Magical designer, boutique agritourism, exquisite food, slice of paradise. Donkeys and design - a new generation of agritourism!
Only about 15 minutes by car from Noto and 90km from Catania airport, we can't enthuse enough about this slice of paradise. As the road climbs and twists from Noto, through spectacular scenery of gorges and woods, it seems well off the beaten track and it is difficult to imagine that such a jewel awaits. It is a timeless place, where nature remains uncontaminated, the air is pure and you will find tranquillity and seclusion.
Borgo Alveria is steeped in history. Just 700m from Noto Antica, the original Noto, a stroll through the ancient city's imposing arched portal takes you back in time, past ruins of palaces, a castle and prison. The Borgo itself, surrounded by 70 hectares of woods, was a small hamlet based around a 15th century monastery and, during the renovations, even Greek columns were uncovered. Entering the walled courtyard, you will discover Borgo Alveria as it was, authentic and even quite humble at first sight. The long farmhouse, with its honey coloured stone, is attractive, but really gives no idea of the beauty hidden inside.
Two generations are proud of what they have brought to life and we absolutely love what they have done. Charmingly idealistic and passionate about their Borgo, Ivan, his sister Carla, and parents, Anna and Michele, have blended impressive contemporary design with the real meaning of agritourism. This is the new generation of working farms and it has a real "Wow " factor.
The wonderful, beautifully designed restaurant at Borgo Alveria is brother David's kingdom. A chef of exceptional talent, he and his colleagues produce exquisite dishes, which could grace the table of any top restaurant. His philosophy is absolutely in line with the very best of agriturismo and gourmet chefs - local seasonal produce, resulting in dishes, which are tempting to the eye and the epitome of tastiness. He inherited his love of cooking, his knowledge of traditional Sicilian cuisine, and his taste buds from his mother and grandmother. His creativity and flair are influenced by his travels and experience. He sources his high quality ingredients from local farmers and fishermen, and organic seasonal vegetables from Mr. Cascino next door, whose "carrots taste of carrots, beans of beans, and tomatoes simply have sunshine inside ".
Terraces of stone cottages house the rooms, which are individually designed, with Sicilian antiques and ultra modern touches. Mellow stone walls and lava flagged floors combine with flashes of bright colour, luxurious fabrics, unique pieces of furniture and lighting, to create cosy and impressive bedrooms. The Borgo Alveria shower/bathrooms are particularly interesting and attractive. We quite fell in love with the designer luxury feel and level of comfort.
The delightful pool is on a sunny terrace, overlooking open countryside, and you can even see the sea in the distance, on a clear day. Borgo Alveria's 19 hectares give ample space for a wander through orchards or a relaxing read in a hidden corner, under the shade of an ancient carob or olive tree. Then there are the donkeys. Set well apart and with acres of ground to graze, they always enjoy a visit from guests. Awarded its agritourist label for breeding donkeys, the Borgo has 17, and the family love every one of them. Suckers for animals, of course we fell totally in love with them and with Dolly the Jack Russell, who showed us around her secret paradise! She even proudly took us to see her seven newborn pups, last time we visited. Try as she might to convince him otherwise though, Ivan has already found loving homes for most of them
The pure air, tranquillity and seclusion, superb food, fabulous rooms, delightful pool, donkeys, Dolly the Jack Russell - we can't enthuse enough about this slice of paradise. You HAVE to go! Have we praised Borgo Alveria enough? No - that's impossible. You have to visit to experience it, and we can't wait to go back.