Sicily + Pantelleria

Hotels in Sicily + Pantelleria

Seen from the garden of Casa Talia, the village of Modica looks dreamlike, with labyrinthine passageways swirling down the steep sides of a ravine.

“The Beach” occupies the triangle of land between the coastal railroad tracks and the bathtub-size bay of Isola Bella, a taxi, bus, or cable-car ride from the town of Taormina, high on the cliff above.

Prince Ignazio V was a Renaissance man in the mid-1700's and modeled his palace to follow suit. Throughout the hundreds of rooms, a rococo spirit lavishly expresses itself in stucco walls, gilt framing, limestone sculpture, ebony walls, and frescoes by Sebastiano Lo Monaco.

Antonio and Giuseppe La Rosa’s restaurant Locanda Don Serafino was so popular that the two brothers opened a small 10-room hotel in a nearby 19th-century mansion to accommodate customers too full or tired to go home.

In the hills of Sicily, 2_ miles from the sea, is the secluded 19th-century farmhouse Mandranova.

Five hundred and seventy acres on Sicily’s southwestern coast have been shaped into a golf resort with the subtle, undeniable luxury we’ve come to expect from the Rocco Forte Collection. Every room has an unencumbered sea view (a non-putter might never know there are two 18-hole courses).

Set among ancient vineyards, olive groves, and Greek amphitheaters, this Kempinski-run hotel is contrastly very modern in amenities.

Caol Ishka, gaelic for "Sound of water," sits on the bucolic Anapo River just outside the Sicilian town of Ortigia.

A rustic farmhouse with eight antiques-filled rooms, set in an orange grove on the fertile Catania Plain, facing Mount Etna. Everything from the olive-oil soaps to the pasta (prepared by a Tunisian chef and served poolside) is produced on or around this 300-year-old estate.

Located on a small port on the west coast of Sicily, the Tonnara di Bonagia resort was originally a 17th-century tuna fishery, comprised of a main processing building, a central courtyard, small fishermen's cottages, and a watchtower.

When the Marquis and Marchioness Paterno’ Castello di San Giuliano returned to their ancestral home in Sicily after years abroad, they renovated their villa that had stood empty 100 years.

Just five minutes from the Castello dei Conti (Castle of the Counts), the Palazzo Failla hotel is housed in an 18th-century mansion in Modica Alta (Upper Modica). Inside, the hotel retains historic design elements such as frescoed vaults and original Maiolica ceramics.

Inside the refurbished 19th-century palazzo, the 12 spacious bedrooms are painted in rich ochres and light blues. You can swim in the warm waters off the hotel’s small private beach, or take a 15-minute walk to Ortygia, the ancient city center, with its many gelaterias.

For gravitas, it’s hard to beat the Grand Hotel et Des Palmes in the center of old town Palermo. Built in the 1850s, the hotel has seen sensational murders, suicides, dangerous liaisons, and diplomatic intrigue, especially in 1943, when it served as allied headquarters.