Torre dei Mori is a magnificently restored compound of historic buildings dating from the times of the Norman invasions set on a hill overlooking the Baroque town of Scicli. The accommodation – three self-contained apartments – is beautifully furnished à la Siciliana, decorated with Sicilian antiques, and supplied with every mod con from dishwashers to hair dryers; three kitchens; ensuite bathrooms to every bedroom; and linen that dazzles the eye. Then there are the grounds: lemon trees hanging with fruit, flower borders, shade trees, manicured lawns, and TWO SWIMMING POOLS that have broad steps for children to play on. We had a seven-month-old in our group, who was delighted to sit on the steps and paddle. And a four-year-old, who (a non-swimmer) started on the steps but by the end of the week was diving in head-first!
Best of all, though, is the hospitality at Torre dei Mori. Denis and his team are the most exceptional hosts – greeting us on arrival, caring for our every request (from barbeque to extra bed to seggiolone (high chair) for the baby, to baking tins), providing a feast of local specialities that kept up going for days, and offering to be on call whenever we needed it. Just magnificent! There were eleven of us in our group, aged from seven months to 73 years, and there was plenty at Torre dei Mori to make us all happy. Even at the end, when flights were delayed, we were delighted: it was on account of Etna having a minor eruption!
Torre dei Mori is only ten minutes’ drive down the hill into Scicli, where there are markets, pasticcherie, supermarkets, and a handsome city centre where you can walk along Via Duca degli Abruzzi, lined on both sides with historic buildings to visit and osterie to frequent for morning coffee, lunch and dinner. Don’t miss Osteria Mamma Rosa (‘cucina tipica, specialità pesce’): so good for dinner that we all went back the following day for lunch! Also don’t miss Degli Angeli for gelato. Our daily haunt – but even then we didn’t run through the whole list of ‘gusti’. (By the way, all the gelato is made on site. Also by the way, don’t be surprised if your children, after Degli Angeli, turn their noses up at the local ice cream when they get home. Ours did.)
At Torre dei Mori, you’re also within striking distance of Siracusa, Ragusa, Noto, and the whole west coast of Sicily, lined with beautiful beaches. Everywhere you go, you will be greeted with a Sicilian ‘welcome’ that’s as warm as the Sicilian sun. English speakers: you will go far on three simple words: ‘ciao’, ‘prego’, and ‘grazie’, that is, ‘hello’, ‘please’, and ‘thank you’. For the rest, use your hands!
We didn’t want to leave.
Will we go back? CERTO!
Thank you, Denis and your brilliant team who made our visit unforgettable. And thank you, Alessandra at Ville in Italia for handling all the booking admin so professionally.