when renovating the building was on re-discovering, repairing and retaining hidden aspects of the original house. In addition, the owners were intentional in their use, not only of local materials (stone, wood, marble) but of local workers too, employing craftspeople specifically from the surrounding area. Speaking of, the city of Nardó is actively working on optimising its waste practices and guests are encouraged to sort theirs according to the appropriate categories (the house manager will take care of the rest). Furthermore, bath products are organic and locally produced, and both electricity and air-conditioning is individually operated in each room via card in order to minimise output.

Food and Drink

Photos Casa a Corte food and drink

Top Table

Fetch the Bluetooth speakers and head to the courtyard for a seriously Salentini sundowner.

Dress Code

A casa, comfort is key; throw on a robe and get stuck in.

Hotel restaurant

The fully-equipped kitchen offers you the freedom and flexibility to cook what you want, when you want. You’re in the perfect spot for it, too, with fishermen hauling in their fresh morning catch from Salento’s Ionian coast and local markets touting South Italy’s famously fresh fare – plum-size pomodori, soft and spongy melanzane and blood-red oranges (though depending on the season, you may well be able to pick yourself a couple from the courtyard’s orange tree). If you’re partial to a lie-in, Casa a Corte can deliver a bountiful breakfast of bread and pastries with butter, jams and honey, fresh seasonal fruits, regional cold cuts and cheese, fresh eggs, yoghurt, and cereal straight to your door.

Hotel bar

Already polished off the welcome bottle of wine? Fear not, there’s plenty more nearby. For something local, grab some grapes to-go from your neighbours at Cantine Bonsegna, or else, Il Salumaio supermarket is just a short stroll away on Via Cavour.

 

Location

Photos Casa a Corte location
Address
Casa a Corte
Via Tafurelle, 12 Nardo
Puglia
73048
Italy

You’ll find Casa a Corte nestled deep inside Nardò’s historical centre, an olive’s throw from some of Puglia’s most picturesque beaches and a 20-minute drive to Lecce, the province’s capital.

Planes

Brindisi Airport is closest with a 50-minute journey time to the casa, though flights into Bari – just under two hours away – are more frequent. Casa a Corte can arrange transfers for up to nine people. It’s €85 a head from Brindisi and €170 from Bari, to be paid directly to the driver.

Trains

Nardò Citta is just over one kilometre away, with direct trains to Gallipoli, Lecce and beyond. Transfers from here will set you back €15 each way.

Automobiles

Public transport can be notoriously slow at this end of the boot, so wheels will allow you to speed things up when daytripping to whitewashed Ostuni, say, or coastal Otranto. Guests of Casa a Corte can park for free just up the road at the neighbouring Piazza Cesare Battisti.

Worth getting out of bed for

You’re unlikely to run into tourists in this little-known pocket of Puglia’s sun-drenched peninsula. As such, you’ll find that Nardò is less of a ‘doing’ place and more of a standing-still-with-your jaw-open place. Founded by the Messapians, conquered by Romans, ruled by a succession of Byzantines, Lombards and Normans, and finally the Spanish under the Kingdom of Aragon. Years spent at the crossroads of power have left their mark on the town in the most fascinating ways – from the Pizzica folk dance to the Greek-based local dialect. But first things first, grab a gelato and drift through the ancient, cobblestone streets until you arrive at Piazza Salandra, Nardò’s beating heart, where Baroque arches, ornate balconies, neoclassical colonnades and Rococo portals crowd around the 18th-century Guglia dell’Immacolata obelisk. Here, you’ll find Chiesa di San Trifone, a 19th-century church, built in gratitude of the titular martyr, revered for saving the peninsula from a plague of – wait for it – caterpillars. And then there’s Chiesa di San Domenico, Nardòs architectural jewel which adorned, inside and out, with Baroque decoration. Look to the side of the building and you’ll find the Fontana di Toro, which honours the mythic bull from whom Nardò is rumoured to have emerged. The wider province has a rugged kind of beauty, full of wild beaches, turquoise waters and acres of olive trees. Head to Porto Selvaggio to catch a glimpse of it in full swing, this protected oasis consists of a pristine coastal enclave where you can bathe in crystal-clear waters (often in total privacy), miles of pinewood parkland sprinkled with archeological ruins, three ancient towers (Torre dell’Alto, Torre dell’Inserraglio, Torre Uluzzo), and well-preserved fortified farms. The neighbouring beach towns of Santa Maria al Bagno and Santa Caterina are each home to lively little inlets; locals gather here during summer before retiring for a fresh seafood lunch at the likes of La Pergola or L'Art Nouveau (in Santa Maria) or Il Frescura (Santa Caterina). Back in town, splash some cash at Particolare, Nardò’s go-to boutique for ready-to-wear designer ensembles, or have Anne and Sylvain arrange a wine-tasting session or pasta-making class with a local nonna. And, if you happen to be around in July, don’t miss Circonauta, a three-day public programme which transforms this sleepy town into a high-octane fantasy with acrobats, jugglers, trapeze artists and clowns taking to the streets.

Local restaurants

Female-owned Pizzeria Biga has earned a name for itself for its traditional pizzas with contemporary flavours. La Ribas is a fine choice for carnivores with paper-thin slices of beef, fior di latte, rocket, redcurrant and saffron mayonnaise, while veggies will love the Caponata, made with fior di latte, sautéed peppers, breadcrumbs, capers and Leccino olive powder. Seafood lovers, meanwhile, should make a beeline for La Dispenza dei Raccomandati, where tuna tartare, Gallipoli purple shrimps and other fresh Ionian catches are always top of the menu. And for romantic, atmospheric evenings, Il Girone dei Golosi is just the ticket. This tiny trattoria is tucked away on a cobblestone sidestreet with moonlit, alfresco seating and hearty Salentini cuisine.

Local cafés

Caffé Parisi is the stuff of myth – an elegant Parisian-style, morning-till-night spot where everything is artisanal, not least the gelato, which deserves special mention. In Piazza Giuseppe Mazzini, Il Gabbiano and Bar Angelica are the places to go for local delicacies – and there are many. Choose from sfogliatelle di canosastuffed with toasted almonds, dark chocolate, grape jam, cinnamon and raisins; a piping hot pasticciotto filled with cream; or a sugar-dusted bocconotto tartlet to-go.

Local bars

In Nardò you’re never more than six feet away from a glass of the good stuff. In fact, just a hop, skip and jump away from Casa a Corte’s front door, family-owned Cantine Bonsegna serves their own locally-made and low-intervention wines, which use many of the native grape varieties like Negroamaro, Primitivo and Malvasia Nera alongside those less typical, but increasingly popular, such as Garganega, Chardonnay and Sangiovese. Schola Sarmenti, meanwhile, offers cellar tours and tastings of their Neretini produce, which encompasses everything from red, white and rosé, to fizz, grappa and local olive oil.

Reviews

Photos Casa a Corte reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this home from home in Puglia and unpacked their freshly-bottled olive oil and moreish Taralli biscuits, a full account of their Baroque-n-roll break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Casa a Corte in Nardò

After successful careers in luxury hospitality abroad, hoteliers Anne and Sylvain brought their international know-how back to their homeland. Enter Casa a Corte, a lovingly-renovated historical home with six whole centuries under its belt, making it one of the most ancient private mansions in Nardò. Oh, and if you’ve never heard of Nardò, you’re not the only one. The town is considered one of Salento’s best-kept secrets (one which even many Italians are yet to discover) and, as such, is all the better for immersing yourself in the slow rhythms of Southern life. The teal Fiat 500 in the casa’s outer courtyard sets the tone for what's to come, which is all distinctly dolce vita, but with a knowingly cool, contemporary twist. Inside, high, vaulted ceilings soar throughout, wafts of citrus from the courtyard’s orange tree blow in on the back of the summer breeze and original features (antique patterned pavement tiles, Neretini arches, stone walls and restored frescoes) are complemented by a pick ‘n’ mix of antique, Italian modernist and bespoke up-to-the-minute furnishings. Spend sun-dappled days catching rays in the courtyard, making a splash in the private pool or simply kick back, spritz in hand, for a supremely Salentini sundowner.

Book now

Price per night from $241.63