In these times of war and COVID, of social distancing and masks, travelling is, more than ever, much more than a break from everyday life and magically takes on the dreamlike dimension of the Grand Tour.
In this journey heading south, like a new Goethe, there is the melancholy of a “paradise lost” before you know it combined with the strength and curiosity of those about to discover it. It is in the grip of this state of mind that I arrive in the municipality of Fasano, an agricultural district of great charm just a few kilometres from the Dune Costiere Regional Natural Park and the famous villages of the Valle D’Itria, and I land in Speziale, a characteristic village of about 400 souls, less than 4 kilometres from the Torre Canne beach, which can be reached by travelling along countryside, olive groves and bicycle routes.
A hamlet, Speziale, where the inhabitants’ favourite verb is ‘slow down’. And here, in this gourmand village, white with lime and low roofs, life takes on a different rhythm. Here is Lamia Speziale, a typical indigo and emerald-green lamia. The lamias have an extraordinary cultural, historical and landscape value because they are primitive forms of agricultural building, mentioned as far back as the 11th century, originally used as storehouses and, from the beginning of the 20th century, as living units in the first rural settlements.
On the traditional entrance door of ‘Lamia Speziale’ stands the date: 1924. The predominant characteristic of the lamia is its construction technique, at once simple and ingenious, characterised by a wide trapezoidal base and thick walls of tuff and stone. Lamia Speziale welcomes us with its four double rooms with separate entrances – pomegranate, olive, fig and cactus – preserved with their star vaults, authentic tufa walls and hand-drawn designs, as was once the custom. Despite the care taken in recovering every possible original piece, the rooms are equipped with every comfort while the bathrooms are finished with cement tiles.
In the morning, breakfast offers natural products such as 0 km yoghurt, local fruits, and homemade jams, as well as traditional Apulian cakes. Away from the spotlights and the glitz of the nightlife, guests of the hotel enjoy the small, seemingly invisible details of an ancient richness, immersed in omni-sensory mode in the discreet luxury of this world of slowness and smells, colours, sounds and scents to be collected.