The surprise highlight of our trip to four parts of Sicily, Castiglione is an ancient village that hangs on the sides of steep hills. We planned to use the hotel as a base for exploring Etna, Taormina, and Naxos, but were sucked into the charm of this half-abandoned town filled with picturesque vistas, pretty window boxes, old churches, and fascinating ruins. I spent hours walking its narrow streets and taking photos from its amazing views.
In comparison, the coastal towns -- especially Taormina -- were disappointing.
Although the hotel is in an old building, the interior is modern, uncluttered, and shiny. The family who runs it are friendly and helpful.
Surprisingly, we found two outstanding restaurants in Castiglione -- the hotel's Ristorante Sine Tempore, and La Dispensa Dell'Etna, a wine shop / trattoria about two minutes away. Both had similar menus focused on meat and local farm ingredients. La Dispensa was my slight favorite because of its remarkable selection of wines from the Etna region.
Although the hotel is in the middle of the old town, which is higher up the hill, it is a little hard to find, even with our GPS, which instructed us to drive down alleys that were too narrow even for a smart car. My suggestion is to first park in the lower part of town and find your way on foot. Then it is easy to map the best car route up to the square in front of the hotel, which has free parking.
This is a charming place to spend two or three days -- slowly -- and let yourself fall back through centuries of time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Between the extraordinary territory of the Etna Park and uncontaminated Alcantara Valley, on a sandstone hill , is located the medieval town of Castiglione di Sicilia. Here in the heart of its historic centre, in an ancient palace of 14th century, completely renovated was born Hotel Frederick II. The hotel offers 9 rooms, all elegantly furnished and equipped with every comfort and is the ideal place to spend a holiday in relax for discover the natural beauties ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Federico Ii Hotel
- Hotel Federico II Sicily/Castiglione Di Sicilia