Authentic Italy - For Wine Lovers - Green Vacations
One of Europe's most spectacular sites dominates eastern Sicily: the snow-capped cone of Mt. Etna, the continent's largest and most active volcano. In ancient mythology, this was thought to be the place where Hephaestus and the Cyclops made the thunderbolts for Zeus. But although it can occasionally be destructive, it is not generally regarded as being particularly dangerous, and thousands of people live on its slopes and in the surrounding areas. The fertile volcanic soil, which gives life to world-class vineyards, extensive orchards and chestnut forests that in turn foster copious wild mushrooms, spreads across the lower slopes of the mountain. You will see all these, plus countless aristocratic estates and authentic villages, if you drive around the mountain, or go with a guide to the very edge of the molten lava. To our minds, this is one of Italy's most fascinating day trips!
Even if you don't wish to climb the volcano, you are certain to find the views of this majestic natural monument breathtaking. To stay for a few days at its base is to immerse yourself in the most authentic Italian lifestyle – plus this area is a treasure trove of cultural and recreational destinations. Drive for less than an hour and you'll reach Taormina, with its spectacular Greek Theatre and delightful quaint village; Piazza Armerina, with what many consider to be the finest Roman mosaics in the world; Siracusa, with the magnificent Baroque island of Ortigia and the vast archeological park. Just slightly farther is the so-called "Baroque Valley," where you can visit half a dozen pure 16th-century towns and their many ornate churches. Less than half an hour away is the coast, which is lined with wonderful beaches and coves lapped by some of the purest waters in Europe. And everywhere, smiling faces welcoming you, a foreigner who has taken the time to pay a visit.
It is common to choose Taormina as a base for this area – after all, it's been a resort town for over 2000 years! But famous resorts can be expensive, and often crowded, so we suggest you consider staying nearby, where you can still visit but get a far bigger bang for your accommodations buck. Etna Vistas is just such a place. It offers artfully restored guestrooms in a classic 17th-century farmhouse surrounded by a citrus and kiwi plantation that is deep green 12 months of the year. A wonderful background is formed by the mountain, which is clearly visible from the swimming pool, the grounds (which you are welcome to explore) and some of the rooms. Drive through the gates and up the gravel path, turn off your engine, open the door, smell the perfumes and hear the silence – and you too can be a Sicilian prince coming to inspect his country estate. You will receive the same warm welcome and careful hospitality, and although this location is perfect for an overnight stay before or after the airport, we strongly urge you to consider extending to see the sites and get in at least one day of pure R&R.The 18 guestrooms at Etna Vistas are on the ground and first floors of the farmhouse, which is shaped like a square doughnut around a patio lined with lava pavers. All the rooms are beautifully restored and tastefully furnished, with terracotta floors, big windows, air conditioning, heating, wall safe, mini bar, direct-dial telephone, satellite TV and wireless Internet access. Many have dramatic wood-beamed, casement or cane-thatched ceilings. Each room has a modern en suite bathroom, provided with a stall shower or bathtub with wall shower, hair dryer, and a nice courtesy set. The nine double rooms are on either floor and offer views of the garden or courtyard or pool; one has a canopy bed and Mt. Etna views. Two of the seven triple rooms also have a canopy bed and Mt. Etna views; all have one queen bed and one single bed; one has the single bed on a loft and another has the single bed in an annex. The quadruple room is perfect for families: it has two single beds on the ground floor and a queen bed on the loft. Many of the double rooms also have space for a child's extra bed, and some of the rooms have a balcony or patio.
For this property:
A baby crib is free of charge and must be reserved in advance.
A child 0-5 years old stays free in its parents' double room.
1 or 2 children 6-12 years old each pay 25% of the room rate in their parents' double room.
The rooms which offer a bathtub are as follows: one triple and one double on the ground floor, plus one double with Etna view on the first floor. There are two wheelchair-accessible rooms on the ground floor.
The swimming pool is available year-round (although it may be too cold on some days).
There is a restaurant at Etna Vistas and Half Board costs 20 Euro/person (paid in Italy). The restaurant is closed in November and December. There are two typical Sicilian restaurants, a pizzeria and a seafood restaurant within a 5/10-minute drive of the hotel.
The hotel staff will be happy to help you rent bicycles and motorbikes.
Click here for information about getting to Sicily.
Please note that you need a car to stay here.
It is not possible to guarantee Internet access at any property, because the property does not generate the service, it merely provides access from a server. If the server experiences any kind of problem at all, the property regrets it cannot be responsible for any inconvenience caused by subsequent lack of service.