Name: Donna Coraly Resort
An hour’s drive from Catania airport (which offers direct flights from London with British Airways and Easyjet) you will find the exquisite Donna Coraly Resort.
This family-run estate offers views over the undulating countryside and is steeped in history with a moat and watchtower known as La Fortezza and dates back to the 14th Century. This is also the location that the Armistice was signed on the 3rd of September 1943. Walking around the grounds you feel immersed in history and times gone by, where the interiors of La Fortezza are highly evocative of past centuries in contrast to entering the recently restored farmhouse where you step into the epitome of luxury.
Lucia Pascarelli, the owner of Donna Coraly, arranges bespoke experiences for each of her guests at the resort. Examples range from a trip to the Baroque town of Noto for a piano concerto, to Ortigia to listen to opera at the Greek amphitheatre (the 53rd cycle of classic Greek theatre runs from May until July), or a boat trip around the Southern coastline of Syracuse. Guests can also go to laze by the beautiful beach of San Lorenzo or alternatively, Mount Etna is around an hour’s drive away.
If you want to experience something really special, it’s also worth noting that the annual Infiorata is held on the third weekend of May each year (so coming up soon!). With flowers carpeting the streets of the town of Noto, stretching up the road as far as the eye can see, this spectacular feast has become an internationally attended calendar event celebrating this UNESCO World Heritage site.
Style & Character
Each of the five suites is cleverly styled with an expert interior designer’s eye using the finest of materials and fabrics which are locally sourced. Each suite is different and distinguished by a beautiful, hand-painted tiled mosaic in the centre of the room leading to French doors that open on to your own private garden. Other captivating, artistic delights that feature in the spacious suites are the iconic Sicilian “Teste di Moro” which decorate the period eighteenth century furniture. The bathrooms, decorated with Sicilian ceramics and hand-beaded, colourful boxes hold a myriad of toiletries.Throughout, artisanship and creativity is of the highest standard and the materials and textures work harmoniously together.The design aesthetic creates the perfect balance of heritage and modernity in each of the suites, ensuring a luxurious and comfortable stay.
Food & Drink
The Donna Coraly Resort not only offers a peaceful, intimate stay in a secluded, sun-drenched environment but also caters for food connoisseurs and boasts an impressive fruit and vegetable garden where each morning the seasonal produce is freshly picked and served with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests are welcome and encouraged to visit the farm which lies behind the gardens and is perfect for a romantic stroll at sunset. Dinner is then served on the garden terrace overlooking the fourteenth century fort and beautifully cultivated gardens. The menu, which changes daily to allow for seasonal produce, follows the “cucina a km 0” philosophy whereby all produce is either from the farm or sourced locally. Expect traditional Sicilian dishes including Pasta alla Norma, mouthwatering tuna tartare, gamberoni and grilled vegetables.The pasta, bread and pastries are homemade daily by the resort’s talented private chef, Giuseppe. Olive oil and the nero d’Avola wine are made on site too.
Service & Facilities
Amongst the lush gardens is a thermal spring pool with “I Sali della Vita,” which are essential micro mineral salts that leave your skin hydrated and are known to strengthen the immune system.White sun loungers line this calming pool, where you are encouraged to immerse yourself in pure tranquility. The Donna Coraly Resort offers a truly memorable experience in the combination of the history and buildings. Highly evocative as a place, it captivates with luxurious interiors and unrivalled service. Lucia will have you plotting your next trip back before you’ve even left the gates of the 600 year old family estate.
We love that the owner of the resort offers an “aperitivo” every evening on the garden lawn while you watch the sun set behind the age-old fortress.
Disclosure: Most of our property, service & product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced by any sponsor.