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A Sicilian gem: Donna Coraly Resort

An hour’s drive from Catania airport in Sicily sits the Donna Coraly Resort. A hide-away with just five suites, it’s the ideal escape from the hectic pace of life, and it 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, and a historical prominence that this is where the Armistice of Cassibile was signed on 3rd September 1943, ending all hostility between the Italians and Anglo-Americans. Donna Coraly - Entrance Each of the five suites is unique and has been studied with an expert interior designer’s eye, and only the finest fabrics and locally sourced materials have been selected. The suites are distinguished by beautiful, hand-painted “carpets” of mosaic tiles that pave the way to the French doors leading to private gardens. Donna Coraly - Suite Adding a touch of character, each suite has a Sicilian “Testa di Moro” head, famed in the region for the tragic love story from which these unusual pots derive. Donna Coraly - Testa di Moro Giuseppe, the private chef at Donna Coraly, caters for all food connoisseurs working with the produce of an impressive fruit and vegetable garden on the estate, realising the “farm to fork” philosophy. Seasonal produce is picked daily, and served for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and guests are welcome and encouraged to visit the farm, which lies beyond rose and jasmine gardens. Any meal is naturally dressed with homemade olive oil from the groves next door, and the wines at table are made of course locally, too. You can completely give yourself over to relaxation without any guilt. Donna Coraly - Restaurant The resort’s wellness oasis has an in-house therapist offering massages on demand, and interestingly there is also one called “under the stars”, which is prescribed before bedtime. Her treatments are something customers go back to the resort for, as well as for the beneficial thermal spring pool which contains “sali della vita” – essential micro mineral salts that leave your skin gorgeously hydrated. After a dip in these reviving waters, pull out one of the white-on- white loungers, or seek refuge from the rays under the fresh, white, canopied gazebo. Perfetto. Donna Coraly - Pool If you can bear to tear yourself away from all the tranquility here, take a bespoke outing that Lucia will arrange: such as a trip to Ortigia to listen to opera at the Greek amphitheatre, or a boat trip around the Southern coastline of Syracuse. The annual Infiorata, held on the third weekend of May every year, is also something to plan. 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. Donna Coraly - Resort Donna Coraly has the qualities that make a stay here one of life’s memorable experiences, coupled with the quiet luxury and unrivalled service Lucia stands by, elements which keep this 600 year old estate alive. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Donna Coraly Resort.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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