Sicily – day 2

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Breakfast was a super spread of different breads , a vast assortment of fruits , honey , cold cuts , jams and so forth. I tried the coffee granita with a brioche which was just divine!!

A brief history of Sicily- Sicily was dominated by 19 different colonies. Spanish rules for the longest for 600 years. Sicilian as a language is a mix of Spanish , Italian , French , Latin and Arabic.

Today we are going to visit Villa Cuseni. The architect was the same as the Rockfeller Robert Kitson, in a Greek theme . It was built in the 18 th century but renovated in the 1920’s. In 1843 the house was abandoned and it because German head quarters for 3 years. He returned after 3 years to find the house empty.

Casa Cuseni is a villa designed and built by the painter Robert Hawthorn Kitson in 1905. He had visited the area with his family as a young man with an artistic disposition and resolved to make his home here, far from the Victorian rigours and influence of industrial Yorkshire and his large successful family.

The house and gardens offer a harmonious mixture of art nouveau and Sicilian styles. Robert Kitson’s teacher and friend, Frank Brangwyn, designed the panelling, table, sideboard and chairs and painted a mural in the dining room.

When Robert Kitson died in 1948, his niece, Daphne Phelps, went out to Sicily to sell the house. She fell in love with the place, the country, the people and decided to stay on and have paying guests.

For the next 50 years Daphne managed and cared for Casa Cuseni, ably and affectionately assisted by Concetta and Peppino Cundari.

This villa was just reopened to the public in the last few days. It has some of the most beautiful gardens in this town. 1898 Oscar Wilde came to Sicily. Robert Kitson was in prison ( the 1st owner). In 1095 he requested the best artist to come to his home. Alfred Gast was the artist who painted the murals This was the first deception of homosexuality in painting form.

The gardens of Cuseni, are one of the  most beautiful, but due to the bad weather (unseasonable I must add), we didn’t do much of a walk around the gardens.

At lunch time we visited hotel Ashbee. It’s a boutique hotel of 25 rooms. 5 different categories. 9 rooms are suites. The next group of pictures is of the Ashbee Suite.


The pool was gorgeous.

The Ashbee suite- separate from the mail building- a private Oasis.

 

Going to the town of Savoca. The town where ‘Michael Corlioni’ got married in the Godfather movie.We visited Bar Vitelli where the movie was filmed for some scenes.

  

  

Site inspection of Hotel Timeo

Grand hotel Timeo opened in 1864 and it has only 5 rooms. There was a single family occupancy! D.H Lawrence wrote here, Lord Byron was a guest here.

31 double rooms in Villa Flora. 39 in Tameo. The double classic category is in this building. All rooms are duplex in this building. Double superior has sea view and mini terrace. Mini suite is a new category. They are bigger and great for families.

Junior suite executive there are 5 rooms with terraces. Junior suite deluxe has a balcony vs a terrace. The view of the JS deluxe is astounding as its on a higher floor. There is a terrace that has “backstage access” to the Greek Theater. It’s wonderful and great for VIP clients.

     

While I took pictures of the rooms, my pictures don’t do any justice to the hotel, so I do suggest you see the link below, to find out just how special the hotel is! http://www.grandhoteltimeo.com/web/oght/grand_hotel_timeo.jsp

Hotel is ideal for those who are seeking a family vacation, away from the noise of the city, there is a shuttle that runs from this hotel to hotel Sant Andrea (another OE property) in town.

http://www.orient-express.com/collection/hotels/villa_sant_andrea.jsp

It also has private access for VIP guests to the amphitheater, which was just amazing.

Afternoon was at leisure , we all went to do some shopping into town. The town is very cute with lots of ceramic shops, galleries, stores, boutiques etc.

Dinner was at a wonderful trattoria called ‘Tiramisu’. Just wonderful.

Short trips from Taromina

The Aeolian Islands or Lipari Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, are the Aeolian Islands ; a popular tourist destination in the summer, and attract up to 200,000 visitors annually.

The largest island is Lipari. The other islands include VulcanoSalinaStromboliFilicudiAlicudiPanarea and Basiluzzo.

Stromboli erupts every 15 minutes, so its a great place to go to view this with a guide, its a long trip, a whole day with a 1 am return, but I highly recommend it.

Had a busy but great day, it was so much fun!! 🙂 Its hard to capture it all into words!

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