The event

Experiencing a night at the Castle, Salento is possible, thanks to the event “Dinner with the Duchess.”

At Dinner with the Duchess allows men, women and children to experience a fairy-tale dimension, a journey back in time that takes guests to the Renaissance era. For just one summer night, the castle takes on connotations of other times. The sleeping castle awakens, torches and candlesticks illuminate the mighty walls, and the evocative setting is embellished by artwork created by students of the Lecce Academy of Fine Arts who tell, through images, the story of the Castle of Corigliano d’Otranto.

Crossing the threshold of the castle, the thread of time rewinds, each participant receiving an envelope with the Duchess’s seal to discover his or her identity as a nobleman from Salento, dressing in the shoes of ladies and knights: invited to the Duchess’s table, each guest can wear a fashion detail from that historical period (for men the cloak and for women the ruff).

Upon becoming a nobleman or noblewoman, the ritual of smelling water is performed, by means of earthenware amphorae from which water and scented petals fall to perform handwashing, an honor and duty that was incumbent on the ruler toward his or her diners.

The first people to sit in the Court can watch the fire show until the Lords of the Castle arrive. A true enchantment of the senses where for one night only, in the presence of the stars and the Dukes, it is possible to dine gourmet, tasting Apulian food and wine excellences and regional slow food presidia, with dishes inspired by the Renaissance cooking manual of Bartolomeo Scappi, secret cook of Pope Pius V .

Each Portata is accompanied by the words of the jester who reveals the historical and cultural references of the dish to which a different wine is paired.

Actors from the Improvvisart theater company impersonate the local lords and during dinner tell the history of the fiefdom, revealing anecdotes and trivia about their lineage.

It is a complex ceremony that makes use of the professionalism of the Sommeliers of the Ais of Lecce, who become Coppieri and Bottiglieri for the occasion, and of the students of the hotel school of Otranto and Santa Cesaria Terme, little cooks and servants in costume who bring the great theater of the table to life.

An enthralling, exciting and exhilarating Renaissance banquet that can take participants back to another era, a spectacle of the table in its most sumptuous elegance complemented by a different show each time that alternates between the courses and the storytelling.

The pleasures of the senses follow one another at such a pace that one remains suspended and enraptured in another time, in the time indeed, of At Dinner with the Duchess.

The event told in pictures

Some of the shots from the event dinners

The campaign inspired by fairy tales

A communication campaign inspired by fairy tales and fables.

The campaign inspired by the works of Caravaggio and artists of the 1500s.

A communication campaign inspired by the artworks of Caravaggio and other artists of the Renaissance period.

Press review

View the material released for the press review of A Dinner With The Duchess.