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This property was the most beautiful and spacious I have ever stayed in. My breath was taken away when the gate opened to reveal a huge garden with fountain, small pool, and views of Mount Etna and the coast. There were numerous tables and seats throughout the garden, enough to sit somewhere different for every meal, if you wanted to. We enjoyed evening barbecues, listening to owls and watching the moon rise over the sea. If this weren’t a holiday accommodation, I’m sure they could charge people just to visit and have drinks in the garden.
The house itself is large enough that we never used, or even saw all the rooms. It could definitely sleep an entire extended family, but we were comfortable there as a couple. The bedroom has windows that can be opened wide to let in the view and fresh air, and we didn’t encounter any mosquitoes in May. The bed was also very comfortable. There were two bathrooms, each with shower and bidet. The shower space was quite tight, but there is also an external shower for post-pool use. The living room was a grand space with frescoed ceiling, ancient tiled flooring, and comfortable seating. The kitchen was small, but suited our needs, and we cooked there often. The two doors give easy access to the garden and barbecue area, and there is a tiled area for laying out buffets and even a marble fish preparing area. We enjoyed the coffee machine and the American-sized refrigerator.
The property is completely secluded and mostly quiet. We were there on the local saint’s day and there were two colourful processions that passed right by the garden wall in the evenings. We are early risers, which is just as well, because the neighbour’s chainsawing and lawnmowing tended to take place in the cool hours before 8.00 a.m.
Our hosts (based in Catania) were very welcoming, helpful, and generous. One morning, we were brought a huge tray of traditional Sicilian pastries, still warm from the bakery. They were not on site but were easy to contact via phone app.
Valverde is very conveniently located to major attractions, but small enough to make the visitor feel like a local. We could stroll into town for gelato, pizza, or arancini, and there is a great family feeling each evening for the “passeggiata”. There are grocery stores, markets, and good restaurants very close by. We made trips by car each day. Acireale and the wonderful Cyclopean Islands are less than 10 km from the house and very worth visiting.