Lecce, Puglia & Basilicata, Italy Book from

Reviewed by Abigail Blasi
Sixteenth-century mansion in a central yet quiet corner of this beautiful Baroque city, with elegant rooms around a shady courtyard
Mantatelurè means ‘King’s Mantle’ in local dialect, and this refined guesthouse lives up to its noble name, with 6 exclusive-feeling rooms and suites, and 2 enchanting 1-bedroom apartments. Only 300m from the crazily carved Baroque Basilica Santa Croce, one of Lecce’s foremost sights, this is nonetheless on a quiet, off-the-beaten-track street, not lined by tourist shops or restaurants like many others in the historic centre.

Owners Marco and Marta’s attention to detail is apparent from the moment you walk in, from the array of Marco’s homemade cakes and biscuits, to the beautiful, pale patterned tiles that he rescued from a 17th-century palazzo in order to decorate steps throughout the guesthouse. There are lots of luxe touches, such as handmade welcome chocolates, surround-sound radio and rainfall showers. But, despite the high-end fittings, Mantatelurè is laid-back and informal; perfect for couples who like intimate, luxurious, characterful places to stay. The graceful building centres on a courtyard garden, with sunbeds, tables and chairs, as well as a hot tub that guests can book for their personal use. There’s plenty to see and do in Lecce, plus you’re well situated for exploring Puglia, particularly Salento and the Valle d’Itria.


  • Great for couples, with a grown-up atmosphere, romantic rooms, and a hot tub in the courtyard where you can sip prosecco
  • Lecce is an enchanting, historic city full of mesmerising architecture, plus it's within easy reach of the coast and the area's famous trulli settlements
  • Fantastic breakfasts with lots of local and homemade produce, and apartments for those who wish to self-cater
  • A beautiful old building, gracefully converted, in a picturesque, quiet neighbourhood
  • Special little touches, from the candles lining the outdoor steps after dark to the charging stations in each room


  • Reception is not open all day - this is a guesthouse and won’t suit those who like 24-hour room service
  • One of the Deluxe Rooms and one of the Junior Suites are next to the kitchen and breakfast area, and may get a little noise in the morning
  • Apartment guests can take breakfast or self-cater, although the latter requires a sizeable security deposit
  • No children under 11 are accepted

Best time to go

Puglia is best visited from April through to October. Note that it can get very hot in the summer although you're close to the coast for cooling breezes. July and August are very busy as Italians take their holidays at this time, but are also prime time for local food and music festivals.

Our top tips

Buy the famous local almond-paste sweets (or whatever else they are selling that day) from the cloistered nuns at the 12th-century convent of San Giovanni Evangelista, which is on the same street as Mantatelurè, Via Manfredi. The nuns never show their faces, so all business is conducted via intercom.

Great for...

City Style
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique guesthouse
  • 6 rooms + 2 apartments
  • Breakfast only (+ self-catering apartments)
  • Ages 11+ only
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • Dance lessons
Room: Deluxe Suite


Mantatelurè has 6 beautiful rooms, all decorated in pale, soothing colours and sharing an elegant, individual aesthetic that mixes local ceramics with Indian antiques. There are also 2 apartments on the first floor (no lift).

The 2 Deluxe Rooms are light and bright, with high arched ceilings. One is a cool-blue double, the other is a twin with sculptural glass lamps from Naples resembling a bunch of shining white chillies. The same arched ceilings can be found in the Suite, where a dramatic white-painted, carved headboard takes centre stage. There's also an ensuite with a sizeable bathtub and a lounge room with a single sofabed.

Junior Suites share an identical layout, with large double beds and mezzanine lounges reached via spiral staircases. One has windows opening onto a quiet street, while the second has a window onto the inner courtyard. They can interconnect if required.

The Deluxe Suite is the most lavish of them all - it even has its own separate entrance. There’s a contemporary white four-poster bed, backed by a terracotta-painted wall. Behind the wall lies the pièce de résistance: a tempting Jacuzzi bathtub. There’s a lounge room as well, with a single sofabed and a tall window opening onto the quiet street outside.

The 2 Apartments are similarly chic; decorated in terracotta-patterned tiles, both have a double bedroom, 2 large TVs (one in the bedroom, one in the living room) and a kitchenette - the only difference is that the Apartment Deluxe is slightly larger and has direct access to the communal terrace.

All the rooms, suites and apartments have flatscreen TVs, air-conditioning, WiFi, safes, and tea-making kit; rooms and suites also have surround-sound radio at the touch of a button and a charging station (for phones, iPads, etc). Linen is gleaming white. Bathrooms have rainfall showers and Etro toiletries.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Breakfast is served either outside in the sunny, spacious courtyard garden, or in the interior atrium. The food is laid out on a central table so you can select, buffet-style. And what a spread. Most of the cakes are homemade by Marco, the owner, including Italian specialities such as crostata (jam tart), while croissants and the local favourite, pasticiotti (custard-filled pastries), are brought in freshly made from a local bakery. There are lots of nice touches: you can try the local friselle (dried bread rolls), which you dip in water to soften and then top with tomatoes, olive oil and a little salt - delicious.

If you’re staying in an apartment, you can choose to have breakfast (served on your private balcony or inside) or self-cater, and pay a different rate accordingly. There are shops nearby and you get a slick little set-up with an oven, hob, sink, fridge and all the usual ceramics and glassware.

Lecce has plenty of good options for dining out and staff will advise on local eateries. Don’t miss a visit to Café Alvino on Piazza di Sant’Oronzo to try the local rustici (cheese and tomato puffs) or orzo, the hot chicory drink that the Leccese like to take in the afternoon instead of coffee.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cooking classes
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating: Courtyard


  • Explore Lecce, visiting this lovely golden-stone city’s main sights, which include the cathedral and its piazza, amazing Baroque churches such as the Basilica Santa Croce, and the Roman amphitheatre
  • Explore the towns nearby in Puglia, particularly the hilltop towns of Alberobello (famed for its trulli), Cisternino, Ostuni, Martina Franca and Locorotondo in the Valle d’Itria
  • Take a cookery course, explore local markets, visit a local olive-oil producer to taste the olive oil and head to a local wine producer to taste the wine, all with local cookery school Stile Mediterraneo
  • Take a guided tour of the city, head off on an excursion along the coast, or unwind with a spa treatment - any of which can be organised by Mantatelurè
  • Learn to dance the pizzica (traditional local dance). Lessons are regularly held at the guesthouse on Fridays (subject to demand)
  • Relax on Mantatelurè’s roof terrace or in the courtyard, where you can have a glass of prosecco in the hot tub or lie back on the sunbeds

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Dance lessons
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Wine tasting


Mantatelurè is aimed at couples and adults rather than families - only children aged 11+ are accepted.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Junior Suites can interconnect, and all but the Deluxe Rooms have space for a single sofabed.

Kid Friendly: Cantina

Our guests' ratings...


{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

Rates for Mantatelure