Il Palmento dei Castagni

SICILY

Sant'Alfio

  • 8 Sleeps
  • 4  Bedrooms
  • 3  Bathrooms
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About the Villa

A stylishly restored winery oozing character and charm on the flanks of Mount Etna.

Il Palmento dei Castagni, a former winery, has been subtly and intriguingly restored to create a warm, welcoming villa that combines modern design features with evident echoes of its former purpose. Outside, large terraces shaded with vines and wisteria give way to extensive gardens, woods and, hidden from view, a super decked pool area.

"The gardens, pool, Jacuzzi, patios were the jewel of the crown of Il Palmento dei Castagni. The overall setting was amazing. We had a lovely week, thank you." Neil Evans, UK, June 2019

Internet Connections Explained

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All The Thinking Traveller's villas have some kind of Internet facility and, where possible, we try to ensure that this is an ADSL broadband Wi-Fi connection.

However, some rural areas and those far from the main towns and cities have not yet been connected to the high-speed broadband network. Therefore, in some of our villas we offer an alternative type of connection (specified in the amenities table of each individual villa page). 

Please note that although we work very hard to provide reliable internet service at our villas, these services are potentially erratic and can fail due to network failures completely out of our control. We regret that we cannot accept responsibility for loss of connection due to such network failures.

Here is some information about the most common connection types:

ADSL Broadband

This is by far the fastest and most reliable connection type available and uses traditional copper wires. In the UK, ADSL is most commonly referred to as broadband. It is suitable for most surfing requirements. Generally an ADSL line is only available within two miles of a telephone exchange, so in rural or more remote areas it usually not available.

An ADSL Internet connection in a villa can then be distributed using a Wi-Fi router, allowing a wireless connection with one or more device, or by a cable, which can be plugged into most laptops.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with an ADSL broadband connection.


3G WiFi Internet routers

In some of our villas, 3G Wi-Fi Internet connections are provided by a small router unit that uses the 3G mobile network, similar to that used by many mobile phones. The unit receives the signal and retransmits it wirelessly making it possible for a few devices to connect at the same time. 3G Wi-Fi units work best in the immediate area around them (i.e. they won’t create a Wi-Fi environment throughout the entire villa) and so the best connection will be within close range of the unit, usually in the same room.

The signal may be affected by weather conditions (i.e. strong winds or storms), and the overall strength depends entirely on the service provider's presence in the area. We cannot accept responsibility for slow or absent signals.

Please note that 3G Wi-Fi is provided for basic Internet browsing and checking of email only. Guests are requested not to download large files such as movies or make Skype video calls, as most units have a maximum monthly data usage of 10Gb.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with a normal ADSL connection. 

 

Mobile Broadband Internet Dongles/Keys

Dongles, or Internet keys, can be slotted into a USB port on your computer and use a data SIM card to connect to a 3G or other data network, normally supplied by mobile phone networks. At the villas where this is provided, clients are usually requested to buy their own data SIM card and top up as they go (details of where and how to purchase one are provided in the House Guide you will receive before departure).

The signal may be affected by weather conditions (i.e. strong winds or storms), and the overall strength depends entirely on the service provider's presence in the area. We cannot accept responsibility for slow or absent signals.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with a normal ADSL conection. 


WiMAX / Satellite connections

WiMAX and satellite Internet connections have performance levels similar to cabled ADSL hi-speed Internet connections. Wi-Fi access within the property is provided by a special modem-router. WiMAX and Satellite connections are present in our villas when there is no normal cabled broadband infrastructure in the area (still quite common in more remote areas). These kind of connections may be affected by atmospheric conditions, however, so we cannot guarantee that the signal will be as constant as cabled connections. The connection speed of this type connection in our Ionian Island villas is a little slower and comes with a limit of Mbs, so guests are requested not to download large files, stream films or use Skype to make calls.


Connecting to the Internet abroad using your smartphone or tablet (roaming)

As of June 2017, there are no roaming charges for EU citizens (with an EU provider) travelling within the EU. 

If you are travelling from outside the EU and wish to use your smartphone or tablet while on holiday, here are a few tips for cutting down on foreign data-roaming charges:

The first thing to do is to check with your provider to see if there are any special deals available (there's usually something on offer). You should also make sure your phone is unlocked (you can ask your operator to do this) if you wish to buy a foreign SIM card while you're away.

If there are no suitable deals available from your operator (and your phone/tablet has been unlocked), we recommend you buy a local prepaid data SIM card (details of where and how can be found in your House Guide). It might also be useful to bring a cheap handset, put your UK SIM into the cheap handset and the local data SIM into your smartphone, so that any data you access will be charged at the local rate. If you do buy a local SIM, most smart phones can then be used to provide a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing data access for up to five devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Finally, when abroad, switch off 3G, switch off ‘data roaming’ on iPhones or switch the priority to Wi-Fi rather than 3G on Symbian devices, thus avoiding charges when your phone attempts to access emails.

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Amenities

  • Accommodates (max)  8
  • Bedrooms  4
  • Double beds  3
  • Flexible doubles/twins  1
  • Bathrooms  3
  • ... of which en suite  0
  • Cook 
  • Pizza chef 
  • Pool (LxW in metres) ¹ 12x6
  • Jacuzzi 
  • Gym 
  • Air conditioning ²
  • Heating 
  • Open fireplace 
  • Wine cellar 
  • Washing machine 
  • Dishwasher 
  • Microwave oven 
  • Phone landline 
  • iPod docking station 
  • Bluetooth speakers 
  • TV 
  • Satellite TV ³
  • DVD player 
  • Stereo 
  • Piano 
  • ADSL Wi-Fi Internet [i] 
  • Wood-burning pizza oven 
  • Vegetable garden 
  • Barbecue 
  • Outdoor kitchen 
  • Private Parking 
  • Sauna 
  • Table football 
  • Bicycles 
  • Children's play area 
  • Shopping service 
  • Boat trips 
  • Sea views 
  • Walking distance to restaurant(s) 
  • Walking distance to shop(s) 
  • Exclusive beach club access 
  • The Thinking Traveller local support 24/7 
= yes/present = optional/on request
¹ single depth 1.5m. Pool open from Easter to end of October
² in the bedrooms
³ includes Sky Movies
guests staying at Il Palmento dei Castagni have privileged, reduced-rate access to Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea's exclusive lido on the beach at Mazzarò

 

Inside: accommodation at Il Palmento dei Castagni is arranged over two interconnecting buildings, a Palmento and a farmhouse, both of which are bursting with original features. There are two floors and a couple of mezzanine levels, all of which add to the intriguing layout. Overall, there are three ‘proper’ double bedrooms and three other rooms that can become the fourth bedroom (depending on your requirements and the make-up of your group), bringing the total occupancy up to eight.

The main entrance takes one into the Palmento, the original wine press room, which features lofty wood-beamed ceilings, a large fireplace and, accessed via steps from a secret door in the floor, a cosy wine cellar. The roomy open-plan space of the wine press is divided into living and dining areas from which one may access the first double bedroom (with an irregular shaped double bed), and a bathroom with shower and sauna. Above the living area is an open mezzanine with twin beds (the first potential fourth bedroom). Moving back through the Palmento, and passing under the original wooden press itself, a few steps take one up and into the farmhouse’s split-level living area. The upper level is home to a sofa, stairs leading to the first floor and a double bed – the second possible fourth bedroom should you so choose. The super-snug lower level of the living area has vaulted ceilings, lava stone arches, and sink-in sofas surrounding a fireplace. This leads on to a dining area and a well-equipped kitchen with garden views. A couple more steps lead down from here to a shower room and a double bedroom with access to a small terrace leading to the gardens. Tracing our steps back to the upper level of the living area, we take the stairs up to the first floor, where there is a bathroom with tub (shared with the living room bedroom below if you choose that as your fourth bedroom), and a spacious master bedroom with double bed and access to a large shaded terrace with spectacular views and steps leading down to the gardens and terraces. The master bedroom also has an open mezzanine level furnished with a double bed – the third possible fourth bedroom.

To recap, for your fourth bedroom you may choose one of the following: the mezzanine above the living and dining area in the Palmento (great for teens); the double bed on the upper level of the living room in the farmhouse; or the mezzanine in the first floor master bedroom (great for younger children who need to sleep near their parents).

Outside: Il Palmento dei Castagni boasts extensive terraced grounds, which, in terms of size, could be likened to a private park. The house opens onto a large terrace, offering plenty of shade, a panoramic dining area and lots of space to relax and take in the views. To one side is a well-equipped outdoor kitchen and pizza oven and to the other a large grassy area that's great for playing games, including football, for which goalposts have been provided. For more relaxing pursuits, you may wish to head below the main terrace and lawn, where there is a fabulous covered Jacuzzi and wellness area with sliding glass doors, air-con, loungers, a little gym, and a BOSE speaker. The pool, meanwhile, is beautifully situated in a sheltered area about 100m down the hill from the terrace, and has a shaded summer house for poolside dining and a children's play area. Next to the pool is a charming copse, perfect for a stroll or just for escaping the heat of the day.

 

Think About

The village of Sant'Alfio is a brisk walk from the house, if you are an enthusiastic walker. There are several other wineries in the area which produce the excellent Etna Rosso using indigenous grape varieties.

Most of the stairs in the property do not have banisters.

Guests staying at Il Palmento dei Castagni have privileged, reduced-rate access to Belmond Villa Sant'Andrea's exclusive lido on the beach at Mazzarò.
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