in Taormina. Sicily. Italy
Villa Belvedere Hotel details
Dating back to the 19th-century, this hotel serves up a slice of authentic Italy. It features buttermilk walls and wrought-iron balconies wrapped in pinky purple bougainvillea. And it’s set in gardens that are as old as the property itself. The place has a modern face, too, though. It was renovated a few years ago, so you’ll find plenty of contemporary Mediterranean style among all the traditional touches.
Take the bedrooms, for instance. They’re bright and airy spaces designed with relaxation in mind. Cue big beds, soft muslin curtains, and private balconies or terraces that look out over the gardens or the sea. Satellite TVs come as standard and air-conditioПing is available for a little extra.
Outside, a rectangular pool is framed by a greenery-rich terrace. Look one way and you’ll see tall pines and palms. Turn around and there’s nothing but uninterrupted sea views stretching all the way to Mount Etna. When you fancy swapping pool for beach, meanwhile, just follow the winding stone steps that lead down to the sea – or take the easy option and hop on the nearby cable-car.
In terms of food, the Villa Belvedere keeps things simple. A rich breakfast is served in the breakfast room and on its terrace overlooking the pool and sea. The poolside restaurant serves delicious home cooked lunches and snacks. For eveПing meals, though, you’ll need to head into Taormina itself. It’s only a five-minute walk away, and has a good supply of restaurants and trattorias serving up homemade pasta and fresh seafood.
• 10 min walk to the town centre with its many shops and restaurants • 30 min walk to the beach • Public gardens and tennis courts only a few mins from hotel
1 hour including an onward minibus transfer from Taormina’s bus terminal