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The Story

Back in 1957 a young man from Puglia with a passion for boating, nature and the sea, sailing his boat discovered a bay named on the maps as Baia dei Mergoli. Unspoiled place and reachable only by sea or through ancient paths.

It is love at first sight!

He decides to build a house there for his family and himself but soon realizes that such a place deserves the attention of nature tourism and dreams of building a hotel.

After years of complex work due to the steep and rocky terrain, Hotel Baia delle Zagare rises, named after the fragrant citrus blossoms in the park.

More than 50 years have passed and Hotel Baia delle Zagare still retains its “charm.”

History through a photo

A 1970’s photograph by by master photographer Franco Fontana displayed inside the hotel tells a story…

It represents my own understanding of photography. In fact, I believe that it should not document reality, but interpret it. We all have reality around us, but it is the person who takes the picture who decides what he wants to express. Reality is a bit like a block of marble. You can get an ashtray out of it or Michelangelo’s Pietà.

Franco Fontana

Thanks to her I became famous all over the world. It was the French who appreciated her philosophy. In 1978 – by then I had decided to bet on myself, I had given up furniture and taken up photography full time – I had an exhibition in Paris, where Baia delle Zagare was also located.

It was 1970, and with a group of amateur photo friends we went to a hotel on the Gargano, in Puglia, called Baia delle Zagare. It is on a small spur high above the sea, where you get there by an elevator. We decided to take pictures. Some were attracted by the people bathing and some by the water, to me it struck that shadow that the spur etched on the white of the beach”: this is how Franco Fontana recalls how Baia delle Zagare was born, one of his best-known images. At that time I was not yet a professional, for living I sold interior furniture. But I had the passion, I had even paid with my own money for a photography book on Modena, which is now a rarity for collectors.

Alessandro Quitadamo artist and photographer from Mattinata, a lover of his territory has created exclusively for the Baia delle Zagare Hotel the shots and photographs found throughout the hotel; from the cliffs to the olive trees, from the sea and the architectural elements. A modern interpretation that highlights a living land and full of colors of incomparable beauty.

The historical narrative of photographs

A gallery of images which tell the story of the Hotel Baia delle Zagare..