The Palazzo Rosso is hard to miss. It’s the only red building in the white city of Ostuni in Puglia. So soft is the shade of the brickwork, it’s almost pink. In Pompeii the colour denoted wealth, and it was the same here.
The palace, which dates from the 17th century, was the home of Don Paolo Tanzarella, who was instrumental in unifying most of Italy in 1860 and became the city’s first mayor. In more recent years (nearly the past 50) it has sat quietly abandoned, gathering dust rather than political momentum. But all that has changed with its transformation into a five-star hotel, Paragon 700, which opened this summer.
Locals are so thrilled the building has been returned to life that they stop
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