The debut – in 2009 – was as a boutique hotel, created in a 19th-century building with an annex. But in 2015 Donna Carmela (www.donnacarmela.com) at Carruba di Riposto (Catania), in the shadow of Etna and surrounded by 10,000 square meters of Mediterranean and subtropical vegetation of Piante Faro (palms, agave, blossoming orange, ficus, cistus, opuntia, ornamental citrus, age-old olive trees, and much more), has launched eight new natural lodges.
Designed by the studio Balla|Calvagna (with certified XLAM wood panels, raw clay ceilings with inserts of hemp, leaves and volcanic sand, cement and plaster), the lodges – secluded with respect to the main building – are immersed in a Mediterranean ‘jungle,’ and are ecocompatible thanks to the use of solar panels, natural insulation and ventilated flat roofs.
The contemporary furnishings coexist with the lush natural setting, eliminating indoor-outdoor boundaries and putting the inhabitants in tune with the landscape.
In practice, these are bungalow blocks of 45 m2, independent units with private gardens of 25 m2 and terraces of 15, including four with salt-water mini-pools, two with a view of Mt. Etna (sleeping four persons), while six offer sea views (for three persons each).
Sicilian gourmet foods are offered at the restaurant La Cucina di Donna Carmela, accompanied by wines from the Pietradolce winery (Etna), still owned by the Faro family.
(Text by Olivia Cremascoli – Ph- Alfio Garozzo)