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“wonderful sicilian experience in a 13th century abbey with amazing food”

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Tenuta Gangivecchio
australia
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“wonderful sicilian experience in a 13th century abbey with amazing food”
Reviewed 18 November 2010

what a quirky, out there, wonderful sicilian experience. This place is hard to describe but so worth a visit. Lonely planet features it well, mentioning the sister, Giovanna Tornabene who runs the lunch restaurant....but neglects to mention the brother; Pietro Tornabene and his dinners.
wow, we came away kilos heavier I'm sure.
the family has had this 13th century abbey in the sicilian hills near Gangi and the Madonie Mountains for generations and generations.
the sister is renowned for the lunches. ridiculous value and about 2 courses too many!!
but the dinners cooked by the brother (an ex architect) are even better.
it is basic but comfortable accommodation...but its just part of the dinner deal...you pay for dinner and get accommodation as part of it.
no tv's in rooms or anything like that...you sit around a fire and tak to the other guests until dinner is ready and explore the region during the day.
we LOVED it, but our tummies are still recovring from all the great food (and good wine!).
the 13th century abbey building is amazing, ramshackle and run down but so awe inspiring.
it's not luxurious....it's just a great experience.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank sharonafraser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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20 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
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English first
California
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2009

Like everything in life, know what you want and do your research before you set out on a trip. I would like to say one thing to the negative reviewers, "you don't get it". Try to smell the roses or just stay home next time. The prices are very reasonable. The service was more than adequate. We took a cooking class with Giovanna and she was amazingly gracious and informative, sometimes cooking classes in Italy are mundane. We learned so much else about Sicily and its traditions from her. We had arranged a lunch upon arrival, appetizers before dinner and wine tasting of local wines. We then took day trips from Gangivecchio to small interior villages, visited Roman villas and enjoyed the still quiet of the countryside. The other part of our trip was very busy and bustling to the outer islands of Sicily and Greek Ruins of Segesta, Syrcuse, Sellinunte, and Agrigento. We were happy to relax and catch our breath at Gangivecchio.

  • Stayed May 2006, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank WorldwalkAdventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NSW
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2008

Disappointing is an understatement. Perhaps this establishment was once highly regarded but if so its best days are long gone. Gate locked on arrival, room was dirty, hot (no cooling at all even in summer with plus 35 Celsius temperatures), swimming pool empty, no drinks price list available (you find out the price at checkout time!), very poor standard of breakfast even with no other guests in the house.
Beware the "cooking class" which is not a class but an observation ("buy my book if you want to know any recipes"). To our dismay we found out after the "class" that there was an additional and hefty charge for eating the food, little of which had been prepared during the "class".
Overall a very disappointing Sicilian "Fawlty" Monastery experience and not recommended.

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
9 Thank fraudster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Gangi hotels

Ithaca, NY
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2007

We stayed here for one night of our 2-week stay in Sicily. Although clearly past its heyday (faded flowered bedspreads and guidebooks from the 1990s on display in the lobby) we were delighted to have happened upon this special place. Our meal was super and inspired us to return later in the week to the famous restaurant next door run by a sister (which was a mistake, but not the subject of this review). I could see how you might be disappointed if you owned the cookbooks and had been eagerly anticipating a visit here, but as a chance discovery for a remote spot of Sicily, we were pleased.

  • Stayed April 2007, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank ithacadoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Higganum, Connecticut
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2006

The setting - a remote monastery which has a wing which has been modernized, seemed ideal. To get there you see a part of Sicily might otherwise never go to (don't miss out on Gangi proper). Much like others, we went there for one night to enjoy a meal of good Sicilian cooking. The place has the quality of an old farm with no views or fields, just brush on all sides.The place is clean, and while the rooms are spartan, that is what we expected. Even so, from the moment we got there we could tell the establishment wasn't doing all that well. The grounds were overgrown, the vegetable garden, unattended. The meal was prepared by an assistant, who could not be seen cooking. The food was quite good, but not so succulent that one would call it a memorable experience.. It was the daughter who eventually showed up, but only for about 10 minutes towards the end of the meal. She answered questions, but out of duty without expressing all that much genuine interest in what we had been served or in us as her guests. When we requested info on her books, she had samples but no extra cookbooks to sell with a dedication.. Clearly something was happening that was draining the operation. To keep a remote place like this running they need top-notch reviews. So, in fairness to them, let me say this: try it if you feel adventurous!

  • Liked — seeing a part of interior Sicily I would otherwise have otherwise missed
  • Disliked — the eating experience which drew mw there was not what I had been led to expect
  • Tips/Secrets — Bring a copy of the cookbook with you if you want her to sign it (she doesn't carry them))
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
8 Thank debrigard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sicily
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2006

We stayed one night and arrived in the late afternoon. We were meeting another couple who had arrived earlier. The setting is beautiful. The hotel is located in the renovated stables and it was very nice and clean. The rooms are large by European standards. Sadly there is no AC, or fans.. so the rooms got very hot in the afternoon. Since we had small children in need of naps this was a bit of a problem. Also, there were no glasses or complimentary bottles of water in the room. We needed to get drinks from the kitchen downstairs. The following day we realized we were billed for every drop of water we had consumed. As this is the end of July it was pretty darn hot and water was a necessity! I assumed this was include in the bill as it had been at the other agriturismo's we stayed at. Just a minor annoyance. The hotel includes dinner, but NOT at the restaurant. I knew this in advance and did not have a problem with it. The food at the hotel was excellent. However, it was odd that the restaurant did not appear open for lunch on Sat or Sun. We did meet one of the ladies that runs the restuarant (in the abby) and she let us look around. But there was no food. I felt the staff was rather distant and not interest in us. The whole experience was just a bit off. The place was nice, but the vibe was strange. Like I said, maybe cause we were the only ones there?

  • Stayed July 2006, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank insicily06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
austin, texas
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2006

The Tenuta Gangivecchio was charming, but very remote. We should have only spent one night there, as there was not enough to hold our interest.
Although it is called an agritourismo, there is no sense of staying on a working farm.
The food was good( We had far better in other areas of Sicily), and we were very disappointed to learn that the B&B part is run completely separate from the famed cooking school and restaurant. Our included dinner was not from the school nor the restaurant, which was closed.
The scenery is beautiful and if you are arriving from the east Mt. Eta is on view most of the way.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Marilee P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tenuta Gangivecchio

Property: Tenuta Gangivecchio
Address: Contrada Gangi Vecchio SNC, 90024 Gangi, Sicily, Italy
Region: Italy > Sicily > Province of Palermo > Gangi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Gangi
Number of rooms: 10
Also Known As:
Tenuta Gangivecchio Gangi, Sicily, Italy

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