A Historic Castle Restored Back to Its Former Glory

Castle Elvira is a new luxury residence in Puglia. This is a place where original 20th century design details meet eclectic furnishing and modern technology to create the ultimate luxury experience.

Steve Riseley acquired Castle Elvira in 2018. With Steve’s background in hospitality and his husband Harvey’s career as an artist and filmmaker, the pair set out to create a design-led property where guests can truly relax and experience ultimate luxury.

Following an extensive restoration over the past three years, Castle Elvira is set on St Elia Ridge in 37 acres of private parkland and boasts unrivalled views of the local area, including its stunning gardens, citrus grove and olive grove.


The castle features four en-suite guest bedrooms with two dedicated private salons, two spacious dining rooms (formal and informal), a bar / piano room, two lounges, cinema and business suite. There is a spectacular roof terrace which guarantees dramatic sunsets and the neighbouring groundskeeper’s cottage offers an additional two charming guest bedrooms, a private garden with sunken jacuzzi, outdoor shower and barbeque.

Amenities include a 70 square meter swimming pool, a 12-person jacuzzi and an ornamental pond. The onsite cafe will provide breakfast, lunch, aperitivi and dinner, serving authentic Cucina Povera Salentina’ cuisine, made with locally sourced, seasonal produce alongside ingredients grown in the property’s private land.

  • Six Guest Suites (four in castle and two in groundskeeper’s cottage)
  • Private lounge rooms for guests
  • Kitchen
  • Dining Room
  • Eight-seat basement Cinema
  • Piano Room
  • Rooftop aperitivo bar
  • 37 acres of private parkland and gardens
  • 70sqm Swimming Pool
  • 10-person Jacuzzi
  • 70sqm Ornamental Pond
  • Cafe Restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Mobile Cocktail Bar, in converted Italian Piaggio Ape
  • Adults only 

The 37-acre estate boasts large citrus groves, olive groves and an enchanting private park interlaced with ancient pathways and the garden offers the perfect setting for celebratory occasions from romantic picnics to wedding parties.

Castle Elvira was originally built in the late 1800s but was sadly abandoned soon after. The property had been left decaying for almost a century until owner Steve Riseley acquired the property in 2018 and set out to carefully restore the castle and its grounds. The Legend of Castle Elvira suggests that the castle was built by two adoring parents from Naples for their daughter Elvira’s 17th birthday. Elvira was enchanted by a local castle in Naples, owned by Italian actor and playwright, Eduardo Scarpetta. When Elvira passed away, her parents fled, leaving the castle behind them and it has remained unoccupied ever since.

Whether a fable or reality, I fell in love with the castle and Elvira’s tragic story. From the moment I saw the property I wanted to breathe life back into the decaying buildings, restoring the glory, filling the park with love and magic and so that the story of little Elvira can live on.” Says owner Steve Riseley.

Also recently opened, Castle Elvira’s sister residence Tower Elvira allows guests to increase occupancy to up to 20 guests. Tower Elvira has the same castle luxury in four stunning suites, with private gardens or rooftop and a 40m2 heated pool, set amongst olive and citrus groves.

The Legend of Elvira

Once upon a time there was a wealthy couple from Naples whose only child, Elvira was the apple of their eye.

Elvira, a dreamy little girl, was enchanted by a beautiful castle near her home. Her adoring parents built an identical one in Puglia as a gift for her 17th birthday.
Overwhelmed with gratitude and love, Elvira planned a surprise feast to thank her mother and father and handpicked wild mushrooms from the castle’s grounds.
But when her parents returned, their beloved daughter was dead.

She had mistaken poisonous mushrooms for Porcini. Her heartbroken parents fled the castle, never to return.
Over the next century, the abandoned castle was left to decay, but now, we have lovingly restored her castle to ensure the magic of Elvira’s joyful spirit lives on.

Rates for double room with breakfast from €349 per night. Rates for Castle and Cottage exclusive hire for 12 guests from €22,500 per week.

Instagram: @castle_elvira

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