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Elle Decor Italia

Borgo Egnazia: a revolutionary take on luxury

The project’s deus ex machina Pino Brescia reveals the key to success when it comes to unconventional luxury


Native of Fasano, Apulia, Pino Brescia is the set designer and creative mind behind one of Italy’s most acclaimed masterpiece of comfort and hospitality: Borgo Egnazia in Savelletri di Fasano, which recently hit the headlines as Madonna’s private summer retreat (with traditional taranta sessions included).

And still, Borgo Egnazia’s most peculiarity is that of not being an hotel, neither a resort nor a masonry; the place is instead “freely inspired to Apulia’s traditional materials, forms and colours. By paying homage to local architecture, Brescia artfully combined locally sourced building materials (mainly, stone and tuff) with ancestral architectural features (narrow windows and porches) to create three different types of accommodation within the huge properties run by the Melpignano family: the central court, the old hamlet – featuring plazas, wells, fountains and tiny alleys bordered by a total of 92 small townhouses –, and the villas. A selection of restaurants and SPA areas complete the scenario.

Such ground-breaking format is challenging the more traditional perspective on luxury, and relies on strictly humble and farming codes, as Pino Brescia is keen to explain.

What kind of luxury is then promoted by Borgo Egnazia?

At a time when ancient cultures and local traditions are being progressively swiped away, I believe in the importance of giving customers the chance to delve deep in the ‘here and now’ and experience the surrounding land and its history in genuine fashion.

Photo: Enrique Menossi

How did you manage to give shape to a sort of ideal Apulian village while escaping a most likely fake feel? Which were the main difficulties?

It was all a matter of tireless efforts and hard work, along with extensive historical and photographic researches. We payed keen attention to detail, and constantly supported local artisan excellences, also supervising first-hand the building site so to assure high quality standards.


Photo: Giorgio Baroni

You think the project might be exported to other Italian regions?

Why not, it being understood that both the research activities and manic attention to “local ingredients” are well-dosed and historically founded. On top of that, a strong personal take on preexisting architectures and local key features is essential to apply contemporary codes and respect the original landscape.

Are you involved in brand new projects?

Sure! You always need to look for new inputs and inspiration, don’t you?

Photo: Giorgio Baroni

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