Palazzo Guarini Hall Welcome to the Castle Esperienze

The 14th Century Oil Mill

I won’t ever forget my holiday to Salento… the color of the sea, the warmth of the people, the beauty of the estates and Castles, but more than anything the magnificent food and wine we had the pleasure of experiencing! Accompanied by my husband Lamberto, I visited the home of Duke Carlo Guarini in Scorrano in the heart of Salento. Once through the front door of Palazzo Guarini, our host shared with us the history of his family, which dates back centuries, and of his home, a place well worth discovering which offers surprises at every turn! After enjoying a wine-tasting under the pergola of the Palazzo’s ancient gallery, we were taken on a visit of the eighteenth-century wine cellar which preserves the wine’s ancient flavors and lends an atmosphere of times past. Like the family, the Palazzo is Norman in origin, but was remodeled between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. After visiting the cellar we moved on to the “secret garden” where we were pleasantly greeted by the scent of citrus plants. Beneath the garden there is a hypogeum, an underground chamber, which is carved into the stone.  It was originally used as an oil mill, with seven presses, in the 16th century but has since been transformed into a barrique cellar, where the wines rest in large oak barrels, large and small, and bottles of the best vintage wines are kept… it really is a sight, a truly unique experience! For over 900 years, the Guarini family have cultivated expanses of olive trees which are centuries-old. In mid-October the olives are harvested and cold-processed without delay in the mill to produce an excellent olive oil. In addition to experiencing the food and wine at the Palazzo, I also recommend visiting the Palazzo’s Ceramics Laboratory, which its owner Lucia Guarini is passionate about.  The Laboratory has hand crafted ceramics for over 20 years and offers the possibility to book (in advance) ceramics courses for beginners or more advanced courses for those wishing to specialize.

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