From the street outside you cannot imagine what to expect inside the property as the house appears to be perfectly integrated into its local context. However, as you step through the door you enter another world, a unique space which immediately evokes the past in a mix of subtle allusions to a Morrocan riad or a havelis from Rajasthan without losing its Salentino character. The property gently flows over different levels adding to its charm and interest. This property is one of a kind, built around a private courtyard ("Casa a Corte") that is much wider than is usually the case, providing enough space for a swimming pool large enough to swim in (8mx3.5m) which has been excavated out of the rock and finished in a colour reminiscent of the local sandy beaches recreating the turquoise of the sea in the colour of the pool water. A modern, energy-saving filtering system does not require the addition of chlorine. An oxygenating product is used instead. The composition of this residence is very interesting as the highest part standing at the back (housing the master bedroom and one of the two living rooms - both huge spaces with the sloping roofs typical of the 17th century) originally made up what is now considered to be the oldest house, still standing, in town. This older part flows seamlessly into the 18th century construction at the front of the property which has the typically thick stone walls and the beautiful high, star vaulted ceilings which Salentino architecture is famous for; designed to keep the house cool during the long, hot summers. The 2 large, original fireplaces, in the master bedroom and living room, one quite different from the other, have been dated to around 1684. This part of the house has 5 metre high sloping, whitewashed, wooden ceilings with river log beams, and the flooring is top grade engineered wood both beautiful and highly durable. The master bedroom leads to a full en-suite bathroom. Many original stonework features have been revealed and restored throughout the property giving the house its special personality. Another surprise is the quiet, shady, citrus grove at the back of the house offering a distinctly separate green outdoor space contrasting with the clean white and shades of beige in the "chianche"-paved internal courtyard. The garden offers an oasis of green under the citrus trees- oranges, lemon, mandarins and other varieties as well as boasting the bountiful caper bushes, herb plants and the elegant, silvery-leaved wild olive tree (ulivo selvatico) which provides a perfect spot for shady, lazy, long lunches al fresco. There is a delightful harmony also in the way the property has been furnished with an unexpected mix of restored colonial and art deco solid teak pieces hand-picked and collected over several years in India, a handful of English antiques, together with modern Italian design pieces (B&B Italia, Poliform, Flexform and the Poliform/Varenna kitchen) and a few upcycled, refinished one-off pieces especially created for this house. The two bedrooms and the living room at the front of the house each has its own original part of the flooring from almost a century ago - thick, decorated cement tiles creating a different pattern in each room. This flooring is highly appreciated today and in order to create an aeration cavity below all the floors of the entire house each tile in these 3 rooms had to be removed, cleaned and replaced by hand. The tiled flooring is set into a poured cement and quartz flooring used to unite all the spaces up to the point where it meets the wooden floors. Another striking feature which unites the entire property are the handmade internal doors deigned to evoke past times and created from 12 year seasoned solid oak. Each of these 10 doors is unique and a work of art.