Sleeps 8 | Bedrooms 4 | Bathrooms 5 | Near Catania, Sicily
Independent villa | Private pool | Maid included |
From its hilltop position Valverde calmly surveys a seascape that includes Taormina with smoking Etna in the background and mainland Italy on the horizon. Perfectly designed for long, hot Sicilian summers, the villa offers three large shady terraces surrounded by a beautifully-kept garden with lawns, bougainvillaea and impressive cacti. Lovely antiques decorate the interior, while high ceilings and large openings to the terraces keep ground floor living spaces cool. A collection of terracotta urns and vases lines the pool terrace, where al fresco meals can be served at a long table from a summer kitchen equipped with a barbeque and bread oven. The village of Valverde is within walking distance of the house, and many of Sicily's most beautiful sights are within easy reach.
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Set midway between Catania and Acireale, noted for its Baroque buildings, 20 minutes from each of the centres, and about 5km/3 miles from the coast as the crow flies. The nearest shops and restaurants are at Valverde, 5 minutes' walk. A larger selection of shops, bars and restaurants; about 5 minutes’ drive. To explore Mount Etna, head inland to Nicolosi, 1 hour, through a series of interesting villages, then up to Refugio Sapienza for a long hike to one of the peaks - or the easy way up, by cable car. A more relaxing alternative is the string of beaches leading to Taormina, 30 minutes, dubbed Italy's most beautiful town for its setting and its medieval character.
Large sitting room with a fireplace leading out to a broad terrace with sitting and dining areas facing the sea. Dining room with a fireplace leading out to a second terrace for dining facing Mount Etna. Well-equipped kitchen leading out to a third terrace with garden furniture. Small bathroom with bath. Ironing room. Double bedroom leading out to the garden with an ensuite bathroom with bath. WC.
Twin bedroom. Bathroom with bath. Double bedroom with an ensuite bathroom with bath. Master double bedroom with a large terrace and an ensuite bathroom with bath.
A hilltop garden with terraces facing both east towards the sea and west towards Mount Etna. The swimming pool, 6 x 13m/20 x 42 feet, is set a few stone steps below the house, skirted with a terracotta terrace. An adjacent pool house has a summer kitchen with a barbeque and wood oven, a dining area and a WC.
Assistance is provided locally by the property's very affable owner, who speaks English and maintains a separate house set in the grounds but lives primarily in Catania. Services included in the rental fee, and optional services available, are noted under Price and Availability.
Dishwasher. Microwave. Barbeque. Wood oven. Washing machine. Satellite HD TV [Sky Channel] with DVD/video. Portable CD/cassette player. Portable fans. Central heating. Two working fireplaces. Fixed telephone line. Wireless ADSL internet connection [computer not provided].
Airports: Catania, 30 minutes; Palermo, 2 hours 30 minutes. Motorway exit at Catania Est, 6km/4 miles along paved roads to the property gates. Railway station at Catania, 30 minutes. Parking for eight cars.
Clay tennis courts, 5 minutes. The nearest beach is 15 minutes' drive, although the best ones are on the way to Taormina, about 30 minutes. 18-hole golf on the slopes of Mount Etna at Il Picciolo, 1 hour 30 minutes.
Filter coffee machine.
The swimming pool, 6 x 13m/20 x 42 feet, has a depth of 0.8-3m/2.5-10 feet, a ladder for entry/exit and a diving board. It is not heated.
Amenities for children
1 cot or crib and 1 high chair.