Castle of Casamassella
In the central square of the ancient village of Casamassella, about 4 km from Otranto, overlooks the austere Castle of Casamassella, home to the most interesting of Salento for historical content and architectural features.
Its origins date back to the XIII century when, under the reign of Charles of Anjou, it was erected as a fortified residence. Originally endowed with a moat and a drawbridge, it still preserves the appearance of the ancient fortress after numerous refurbishments designed to soften its structure. In the 1700 the realization of the central loggia, supported by shelves, which overhangs the portal and the openings, carved with zoomorphic motifs, phytomorphic and masks, marks the definitive functional passage of the fortress building to an elegant noble residence.
As soon as you cross the threshold of the castle, it seems to relive a noble and remote era, when the palace was the center of all the activities of the surrounding village. From the central courtyard you can admire the fascinating internal façade where medieval ogival arches and eighteenth-century architectural elements coexist harmoniously, creating a charming and elegant environment that leads to the Mediterranean garden, a magical place where centenary trees and floral plants embrace the architecture of the colonnade .
Citrus fruits alternate with cypresses, ancient roses, precious vines, colorful bougainvillea, palm trees, up to the rare vallonea oak.
The first documents on the Castle of Casamassella and on the urban center that developed around it date back to the Middle Ages, when under the reign of Charles of Anjou the castle, surrounded by a moat with a drawbridge, was the fortified residence of the feudal Ruggero Maramonte.
We do not know if the building existed in an earlier era, but it is certain that the presence of man in the area dates back to ancient times. The geographical position in which it stood, in the immediate hinterland of the town, sheltered from the frequent raids on the coast of Barbary, Turkish and Algerian pirates, made the Castle of Casamassella a prestigious and safe residence, sought after by some of the most noble families of 'Otranto that over the centuries occupied it. It was of the Sambiasi, of the da Noha and then of the dell'Antoglietta until 20 May 1476, when the king Ferrante of Aragon reconfirmed it to Filippo Antonio Maramonte, descendant of the first feudal lord, for war merits in the field.
In those years the events of the Kingdom of Naples were in fact characterized by the revolts of the Barons and wars with other Italian states. Throughout the centuries, the castle still changed feudal lord. In '500 it was the Paladins and then the Rondachi family, of Greek origin resident in Otranto and owner of many lands in Salento. Because of its characteristics as a severe manor, with a mighty shoe wall and side drains, it was used as a school of war.
According to some studies by Florio Santini, illustrious contemporary writer conquered by the charm of Casamassella, in 1600 the castle was inhabited by Spanish governors, including Michele Fernandez da Azedo followed, after a brief return of the Rondachi, by Didaco Perez Serrano and the "vicar general "Don Giuseppe Centonze. While remaining the center around which gravitated the life of the agricultural village of Casamassella, over the years and the succession of the various owners the Castle underwent major changes. The wide and deep moat that surrounded it and with it the drawbridge disappeared, new entrances and windows were opened.
In 1700 its function changed completely and the fortified building, from severe military architecture, became an elegant noble palace, softened in the façade by a windowed balcony above the central portal. In those years the castle was owned by the Marquis de Marco.
In the 1800 de Marco adopted the De Viti brothers among whom Raffaele, father of the famous economist and meridionalist Antonio De Viti de Marco (1858-1943), defender of the economic interests of the South and author of many internationally renowned works, still very large actuality. Donna Carolina and Donna Giulia, the economist's mother and sister, are dedicated to the oaks found in the courtyard of the building. The two women, educated and engaged, contributed to spread the art of the "bow" of Casamassella. Many famous guests attended the halls of the castle. Among these we remember Benedetto Croce, whose wife was a close friend of Donna Carolina. In 1890 he saw the birthplace of the poet and essayist Girolamo Comi, baron of Lucugnano, an artist with a complex and original personality that, according to the critic Caporossi, earned him the nickname of "ascetic narcissus".
The De Viti de Marco lived in the castle until 1969, when it passed to the current owners, the De Donno family.
The Castle of Casamassella, in the ancient heart of Salento, is the ideal place for an enchanting holiday, a perfect situation that unites the pleasure of cultural discovery with a beautiful sea.
The coast, in fact, is only a few kilometers away and can be reached easily, as well as the Cervi di Porto Badisco cave, the most impressive Neolithic complex in Europe, and Otranto, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, UNESCO Cultural Heritage , the geographic point further east of the Italian peninsula.
The building, with over 700 m2 of terraces, about 7.100 m2 between courtyards, small citrus groves and a magnificent Italian park with an area surrounded by greenery entirely reserved for relaxation in the pool and in the ancient whirlpool bath, guarantees maximum guests tranquility and privacy while being in the heart of a small village.
The part reserved for hospitality offers six suites furnished with care and elegance. The rooms are distinguished by size and location, they all have large outdoor spaces for exclusive use and, in respect of the quietness of the place, they do not have TV and internal intercom.
Weddings and Events
For its elegance and beauty, Castello di Casamassella is the ideal location for every event.
The entire right wing of the ground floor of the building is used for receptions, weddings, gala dinners, private parties, exhibitions, meetings, conferences and other occasions.
From the main courtyard, through large windows, you can access the entrance (with wardrobe and 3 bathrooms for guests) and the two living rooms (connected together, total useful area about 200 m2) while the service area, which can also be reached from an entrance on the back, it includes, in addition to the hall with equipped industrial kitchen, also a large pantry with a refrigerator cabinet, a large storage area, a bathroom for the staff and a zone / filter for the control of the dishes.
Characteristics of ancient manors, the cozy rooms with large vaulted ceilings, lead the guest, through a large winter garden, to the park, where pleasant paths invite you to stroll in the quiet.
In the wing to the left of the courtyard is the reception with WI-FI, TV, sofas and bathroom for the disabled.
The rooms are equipped with air conditioning, dehumidification and air recirculation.
The spouses who choose Casamassella Castle for their wedding immediately face the Mother Church of San Michele Arcangelo (XVI century).
Prices on request