Hidden behind a vast, albeit modest Renaissance door just off the main piazza in the sleepy, unknown village of Gagliano del Capo, is Palazzo Daniele.  The love child of contemporary art curator Francesco Petrucci whose family built the palazzo in 1861, Petrucci has turned it into a luxurious base to explore the Salento heel of Italy. The palazzo has that rarely achieved equilibrium between old and new; frescoes are left in peace whilst added touches such as linen from Marakesh, copper tea pots from Japan not to mention Petrucci’s own art collection bring the 6 comfortable bedrooms firmly up to date. Despite these alien touches, the house sings of all that is best in Puglia – ceramics hand thrown in the nearby pottery town of Grottaglie, Rosa in the kitchen pinching out the perfect orecchiette whilst the freshest tomatoes and pecorino cheese are delivered each morning by a local farmer.  Just a stone’s throw from the hidden coves and beaches where the only voices you will hear are speaking and often singing in the local dialect, Palazzo Daniele is currently the best kept secret in Puglia and frankly it’s not one we’re overly keen to be sharing. However with Helen Mirren opening a bar in the nearby town of Tricase, and Petrucci’s annual art show Capo d’Arte that spills across the entire town of Gagliano and attracts leading international artists, we may be too late.