La Fiermontina, Lecce, Italy

La Fiermontina, Lecce, Italy

Art-filled La Fiermontina offers a
sophisticated hotel stay in the historic town of Lecce, an
unmissable stop on a road trip around Puglia.

Imagine a townhouse. Except this one is in the pretty baroque
city of
in the Apulian region of southern Italy. It’s all pale
sand limestone that’s smooth to the touch and softly glows in the
afternoon sun.

Wrought-iron Romeo and Juliet balconies look out over a tranquil
sculpture garden, disturbed only by the rustle of leafy olive trees
or the rippling water as a guest glides through the duck-egg blue

swimming pool.

This chic “urban resort” is home for the next few days. And
homely it feels, despite the super-slick
interior design
, muted grey colour palette and eye-catching

You’ll spend hazy days wandering Lecce’s lattice of gorgeous
backstreets searching for the next open doorway through which you
can catch a glimpse of a tiled, frescoed atrium that lurks

Then you’ll return to La Fiermontina to curl up by the
impressive fireplace, book in one hand, negroni in the other,
pretending this 17th-century private home is your own.


Sixteen guest rooms are done up in dove white and slate grey,
creating a Zen-like canvas that demands you slide straight into the
soft slippers waiting by the bed.

A combination of contemporary, vintage and antique furniture
brings character to subdued suites, while snazzy bathrooms
feature free-standing baths and spacious power showers.

If it’s a special occasion, book into the Antonia Fiermontina
suite – the hotel is a grandson’s ode to this artistic noblewoman –
which is accessed via its own stone staircase and features an
original star-pinnacled ceiling.

What’s for breakfast?

Weather allowing, sit beneath an orange tree in the courtyard
and nibble on a platter of sweet treats – warm chocolate cakes,
fresh fruit, bread and honey – while waiting for eggs or garden
omelette. Linger over coffee while you plan your day ahead.

How about lunch and dinner?

Make tracks for the walled garden or elegant dining room to tuck
into a menu based around a “cucina povera” (poor kitchen) that sees
local ingredients – think: tomatoes, artichokes, fava beans,
courgettes, fennel and plenty of seafood – imagined into innovative
plates. Don’t miss the signature Puglian dish of orecchiette con le
cime di rapa (pasta cooked with turnip greens).

Is there a bar?

Yes, both poolside and in the ground-floor dining room, but we
suggest wandering through the house and plonking yourself in one of
the many mid-century armchairs with your tipple of choice.


Swimming pool, parking, WiFi and a treatment room offering
Ayurvedic therapies.

It would be a crime to call it an amenity, but the hotel’s
impressive modern-art collection is particularly notable. Inspired
by Antonia Fiermontina – who married two artists, who were best
friends and remained living across the courtyard from one another,
despite both being in love with their mutual muse – it includes
works by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Tobia Scarpa.

Things I should know…

This year they’ve opened a sister property, Palazzo Bozzi Corso, an
architectural marvel that is thought to have been built on the
remains of a 16th-century palace. Rooms here are eye-poppingly
spectacular, so even if you don’t stay, do pop in for a nose

Within a short walk I can find…

Piazza del Duomo is the prettiest in town – stop by Baldo Gelato
for ice cream en route.