Rural Villa, South East Sicily-3 Mins Drive from Beautiful Baroque Noto & 15 mins From Beautiful Sandy Beaches
- English, French, German, Italian
About Richard Bendy
We both live and work in Chichester in the UK, I as a low-energy buildings designer and builder and Sue as a Doctor. Recently we were lucky enough to take a sabbatical in order to restore the cabin and get to know Sicily and its people much better; all of which we thoroughly enjoyed doing.....as did our labradoodle Huxley when not chasing our locally acquired cats Sooty and Smudge!
Richard Bendy purchased this Villa in 2003
Why Richard Bendy chose Noto
In May 2003 we were visiting a friend who had been badgering us for months to come and visit him near Noto in the beautiful South East of Sicily and where he had just bought a wreck in the countryside to restore. We found ourselves falling in love, not only with the beauty of the countryside and the stunning Baroque architecture of Noto, but also with the gentler pace of life and resulting time it gives the locals to enjoy the delicious food and wine this region is famous for. Upon seeing this piece of land we fell in love with it, not only due to its tree-filled, terraced countryside setting with amazing views of the city and Iblei mountains, but also its proximity to Noto with its restaurants bars and the availability of wonderful fresh cooking ingredients.
What makes this Villa unique
Along with the stunning views from the cabin, the surrounding land has a wide variety of fruit-bearing trees such as apricots, peaches, plums, grapes, figs, pomegranate, citrus and wild herbs which you are welcome to use. Therefore these, the proximity of ultra-fresh produce in the markets of nearby Noto (three minutes drive) and its well appointed kitchen make this cabin an ideal place to do some serious cooking and afterwards you can relax in the plunge pool with a glass of Prosecco admiring Noto. Should you fancy a day away from the stove though, Noto boasts some excellent restaurants and also the famous Caffe Sicilia (third best Caffe in Italy)Caffe and Costanzo. And after a refreshing gelato, ten minutes further on are the award winning sandy beaches of Eloro and Calamosche.
Pool / Spa
100% refund if cancelled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if cancelled at least 14 days before arrival date.
A very enjoyable first experience of Sicily
As we first arrived, a very friendly Emi was there to greet us having cooked us a lovely meal, with the chairs, table and loungers all set out overlooking the peaceful valley towards Noto. The gardens, clearly the result of lots of work, are beautiful. The house, on two levels, is secluded, comfortable, well-equipped and clean with lovely outdoor seating areas, just the job for a relaxing break for two...several evenngs were spent sipping wine and enjoying the sunset. We went to lots of the places on the 'things to do/places to go' list...the beautiful Cava Grande (on a nice day, take your swimmers!...the pools are amazing), Syracuse/Ortigia and Marzemi to mention but a few. Noto is a lovely place to eat in the evening, car park easy to find, great ambience. Whenever we needed to contact either Sue or Richard, they were very prompt with their responses....all in all, a great retreat, highly recommended. Thank you Sue and Richard!
We fell in love with Casa Isabella....
My husband and I stayed at Casa Isabella for almost 5 weeks as we took some time off of work since we were in need of some peace and rest. And that is exactly what we found at Casa Isabella. The house is very cozy and the surroundings are just like paradise. When I think back to our time there, I’m very sad we had to leave but at the same time very greatful that we found such a nice place. It was exactly what we were looking for. The house offers everything you could ask for: very comfortable bed, a nice shower, very well equipped kitchen and a stove to make fire during the colder months. On the first day we didn’t even realize how big the garden was and how much it has to offer. So it was a huge surprise when we found the orange and lemon trees, grapefruits, pomegranate, fig trees and the list goes on. It really is like paradise there! The view from the big terrace is just so beautiful and calming that most of the days we were just sitting there for hours enjoying the view, drinking coffee and doing nothing! (I cannot tell how much I miss those times). The terrace was also the best place for my daily yoga practice - highly recommended!
We also very much fell in love with one of the cats who will usually greet you in the morning - Fabrizia - she always joined us when we were sitting outside relaxing and enjoying the view. She is just the cutest cat in the world and we still miss her so much.
I also want to mention that Richard is the worlds best host. I have never rented a house with such a nice and caring host. He will try to help you with everything and anything, he answered all my questions, also about living or working in Sicily which was very interesting for us. Richard will also provide a very good map on google with all the places he can recommend (where to go, where to eat....) which made our stay even better as we went to places we would not have found on our own. We for example went to a friend of Richards for ricotta making which was such a beautiful experience! Richard, thank you so much for everything, we still talk a lot about our stay at Casa Isabella and have so many good memories.
To everyone who is considering renting this house: DO IT! You will not regret it. A cozy house with great surroundings, close to beautiful Noto and the best host you can image - what more do you want?
Well Equipped Private Haven overlooking Noto
This was our third visit to Casa Isabella. It is located only a short distance from Noto, but offers peace and tranquillity from the hustle and bustle of the town but with all the attractions being only a short drive away.
It is a great base to explore this part of Sicily.
We love the feel of the property and it’s privacy. Casa Isabella is ideal for two, well equipped - particularly the kitchen with a multitude of pots, pans and utensils. It’s so easy to buy local produce and make a fantastic meal and sit back on the terrace and eat whilst watching the star’s. Alternatively, there are many restaurants within a short drive.
The availability of the owner to answer questions is another bonus and nothing seems too much trouble.
Another highlight is the option to have a meal prepared for your arrival which is superb and allows you to chill out as soon as you arrive.
We rarely visit anywhere a second time, let alone a third but this little villa ticks so many boxes that it is a ‘must’ return location.
We soaked up the late summer sun, relaxed and enjoyed the privacy and tranquility so much. It’s very well managed, superbly equipped and in a great location.
Lovely holiday-house in Noto
Perfect location to visit the beautiful baroque cities in Sicily. Very nice and clean house with view over Noto. We really enjoyed the peace and quiet, the house is very private! Wonderful places outside to sit in the sun or in the shade to ‘dolce far niente’. You even have a fan and a fridge outside! If you like to cook with the exellent Sicilian products, you will find everything you need in the kitchen. The terraced garden is like the garden of Eden : figs and grapes for breakfast, roquet salad for dinner, almonds all fresh from the tree and later in season oranges and lemons. Best mattrass we ever had in a rental house and a musquito-net. The owners and the caretaker (Marilou) make you feel more than welcome. They were very helpful before and during our stay! We have already rented dozens of houses in Italy and Sicily, but this is a house we can definitely recommend!
Unique Casa Isabella
Myself, wife and 3 year old had a lovely holiday in Sicily whilst staying at Casa Isabella. From the very first communications with Richard it was clear that he was passionate about making sure we had the best holiday possible. He even took time out of his day to call me whilst on holiday when we encountered a small issue with our car hire. Very helpful owners.
Travel from the airport was pretty straightforward though Italian driving standards are interesting to put it politely!
On arrival, like many others we took up the offer of a meal prepared by Marilou the caretaker. It was a great decision and well worth the money, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this option! The accommodation was clean and everything you could possibly need was in the kitchen. The outside space was huge (the pictures really do not do it justice how much land is attached). Beautiful views of Noto and beyond are enjoyed from the various terraces and seating areas. We particularly enjoyed having the shaded seating area with fan during the hot July temperatures. Handily there is also a fridge up there too which we utilised for drinks!! We had some nice day trips to Modica, Scicli and the Aretusa Waterpark! Casa Isabella is certainly well placed to visit some lovely little towns nearby, although with a 3 year old in tow we probably didn't see a much as we might of liked! He certainly enjoyed exploring the outside space of Casa Isabella and loved going on hunts to fetch fresh lemons and oranges from the Orchards below!
Thank you to Richard for use of his home and for all his help and advice throughout.
A hidden gem
Casa Isabella is a hidden gem - nestled in the countryside, peaceful and quiet. The house has everything that you need and is the perfect place to enjoy lazy days in the sun, finished off with a barbeque and bottle of wine watching the sunset.
If you are interested in ancient history, impressive architecture, beautiful scenery, lovely beaches and good food, it is all within easy reach. Thanks to Marilou for making us welcome and cooking a delicious meal on our arrival and thanks to Richard and Sue for providing a place to stay where we could relax an unwind. We hope to return.
The cabin is 15 - 20 minutes drive from the award winning sandy beaches of Vendicari, Calamosche and Eloro with Isola delle Correnti and Carratois about 40 minutes away.
The airport at Catania is 45 minutes away, Palermo three hours away and Trapani four hours away. The ferry terminal from Genoa at Palermo is 3.5 hours away and that at Pozzalo from Malta (only 90 mins on the car ferry) is 35 minutes away.
The Baroque town of Noto is three minutes drive away.The other Baroque towns of Ragusa, Scicli and Modica are all about an hour away. Siracusa with is 25 minutes away with Catania 45 minutes away and Taormina 1.5 hours away. The Roman mosaics of Piazza Armerina are about 2 hours away.
Noto has everything you should need with supermarkets, farmers markets, restaurants and banks. We can arrange for cookery lessons with an excellent chef and also for her to cook for you. There is Kite surfing and Santa Maria Focallo (40 mins) and sea kayaking at Sampieri (45 mins).
For those booking we offer a free Google Map on which we have marked shops, restaurants and places of interest along with our comments. This map can be used on any smartphone using the Google maps app for easy turn by turn navigation.
This is what you can expect weather-wise in South East Sicily based on two years living there and many years visiting.
In March the weather becomes warmer (15 - early 20's degrees C) and by April the amazing wild-flowers are everywhere with the smell of orange and lemon blossom on the air; there can still be some chilly days and some rain but it is a perfect time for walking and cycling.
May to mid-June tends to have temperatures up to the late 20's and doesn't see much rain so are also good months for walking and cycling but for Northern Europeans also good for the beach!
By mid-June the temperatures are often creeping over 30 degrees and by July they are generally in the mid 30's when walking and cycling are not so pleasant and so the beach is generally the preferred option.
Towards the end of Aug it starts cooling down and mid-September usually brings a break in the weather with the odd storm though temperatures are still usually about 30. The storms continue into Oct but tend to be short-lived and generally the weather remains good.
By Nov the temperatures are in the mid 20's with slightly more rain though the weather is often still good. Dec is frequently dry and sunny with temperatures in the early 20's.
Jan and especially Feb are chilly (10-15) with some rain though on sunny days it can be beautiful - like the UK in April.