Perpetual bliss at Don Arcangelo all’Olmo
Arrival at Don Arcangelo all’Olmo augurs well! The gracious owner, her smiling staff and Federica, our concierge, will be waiting to meet you and to whisk you off to the panoramic garden terrace for some well-deserved refreshments. Inebriation of the senses begins here with views over the lemon orchards down to the sparkling blue Ionian Sea. In the opposite direction, Mount Etna rises imperiously, inviting you to explore her many wonders. The flourishing, terraced gardens lead down to the delightful heated pool, whose limpid waters you will no doubt wish to test before dinner.
By now the staff will have delivered your luggage to your rooms and it is time to leave the bougainvillea and jasmine-scented gardens to explore your accommodation for the week: 12 beautifully appointed en-suite bedrooms and a series of welcoming, impeccably furnished reception rooms. Unpack, relax, head for the pool and soon it will be time for the ritual pre-prandial aperitif: choose your drink, help yourself to some local olives, cheeses and cured meats... your appetite will soon be whetted for dinner!
Earlier in the day, the staff have been to the local markets, fishmongers and speciality food shops, selecting the ingredients for your first of many meal to remember! Most of the dishes you will eat during your time at Don Arcangelo all’Olmo are made following recipes that have been passed down through generations of the owner’s aristocratic family. You will not find them anywhere else and once you’ve tried them you will not want to eat anything else!
The gong for dinner sounds and you are invited to be seated. You may choose to dine al fresco or in the warm, welcoming dining room. Your white-gloved, uniformed (but smiling!) waiters will bring course after course of delicious food and ensure there is always a good supply of excellent local wine on the beautifully decorated table. After dinner, a stroll around the gardens and a nightcap under the stars... This may be a congenial time to plan a few activities for the week...
Maybe you will just stay at Don Arcangelo all’Olmo, relaxing by the pool, eating to your heart’s content, playing the odd game of table tennis and doing a few lengths to keep trim... But if you want to get out and explore, the area surrounding the little piece of paradise that is Don Arcangelo all’Olmo abounds with things to see and do.
One day could be spent in and around Taormina, the jewel in Sicily’s crown! Sitting high above the sea, Taormina has long been one of the island’s biggest attractions, thanks to its pretty streets, its stunning panoramas, which take in vast swathes of the Ionian Sea and smoking, snow-capped Mount Etna, and the extraordinarily beautiful coastline down below. A visit to the Graeco-Roman theatre is a must, followed, perhaps, by a little shopping. A cable car will then take you down to the beaches below for a swim and lunch in one of the many excellent sea-front fish restaurants.
After such intense (!) activity, you might wish to spend the next day enjoying the not inconsiderable comforts of your villa, swimming in the pool or chilling in the Jacuzzi, planning your next excursion: we recommend one of our guided 4x4 Mount Etna trips! Your volcanologist guides will collect you from Don Arcangelo all’Olmo in their Land Rovers and Land Cruisers and whisk you off up ‘A Muntagna’, as the locals call it. You will be taken off the beaten track to see things most people never get near to and given fascinating insights into Europe’s highest active volcano. You will need a break, however, so it’s lucky that the staff at the villa packed a few picnic hampers stuffed with goodies! When you come down (both literally and figuratively) from your Etna trip, why not take a plunge in the pool or unwind in the Jacuzzi and admire the great volcano from afar!
Spend the day after your volcanic adventures at home (because you will, by now, have come to think of Don Arcangelo all’Olmo as home!) but let some of the outside world come to you! After a leisurely morning - with in-villa masseuses? - let us arrange for a sommelier to bring round a selection of the area’s finest wines and take you on an oenological tour of Etna’s fertile slopes. Alternatively, if you still have a thirst for adventure, why not let us arrange for a boat trip up Sicily's stunning Ionian coast? With wine and a snack or too, obviously!
We’re on day five now – have you noticed how fast time flies when you’re having fun at Don Arcangelo all’Olmo? If you’re keen to see a bit more of Sicily why not do it in style? We know a fantastic pilot with a helicopter, who can whizz you up and over Etna and on to the Aeolian Islands. This is the trip of a lifetime, an experience that often brings tears to the eyes of those lucky flying few!
Last day... if you’re staying just a week... Time to really take it easy, top up the tan, indulge yourself in the company of those you love, safe in the knowledge that you will be most welcome to come back for another week next year... or maybe two weeks...?
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