Palazzo Bernardini is located in the heart of the baroque town of Lecce, a few steps from the Cathedral. The Palazzo resulted from merging three pre-existing buildings, whose origins dated back to the Renaissance, in the nineteenth century.
This Palazzo became a property of Raffaele Bernardini Marquis of Arnesano in the second half of the nineteenth century, as a dowry, following his marriage with Aurelia Mandoj, in the second half of the nineteenth century.
On the main floor, we can admire frescos and niches of fifteenth century, an antique stone safe box with its revolving door, frescoes of the eighteenth century and paintings of the seventeenth century.
A careful restoration allowed the family Bernardini, still living at the first floor of the Palazzo, to preserve the ancient paving including a mosaic with floral design and antique ceramics with geometric design.
The rooms of the ground floor – that are now the suites of Palazzo Bernardini – used to be the Palazzo’s stables. The ancient mangers for the horses, water pipes in terracotta, and an old oven are still preserved. In the basement, ancient grain storage and various tanks were found.
From the windows of Palazzo Bernardini you can enjoy the view of the bell tower of the Cathedral. Palazzo Bernardini is one of the tallest buildings of the area, thus you can enjoy the nice view of the roofs of old town from the apartments.
The garden, with the oldest Jacaranda of the city, other plants nineteenth century, citrus trees and flowers, opens its doors to the public once a year, on the last Sunday of May, in the framework of an event organized by Italian Historic Houses Association.
The Marquise Isabelle, widow of Raffaele Bernardini Marquis of Arnesano, is dedicated to the preservation and the restoration of the Palazzo since several years.