Just 7 kilometers from the beach, surrounded by lush orchard gardens, is Cornelia, a restored 17th-century farmhouse. The property rests on a working farm estate (247 acres) with olive and orange groves, a rich variety of Mediterranean flowers, and even a horse-riding facility. The spacious villa, offering views of Mt. Etna, provides tranquility and privacy with a central courtyard. Cornelia provides a truly elegant and relaxing retreat with its many archways, vibrant interiors, fireplaces and fountains.
Reviewed on 05/05/2016
Villa Cornelia was absolutely perfect for our very large group that filled all 12 rooms of this stunning estate. Our time here couldn’t have been better. The rooms and common areas of the villa were tasteful, spacious, and well looked-after; the grounds, extensive and colorful with local flora, were beautifully maintained, and the staff was both attentive and discreet. Our group consisted of six families, a mix of adults, teens, and young children, and everyone was happy: there was no end to the discoveries around the property – extensive lawns, lush orange groves, hidden caves, courtyards, verandas, and surprise retreats. Our meals were delicious and all of the staff were sweet and amenable to our many and varied dietary needs. A wonderful experience for everyone that I would highly recommend. We were so well looked after in the kitchen! We weren’t sure what to expect regarding food preparation as we had only pre-arranged a few meals… but the staff was always willing and eager to prepare meals for us whenever it was needed.
Nearest Airport: Catania Fontanarossa 31 min
Nearest serviced town: 16 min
Nearest major city: Siracusa 37 min
Nearest beach: 10 min
Driving time estimated by Google Maps
The island of Sicily offers a number of wonderful places to visit on day-trips or excursions, including Taormina, Catania, Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa and the utterly unforgettable volcanic peak of Mt. Etna. As the highest active volcano in Europe and Sicily's tallest mountain. Mt. Etna is a true natural wonder: don't miss the chance to explore it by booking a guided excursion with our concierge.
Taormina, one of the most famous towns in Sicily, is located high atop Mount Tauro. The magnificent Mediterranean blue bay and the nearby smoldering Mt. Etna merge into a spectacular view that can be seen from almost any point in the city. A renowned archaeological destination backed by incredible history, Taormina is home to one of the most famous Greek Theaters in the world. This remarkable theater hosts "Taormina Arte," the town's annual summer international arts festival of film, music, dance and theatre. Taormina is a haven for tourists, offering a great number of restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment and sport venues. Take a stroll along the Corso and be sure to stop at one of the local cafés for a taste of granite (the original version of Italian ice!) and a piece of frutta martorana (marzipan sweets).
The distinctive beauty of Syracuse, rich with history and artistic presence, was featured in Giuseppe Tornatore's movie "Malena", starring Monica Bellucci. Since 1914, from early May to the end of June, the city has staged ancient comedies and tragedies in its Greek theatre. A stroll through the streets of Ortigia leads to the fascinating baroque cathedral that incorporates an ancient temple to Athena. Make sure you check the Fountain of Arethusa, site of the Greek legend.
Noto is the undisputed capital of Sicilian Baroque. Generally listed as one of the 'must-see' tourist attractions on the East coast of Sicily. The town was declared humanity heritage by UNESCO in 2002. Here you can enjoy the most beautiful non equipped beaches of the island, Eloro, Cittadella or Calamosche inside the natural reserve of Vendicari, which is also home to thousands of migrating flamingos and sea turtle nests. If you prefer the comfort of equipped beaches, check the ones in Noto Marina or San Lorenzo. If you are in this area on the third week of May, take note of the famous and suggestive "Infiorata", a picturesque festival to welcome the spring, where local artists work overnight to prepare colorful real flower carpets all over the streets. Other sites worth visiting in the surroundings of Noto (by car) include Noto Antica - the older town - Modica, Palazzo Acreide, Ragusa - a similarly-appealing Baroque town - the necropolis at Pantalica and Ispica Caves.
WHERE TO EAT
Il Barcaiolo - Enjoy typical Sicilian cuisine at this family-owned romantic trattoria and enjoy views of the Mazzarò bay from the terrace!
Via Castelluccio 43, Taormina mare (Spiagga Mazzarò - 150 steps to the beach) - +39 0942 625 633
Villa Antonio - Delightful cuisine and a terrace offering breathtaking views.
Via Luigi Pirandello 88 (at Hotel Capo Taormina), Taormina mare - +39 0942 625 502
Don Camillo - Elegant and refined, this restaurant is famous for seafood dishes and a rich wine list - try seafood risotto and the ricotta dessert.
Via Maestranza 96, Siracusa - +39 0931 67133
Baqqalà - For a nice fish lunch or dinner, try this rustic trattoria which serves superb food!
Piazzetta Ficili, Scicli - +39 0932 931 028
La Locanda Don Serafino - Romantic Michelin starred restaurant, ask for a table in the cave.
Via Avv. G.Ottaviano, Ragusa Ibla - +39 0932 248 778
WHERE TO SHOP
Food – Campisi canned food. This company is still proudly using ancient techniques dating back to the Arab period to produce and processes a wide range of fish and vegetable based products. Also, sauces, honey and wine are all worth bringing home.
Via Marzamemi 12, Marzamemi - +39 0931 841 166
Ceramics from Caltagirone - decorated entirely by hand, with nice vibrant colors (green, yellow and light blue being the traditional ones) and classical shapes, are a touch of Sicily you can bring home! Check Ceramiche Artistiche Sammartino e Delfino.
Via Roma 32, Caltagirone - +39 0933 21 067
Silk in Ortigia - One of a kind scarves that are so beautifully crafted they become true works of art. Wear or hang them, it is your choice!
Via Roma 27, Siracusa - +39 333 594 4518
Chocolate - Sotto San Pietro, visit this elegant store and you will find exquisite chocolate and other local products. Scents and flavors...from Sicily with love!
Corso Umberto I 136-138, Duomo San Pietro, Modica - +39 0932 946093