Monaci delle Terre Nere is a Sicilian estate at the foothills of Mount Etna, Europe’s highest and most active volcano. This is the place to come when you need to still for a few days, when you’re done with trawling round airports, towns…even bars. When you want to ditch the car and the decision making.
Continued after the pics…
The main building dates back to 1800s, with a few outer buildings scattered across 40 fertile acres. Guests reap the benefits of the estate’s fruit, veg, vineyard and olive bounty, all prepared in an unfussy rustica Sicilian style.
The deceptively deep infinity pool is sunken in the citrus grove and the endless terraced garden. The Med hovers on the horizon but is in fact only about 25 minute drive away. At 500m Monaci is a touch cooler than sea level, whilst Etna’s cloudy craters at least a 40 minute drive > cable car > walk up, up and away. I can’t say we got lucky with the weather but the mist was interesting in its own way! You can easily get up early and visit the lunar landscape of Etna’s peak and be back by lunchtime.
Closer still is the uber vineyard of Benanti. If you think Sicily is all jammy reds, think again. Etna D.O.C. reds, born of volcanic soil are heaven sent, and Benanti is the Bugatti of these fine wines. Going on a Sunday, we were treated like family and pretty much did away with the entire day over bottles…and bottles, and lunch and chat.
Monaci delle Terre Nere, Zafferana Etnea, Sicily
Cantina Benanti, Viagrande, Sicily