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Inspired by Absence: Art and Old-World Architecture at Hotel Palazzo Daniele in Italy

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Inspired by Absence: Art and Old-World Architecture at Hotel Palazzo Daniele in Italy

August 29, 2019

The most striking interiors I’ve seen this summer? They’re at the very tip of Italy’s heel, in the town of Gagliano del Capo, in a 150-year-old villa-turned-hotel woven through with courtyards and groves of orange trees.

The property was built in 1861 by architect Domenico Malinconico and had been in the family of avid art collector Francesco Petrucci for five generations; deciding what to do with it, he partnered with Gabriele Salini, the hotelier behind one of Italy’s most singular hotels, G-Rough in Rome; then the designers Ludovico and Roberto Paloma of Palomba Serafina Associati. “Inspired by the idea of absence,” according to the hotel’s website, the team stripped the interiors back completely—leaving only the vaulted frescoed ceilings above and mosaic tiled floors below, cracks in the walls and a palette of pale blues, golds, periwinkles, and pinks—then added, sparingly, sculptural fittings and findings from Petrucci’s contemporary art collection.

Palazzo Daniele opened fully in April, and its nine suites, each with views of the courtyards or still blue pool, are now available to rent. Take a look.

Photography via Palazzo Daniele.

The dusty exterior of the hotel leads to a series of courtyards and rooms beyond.
Above: The dusty exterior of the hotel leads to a series of courtyards and rooms beyond.
Into the courtyards.
Above: Into the courtyards.
Above: Original frescoed ceilings, carefully restored, make for a colorful backdrop to clean-lined furniture and contemporary art..
The symmetrical living room in the hotel’s Suite Apartment has eggshell-blue walls, an unexpected periwinkle trim, original mosaic floors, and sculptural furnishings.
Above: The symmetrical living room in the hotel’s Suite Apartment has eggshell-blue walls, an unexpected periwinkle trim, original mosaic floors, and sculptural furnishings.
Old meets new in the newly fitted Suite Apartment.
Above: Old meets new in the newly fitted Suite Apartment.
In another suite, original textured walls, left bare, mixes with a clean-lined open wardrobe.
Above: In another suite, original textured walls, left bare, mixes with a clean-lined open wardrobe.
A particularly ornate hallway, with gold-hued frescoes and mirrors, leads to one of the suite’s pale guest rooms.
Above: A particularly ornate hallway, with gold-hued frescoes and mirrors, leads to one of the suite’s pale guest rooms.
Many of the rooms feature light boxes by the artist Simon D’Exea. This one has two spare double beds, neatly made.
Above: Many of the rooms feature light boxes by the artist Simon D’Exea. This one has two spare double beds, neatly made.
A wall-mounted reading lamp. When the interiors are this spare, the cords become part of the design.
Above: A wall-mounted reading lamp. When the interiors are this spare, the cords become part of the design.
A suite bedroom in hues of pale blue and persimmon.
Above: A suite bedroom in hues of pale blue and persimmon.
The Suite Apartment features a simple kitchen, with tiled countertops and backsplash and skirted storage.
Above: The Suite Apartment features a simple kitchen, with tiled countertops and backsplash and skirted storage.
A small breakfast area—and glass-fronted storage—in the kitchen.
Above: A small breakfast area—and glass-fronted storage—in the kitchen.
Another guest bedroom is left almost completely undressed so that the bones—a dramatic vaulted ceilings and double doors painted entirely in yellow—are the focus.
Above: Another guest bedroom is left almost completely undressed so that the bones—a dramatic vaulted ceilings and double doors painted entirely in yellow—are the focus.
A bedroom in a Junior Suite. Note the nearly invisible doors set into the textured walls.
Above: A bedroom in a Junior Suite. Note the nearly invisible doors set into the textured walls.
The bathroom in a Royal Junior Suite has the feel of an ancient bath.
Above: The bathroom in a Royal Junior Suite has the feel of an ancient bath.
The team installed a modern-meets-ancient rain shower, with water falling from “an archaic source of water” into a lipped basin by the Milan-based artist Andrea Sala.
Above: The team installed a modern-meets-ancient rain shower, with water falling from “an archaic source of water” into a lipped basin by the Milan-based artist Andrea Sala.
The villa’s chef serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all made from ingredients from local farms, in a clean-lined kitchen overlooking the swimming pool. Guests are free to gather here.
Above: The villa’s chef serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all made from ingredients from local farms, in a clean-lined kitchen overlooking the swimming pool. Guests are free to gather here.
Utilitarian pots and pans become a practical display when hung from s-hooks.
Above: Utilitarian pots and pans become a practical display when hung from s-hooks.
Each of the rooms has a view outside—to the interconnected courtyards or swimming pool.
Above: Each of the rooms has a view outside—to the interconnected courtyards or swimming pool.
The pool, for keeping cool in the Italian heat.
Above: The pool, for keeping cool in the Italian heat.

Planning a trip to Italy (or just dreaming of one)? Take a look at a few more favorite properties:

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