Case Saponara in the Parco della Madonie, San Ambrogio area in the hills above Cefalu was certainly a surprise. We booked this B&B on BBPlanet.com where we made all our other reservations for our Sicily trip and based our expectations on the online description. Fortunately, we and the friends we were traveling with aren’t easily discouraged or we might have forfeited our deposit and left without having given the place a chance.
While we were on the road, we received an email from the person we booked with, Carmela Ricciardello, offering precise driving directions. This was very helpful as the place is advertised as being 7 km from Cefalu but it is in such a small, out of the way, area that we would never have found it on our own. In fact, when we arrived in S. Ambrogio, a very small village and asked directions, several people had no idea how to direct us. Nevertheless, we finally found the place, high up in the hills, 1 km about S. Ambrogio. Driving up was a challenge as the road became a dirt road and the incline was extremely steep. When we arrived, we were greeted by a very lovely man who spoke no English. He parked our car and showed us one room in a stone cottage where he was working to finish the bathroom. Tools and building materials were piled around the property. He then took us across the road to another stone building where there were two rooms with a shared bath. The front room had a refrigerator and a stove. The bedrooms and bath were newly finished and we decided that we would share those rooms with our friends instead of having two of us stay in the still unfinished building. The rooms turned out to be fine for the night, though there was no air conditioning or cross ventiliation. Breakfast, consisting of some packaged pastries, juice, tea and coffee, was served at a table outside the building. The host’s family came out to greet us and gave us some cactus pears to taste. None spoke English well enough to carry on a conversation.
We never did meet Carmela, the English speaking person who emailed and spoke to us on the phone, but we managed to communicate enough with our host to find out where in S. Ambrogio to have dinner. It was dark by the time we settled in and we didn’t want to drive all the way into Cefalu and back as we weren’t familiar with the route so we picked one of the three trattoria’s in town and had a wonderful, multi course meal at La Taverna del Borgo in S. Ambrogio.
Until Saponara and the grounds are finished, we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone other than the very adventurous. There’s not enough in S. Ambrogio to warrant a trip up there and, if you want to eat at La Taverna, they have a shuttle bus from Cefalu.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC