An hour’s drive from Catania airport in Sicily sits the exquisite Donna Coraly Resort. A hideaway with just five suites, it’s the perfect place to retreat from the hectic pace of life, and is ideal for a group of best friends to book the entire resort and make it home. Run by Lucia Pascarelli, the designer and owner, it is steeped in history with a moat and watchtower dating back to the 14th Century, but of the most historical prominence is that this is where the Armistice was signed in September 1943.
Donna Coraly is truly the epitome of luxury. Each of the five suites is cleverly styled with an expert interior designer’s eye, using the finest fabrics and locally-sourced materials. 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 out onto your own private garden. Adding a touch of character, each suite is decorated with an iconic Sicilian “Teste di Moro” head, famed in the region for the tragic love story from which these unusual pots derive.
Donna Coraly Resort not only offers an intimate stay in a secluded environment but also caters for food connoisseurs, boasting an impressive fruit and vegetable garden. Each morning, the garden’s seasonal produce is freshly picked and served with every meal, meaning the menu changes daily. All produce is either from the farm or sourced locally, realising the “farm to fork” philosophy, so expect traditional Sicilian dishes homemade daily by the resort’s talented private chef, Giuseppe. All meals are naturally dressed with homemade olive oil from the groves next door, and the wines at table are made on site too.
Among the resort’s lush gardens is a thermal spring pool which contains “i sali della vita” – essential micro mineral salts that leave your skin gorgeously hydrated and are known to strengthen the immune system. After a reviving dip, pull out one of the white sun loungers that line the pool, or seek refuge from the sun’s rays under the white, canopied gazebo, and immerse yourself in pure tranquility. The resort even has an in-house therapist based at the on-site wellness oasis, offering massages on demand.
If you can bear to tear yourself away from all the tranquility here, enjoy a bespoke experience that Lucia will organise, ranging from a trip to the Baroque town of Noto for a piano concerto, to Ortigia to listen to opera at the historic Greek amphitheatre, or a boat trip around the Southern coastline of Syracuse. Alternatively, laze by the beautiful beach of San Lorenzo, or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, Mount Etna is around an hour’s drive away. The annual Infiorata (where flowers carpet the street, stretching up the road as far as the eye can see) is held on the third weekend of May every year, and is also something to plan for.
An oasis of calm, Donna Coraly offers quiet luxury and unrivalled service. Lucia will have you plotting your next trip back before you’ve even left the gates of this 600 year old estate.
For more information, visit www.donnacoraly.it/en.