A small square, a 17th-century church, a building with a finely decorated balustrade and, a few steps down the road, a nineteenth-century mansion with barn, granary, and wine cellar carved out of rock.
Welcome to Gemini (Ugento), sixty kilometers from Lecce, in the most authentic Salento, awaiting to be discovered. Stay at the B&B Le Sei Conche, a house with a timeless appeal. The small village of Byzantine origin is located at the crossroads of two ancient roads: one connecting it to Ugento, the important Messapian city of which it is a hamlet, and the other leading to the Ionian coast, between golden beaches and crystal-clear waters.
Here begins the journey across the Lecce hinterland, nestled between countryside and sea, history and myth, flavors and fragrances.
Live without hurry, savor slowly.
A quiet and relaxing dwelling with the charm of a bygone era, in Gemini, on the outskirts of Ugento. A small street, Via Chiesa, which flows onto Piazza Regina Elena and is surrounded by the village symbols: the menhir, the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, adjacent to the Bishop's Palace, and sixteenth-century Palazzo Macrì, once property of the Gigli family, featuring a beautiful eighteenth-century portal, surmounted by a finely decorated balustrade. The air exudes a history that began centuries ago: from the Byzantine fortifications to Roman occupation and then the period of greatest development in the fifteenth century, when this town became a refuge for bishops fleeing from Ugento, besieged by the Turks in the 1700s, the time in which the Church of St. Francis was built.
Le Sei Conche is perfect if you love history, ancient stones and the mood of a bygone age. It is more than 200 years old and one of the few houses in the hamlet that has not undergone any alterations from its construction. The plaques and inscriptions engraved on its mighty walls leave a clear trace of the house’s origins: the old stable and the granary date back to the beginning of the eighteenth century, the residence to 1881 and the accessory structure with terrace (lamia) to the early 1900s. The ancient farmhouse on three levels, with four rooms with traditional Salento-style roof, fireplaces, niches, barn, granary and cellar, has been restored in keeping with original techniques and materials, as well as historical-environmental landscape and local culture.
The typical Salento architecture has been preserved, but it has been redesigned in volumes and proportions and reinterpreted in contemporary style: a simple, essential style that preserves tradition, though revisiting it with original objects and furnishings, thanks to the direction of Engineer Patrizia D'Ambrosio. The property’s name was inspired by the basement, completely carved out in the rock, which was used to preserve food, bottle wine and store olive oil: along one of its walls are carved out six concave niches where traditional food-containing “capase” (terracotta amphorae) and wine bottles were stored: this is where the name Le Sei Conche comes from.
There are only four rooms, with names inspired by architectural features: Il Granaio (Granary), la Botte (Barrel), la Stella (Star) and la Lamia (Accessory Suite). Two on the ground floor and two on the first floor accessible from an outside staircase. A local craftsman has recovered the original doors, front door, and windows, as well as refinished early 19th century furniture, giving it a more contemporary touch, and transformed old shutters into original wall-mounted cabinets. White walls, white or light gray doors and windows, marmorino floors, barrel or star-vaulted ceilings, King size wooden or wrought iron beds with canopy, and original bathrooms with King size showers. The general decor is decisively minimalist and inspired by natural colors; it lets its surroundings speak for themselves, like the lights of the Parisi da Taurisano Brothers.
The ground floor features the largest room (40 sqm) with bathroom converted from the old granary and equipped with stone tub and waterfall faucet, large crystal shower stall and double sink. To get there, we walk through a small corridor with glass walls, with exit onto an equipped courtyard for private use, with table and chairs, prickly pear cacti and water cistern. The comfort suite can accommodate up to three people, and features star vaults, white walls, double bed with canopy covered in natural Tessitura Calabrese sheets, niches with terracotta lamps, reclaimed wood frames and old restored dresser.
It is located on the ground floor with entrance from the charming outdoor courtyard, facing the front door. It is the smallest room (16 sqm), and features barrel vault and wooden bed with original headboard made with the shutter of an old white-washed door. On the wall behind the bed, there is a large luminary, representing the sun, with many white and yellow little lights. The wardrobe is in an open niche, near chest of drawers and stools in natural wood, just as the nightstands. The bathroom was carved out of the former kitchen with fireplace.
It is large (20 sqm) and bright, located on the upper floor, and accessible from the outdoor staircase, just before getting to the terrace. It features an exposed stone star vault, white walls, an open bathroom behind the masonry set on which the bed leans, and carved wooden headboard. The sink is on the left and the shower on the right. The wardrobe is set inside a large fireplace and a niche is enhanced by a terracotta pinecone. Essential furnishings in natural tones. A successful mix of sophisticated elegance, comfort and authenticity.
It opens onto the roof and its strong point is the private 5 square meter deck, with wrought iron table and chairs. It is spacious (22 sqm) and can accommodate up to 3 people. Original furniture and decor items, such as the wardrobe made with antique doors, the fin-de-siècle oak dresser with marble base and the wooden headboard and bedside tables decorated with “cementine” (porcelain stoneware tiles), typical of Salento houses, which are also installed in the bathroom.
The terrace, equipped with umbrella, coffee tables, banquettes and potted flowers opens onto a panoramic view over the village roofs: it is an excellent daytime solarium and a corner to retreat to at sunset, to read a book, listen to music, drink something refreshing and laze around in absolute relaxation. A staircase leads from the hall to the basement, where a cozy open space is carved out of the cellar excavated in the rock. Intimate and cozy, with barrel vaults, the living area with sofa, smart TV and kitchen corner with long table, is the place to retreat to in the winter. It is just as good to enjoy a delicious breakfast in the morning, eating cakes and tarts, freshly baked cookies, jams and fresh fruit, or to chat in front of a cup of tea in the afternoon. The typical Salento light is noteworthy: outside, it is blinding, reflected on the lime-covered walls, on the chianche (old paving stones from Apulia) covering the courtyard and the terrace, and in a manner that enhances the colors of the geraniums and other flowers that embellish open spaces. Inside, it is intimate, soft and relaxing.
The terrace, equipped with umbrella, coffee tables, banquettes and potted flowers is the ideal solarium during the day and a corner to retreat to at sunset, in absolute relaxation.
In the morning, we serve a delicious breakfast with freshly baked cakes, tarts, baked cookies, jams and fresh fruit: the perfect way to start your day full of energy.
We offer our guests free unlimited and unrestricted Wi-Fi access, LCD TV in every bedroom and Smart TV in the living area.
On request, we provide shuttle service to our guests, for transfers from and to Brindisi and Bari airports or railway stations.
For our guests, we reserve beach umbrellas and sun loungers at the Lido Pineta beach. The beach is only 5 km away and easily reachable.
We partner with local agencies to offer the best of guided tours in Salento: cultural, gastronomic or naturalistic excursions.
Kite surfing, diving, boat tours and visit to caves. From Santa Maria di Leuca to Gallipoli, along the Ionian coast of Salento, there are countless options to choose from for those who love the sea. We recommend that you visit the Ionian karst caves, from San Gregorio to Santa Maria di Leuca, like those of the Tre Porte (Three Doors) and il Dragone (the Dragon) and after passing the 1864 white lighthouse, continue to the Mannute complex on the Adriatic. The old town of Gallipoli can be circumnavigated by boat or sailing boat.
Don’t miss paying a visit to the Messapian town of Ugento, the old village, the Cathedral, the castle, the Via Salentina, between the Church of Santi Medici and the Chapel of the Madonna della Luce, covered in lights at the end of September, during the celebrations in honor of Saints Cosma and Damiano, which enliven the town with a procession and band concerts on Piazza S. Vincenzo. Make a stop at the New Archaeological Museum, in the former Franciscan Convent, whose cloister features the stone blocks of the Tomba dell’Atleta; in addition, with a single ticket, you can visit the Adolfo Colosso Collection on Via Messapica 28 and the Crypt of the Crucifix, on the outskirts of Ugento: a small stone church with walls and ceiling covered with frescoes from the 13th to the 17th centuries (www.sistemamusealeugento.it). In nearby Casarano, the Church of Santa Maria della Croce di Casaranello is an art treasure trove of early Christian mosaics, as well as Byzantine and Gothic frescoes. And then there are two among the most beautiful villages of Italy, Specchia and Presicce, full of palaces, court houses and underground oil mills.
Discover gourmet food and taste traditional dishes, perhaps those featured in countless summer festival or served in typical trattorias: you can give a try to the local “scapece gallipolina” or “Quatàra” (fried fish, which is subsequently marinated among layers of soft bread soaked in vinegar and saffron and placed inside a wooden tub), or the Porto Cesareo hearty fish soup, pitta di patate (potato pie filled with onion, caper and olive red sauce), eggplant parmesan, and wheat or barley dried bruschetta bread garnished with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt and oregano, or pittule (fried dough balls stuffed with vegetables or fish), sea urchins and raw shellfish. Among the recipes not to be missed: fava beans and chicory, prepared with mashed white fava beans and wild chicory, as well as Ciciri e tria with chickpeas and strips of fried pasta, octopus in casserole. And if have a sweet tooth, try some pasticciotto (custard-filled pastry) or fruttone (pastry filled with almond paste and covered in chocolate).
Walks along the seafront among dunes and pine forests or the discovery of basins, built from the 1930s to reclaim extensive marshes, or in the karst canals, such as the “Specchia del Corno”; bicycle rides along the canals to go bird watching, or on horseback along paths that cross centuries-old olive groves, o along paved or dirt roads that smell like aromatic herbs, to the discovery of the unique habitats of the Ugento Coastal Regional Nature Park.
Via Chiesa n. 12
73059 Gemini (Ugento)
+39 334 313 0040
Lat: 39.9099992 / 39°54'36.0"N
Lon: 18.1854559 / 18°11'07.6"E
On A14 highway, exit at Bari nord, continue for Brindisi - Lecce, then take the freeway to Gallipoli and exit in Gemini.
State Railways to Lecce Station, the Southeast Railways to Ugento.
Brindisi airport, connected to Lecce by bus