Following an extensive restoration over the past three years, Castle Elvira is a new luxury residence opening close to Lecce in Puglia in Spring 2022. Original 20th century design details meet eclectic furnishing and modern technology to create the ultimate luxury experience in this design-led property. Set on St Elia Ridge in 37 acres of private parkland, Castle Elvira boasts unrivalled views of the local area, its stunning gardens, citrus grove and olive grove.
The castle will feature four en-suite guest bedrooms with two dedicated private salones, two spacious dining rooms (formal and informal), a bar / piano room, two lounges, cinema and business suite. The castle’s spectacular roof terrace guarantees dramatic sunsets. The neighboring groundskeeper’s cottage offers an additional two charming guest bedrooms, a private garden with sunken jacuzzi, outdoor shower and barbeque.
Amenities include a 70 square meter swimming pool, a 12-person jacuzzi and an ornamental pond. The onsite cafe will provide breakfast, lunch, aperitivi and dinner, serving authentic Cucina Povera Salentina’ cuisine, made with locally sourced, seasonal produce alongside ingredients grown in the property’s private land.
The 37 acre estate boasts large citrus groves, olive groves and an enchanting private park interlaced with ancient pathways. The garden will offer the perfect setting for celebratory occasions from romantic picnics to wedding parties.
Castle Elvira was originally built in the late 1800s but was sadly abandoned soon after. The property had been left decaying for almost a century until owner Steve Riseley acquired the property in 2018 and set out to carefully restore the castle and its grounds. The Legend of Castle Elvira* suggests that the castle was built by two adoring parents from Naples for their daughter Elvira’s 17th birthday. Elvira was enchanted by a local castle in Naples, owned by Italian actor and playwright, Eduardo Scarpetta. When Elvira passed away, her parents fled, leaving the castle behind them and it has remained unoccupied ever since.
Riseley has worked closely with architects Filotico & Partner and a team of specialist artisans to carefully restore the Castle. The design remains authentic, maintaining many of the castle’s original features whilst introducing new elements that respect Castle Elvira’s fairytale past. Whilst the castle is now equipped with modern, state of the art technology, these have been hidden behind carefully restored ceramic tile floors and retouched walls. Riseley has hand-picked a mix of antique and modern designer furnishings, custom-made lighting to create a luxurious environment for guests to enjoy. The property will feature many carefully curated art works, including a selection of new pieces by Riseley’s artist husband Harvey B-Brown’s Adored and Adorned collection. “Whether a fable or reality, I fell in love with the castle and Elvira’s tragic story. From the moment I saw the property I wanted to breathe life back into the decaying buildings, restoring the glory, filling the park with love and magic and so that the story of little Elvira can live on.” Says owner Steve Riseley.
Also, open in spring 2022, Castle Elvira’s sister residence, Tower Elvira is located in the immediate vicinity of the Castle and offers the same luxury hospitality. Tower Elvira will accommodate up to eight guests in four luxurious suites, with private gardens or rooftop, a 40square meter heated swimming pool, surrounded by olive and citrus groves.
Renovation works are fully underway and Castle Elvira is set to open in Spring 2022.
*The Legend of Elvira
Once upon a time there was a wealthy couple from Naples whose only child, Elvira was the apple of their eye.
Elvira, a dreamy little girl, was enchanted by a beautiful castle near her home.
Her adoring parents built an identical one in Puglia as a gift for her 17th birthday.
Overwhelmed with gratitude and love, Elvira planned a surprise feast to thank her mother and father and hand picked wild mushrooms from the castle’s grounds.
But when her parents returned, their beloved daughter was dead.
She had mistaken poisonous mushrooms for Porcini. Her heartbroken parents fled the castle, never to return.
Over the next century, the abandoned castle was left to decay, but now, we are lovingly restoring her castle to ensure the magic of Elvira’s joyful spirit lives on.