Specialists in Southern Italy, Sicily & Sardinia
From £548 pp
An amazing find! Boutique designer B&B, slap-bang in the middle of famous Baroque town, with a glorious pool and garden. In wonderful “Montalbano” country, sophisticated style and comfort, and a friendly smile on reception. Sightsee till you drop and then relax. Wow!
Ragusa, in Sicily’s famous Baroque south-east corner, is less than half an hour from Comiso airport and only one and a half hours from Catania airport, so is a perfect choice for a break, or for the start or end of a Sicilian itinerary. Part of the Val di Noto UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a great base for exploring, within easy striking distance of so many interesting and beautiful Baroque towns. Modica, reached within half an hour, is fabulous, with tiers of houses spreading up a steep ravine, like layers of a cake, and churches dominating the skyline. Scicli, also only half an hour away, is one of Sicily’s greatest secrets and a favourite of ours. Set in a gorge, with wonderful churches and noble palazzi, it has a special atmosphere. In fact, the fictional police station of Inspector Montalbano is actually in Scicli. This area is real “Montalbano” country and many of the scenes were filmed in and around Ragusa. You will see why – such spectacular scenery just can’t be beaten.
Stunning “Blue Flag” beaches at Marina di Ragusa and along the south east coast are less than half an hour’s drive. Noto is just over an hour and the fantastic ceramics town of Caltagirone is just less than an hour.
On two sides of a narrow gorge, Ragusa Superiore’s grid system, meant to be the antedote to the higgledy-piggledy jumble of Ragusa Ibla, became the “modern” part of the town, when rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake. Narrow, steep streets climb to lovely golden Baroque churches and squares, past impressively elegant houses and aristocratic palazzi, and the view across the gorge is one of the most stunning and unforgettable sights ever – Ragusa Ibla, tumbling down the ravine in picturesque disarray. Ragusa Ibla attracts the most visitors, as it has 18 buildings protected by UNESCO, quite an extraordinary number for such a small town. It certainly is a jewel and, especially viewed from a distance, it is breathtaking. Ragusa Superiore usually feels less busy and, of course, has those incredible views over to Ragusa Ibla. There are steps and a path to take you between Ibla and Superiore, if you are really energetic. Otherwise, taxis are freely available.
Nowadays, apart from the Baroque, Ragusa is well known for its gourmet food. There are two restaurants in Ragusa Ibla with two Michelin stars, which is quite something for a small town, especially in Sicily. Actually, needless to say, the usual trattorie and typical restaurants are superb too, because local cuisine is so delicious, but, if you are looking for a “gourmet” break, Ragusa will fit the bill for you. One of the two is actually our favourite and, if you book Villa Del Lauro, we can probably wangle a special discount for you, so just ask us.
Villa Del Lauro sits in a narrow street, at the bottom end of Ragusa Superiore, just a five minute walk or so (uphill) to the main piazza, the Cathedral of San Giovanni and other interesting sights, and just a short distance from one of the best viewing points for Ragusa Ibla and the steps to get to it. For us, it offers a perfect combination for sightseeing and relaxation. It is certainly unusual to discover accommodation with a pool, slap-bang in the middle of a historic town. Villa Del Lauro’s pool and glorious terraced garden, bordered by hedges and high stone walls, are like a secret hideaway, an oasis to return to at the end of your visits to the Baroque gems of the area. In the evening, when lit up, it has a special ambience, too, seeming miles away from the hustle and bustle of the town. In the morning, it is a delight to sit eating the delicious and delicate breakfast, on the terrace overlooking the garden.
A nineteenth century Baroque mansion, Villa Del Lauro has been transformed with elegance and style into a great boutique B&B. Original features, such as the black limestone floors and the staircase, with its deep, steep steps, have been retained. As you enter, the reception area, with an amazing barrel vaulted ceiling of exposed stone, stretches way way back to a glimpse of light at the other end, which comes in from the garden. Highlights of creamy white and flourishes of colour hint at the modern treatment of the renovation. Large comfy sofas and easy chairs invite guests to lounge and relax.
As you might expect of a B&B in a historic town, rooms are often not huge, but they are all charming, often with cleverly compact shower rooms. Neutral colours are the main choice, but colourful highlights add a touch of sophistication. Many overlook the garden.
If you are driving, you need to be aware that Ragusa Superiore’s streets can be steep and narrow, mostly one-way, and although perfectly negotiable, they might not be ideal for faint-hearted drivers. Parking is on the street, so is subject to availability of a space. If you can arrive during the afternoon, when most of the town is having their lunch and siesta and shops are closed, it makes life easier.
So, choose the divine Villa Del Lauro – modern designer elegance in a beautiful old building, with a glorious garden and pool. Wow!
A nineteenth century Baroque mansion, Villa Del Lauro has been transformed with elegance and style into a great boutique B&B. Original features, such as the black limestone floors and the staircase, with its deep, steep steps, have been retained and many rooms are on the first floor and second floors, so some are up two flights of stairs.
As you might expect of a B&B in a historic town, rooms are often not huge, but they are all charming, often with cleverly compact shower rooms. Neutral colours are the main choice, but colourful highlights add a touch of sophistication. Many overlook the garden. We do not offer the Economy rooms.
There are five superior rooms. Three of these can be double or twin and the other two are double only. Some overlook the pool and the garden. These rooms can accommodate a cot but not an extra bed.
There are six deluxe rooms. Four of these can be double or twin and these also have a sofa-bed, one is double only and the other has 2 French beds. Deluxe rooms on the ground floor have feature stone walls. Those on the first floor have a mezzanine sleeping area.
There are two suites. Both are spacious double-bedded rooms with a sofa-bed. One has lots of original features including decorated, vaulted ceilings, an original, ancient wooden door and parts of the original mansion flooring. The other suite has a balcony with a beautiful view over Ragusa Ibla. As an added touch, there is no room service charge for breakfast served in a suite.
“Villa Del Lauro is a lovely, characterful hotel with very helpful staff and a pleasant garden.” Peter & Irene, Winchester
All prices are ‘from prices’ and can fluctuate during each month. All prices are subject to change/amendment. Prices are stated as per person, per week (based on 2 sharing, single supplements apply) and are inclusive of transfer. Flights can also be booked, allowing you to benefit from our ATOL protection.
Whilst weekly prices are shown, our holidays are tailor made and individual nights can be booked at many of our properties. Please call us or use the Enquire Now button above for our latest prices & availability.
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