An Amazing Time
August 1st to August 15th we stayed at the Hotel Airone, near Zaffarena Etna , Sicily. We were with a choir group of over 60 people. This was our first trip to Sicily, so we were quite anxious as to what to expect. What a pleasant surprise. All of the towns of this part of Sicily are built on the side of the mountain. The town of Zaffarena Etna is below the Hotel Airone. This town was our home for two weeks. We loved it.Being that this is their summer holiday, there were families walking around. People hanging out in the main square, drinking coffee , playing cards. We went to a café for café americano and gelato as much as possible. Pizza restaurant with Sicilian pizza to die for. And in the middle of this lovely town is the church with wildly ringing bells at noon time every day. At one pm the stores all shut down for a siesta until somewhere around 5pm. Then they reopen and stay out till the wee hours of the morning. We were coming back from a performance one night through the town at 2 in the morning and it was full of people bustling about. It was quite amazing to see. One night we went to see the procession of the Maria Della Provvidenza, the patron saint of the town . That was amazing. The fireworks were great. There are numerous fruit and vegetable stores in the town plus a large supermarket. So we would head into the village, grab a quick gelato and coffee, head over to the supermarket, the caroussel express, pick up a few supplies, such as fresh cheese (amazing!) mortadella , unbelievable olives, juice, bread and beer. And a big bag of peaches and nectarines. . Then we would start to truck up to the hotel. A few times I was not up to climbing the big hill and someone from the village would offer to drive us up to the hotel. Once back at the hotel , we would drop off our things , change into our bathing suits and head to the wellness centre in the hotel for a delightful Turkish bath. .From there we would head to the pool for swim. The pool was large, slightly coolish and clean. It was wonderful. I would go for swim and then stand on the deck looking over the town of Taromina and the chestnut trees. One night we checked out some of our fellow choir members rooms. It was interesting to see the difference. We liked our room (218) It comfortable and clean. Air conditioning was not necessary, we left our patio door open, so that the cool mountain breeze would blow through the room. It was delightful. We had no problems with the front desk staff. They went out of their way to provide a quality service to all of us. I am sure that we were quite demanding being such a large group. Twice we used the maid service to clean some clothes for us. A plastic bag full of clothes came back clean and carefully folded for about 2 euros a piece . They spoiled us, and made us feel special. We were very grateful I would like to think that we now have new friends in Zafferana Etna , and that we would need to go back some day soon. Bravo to Pepo (spelling?) and his co workers. On the main floor of the hotel there is a free internet workstation, plus there is a free wifi. I was happy to bring my skype phone and use it to call home sometimes. Early in the morning I would take pleasure in drinking coffee from the coffee bar and play on my laptop. A continental breakfast was served every day in the dining room, with fresh pastries and cheese , yogurt , with hard boiled eggs. I became a fan of the warm croissants, with powered sugar. It was a good meal, and the only suggestion I would make would be to have fresh fruit available. The main meal of the day was always a four course meal with dessert. Or you could choose to eat a la carte. Either way it was good. Once in a while the chef would come out to see if we were happy with our food. We toured the region as much as humanly possible in the short time we were there. For example Mount Etna, Mardi gras night in acireale, boat tour of the Eolie islands, with a swim at Vulcan beach. We went swimming at Riposto and Maxis beaches. We went to Taormina for a day and visited the greek amphitheatre. I found out after the fact , that it was the hotel that helped us organize these tours. On our last night at the hotel we were up at 2am to finish packing to go home. The hotel had prepared a mini continental breakfast for us and offered us a cappuccino for the road. Did we love it there? Absolutely. This is a high quality hotel and I would recommend it to anyone. A suggestion would be a better shuttle service between the town of Zafferana and the hotel. Maybe the town of Zafferana could get involved. Some sort of regularly scheduled shuttle service would be a good thing.. So Mille Grazies! And arrivederci!
Im sure I have missed something. Please message me if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Airone Wellness Hotel has 62 rooms which include from the double rooms to the familiar rooms, differentiated in several typologies: standard, superior panoramic and junior suite, almost all have a balcony. Rooms are provided of the necessities for spending a nice stay, in each one there’s a private bathroom with hairdryer and toiletries, free mini-bar, TV Sat LCD with 32-inch screen, air conditioning, strongbox and tea facilities to allow to the guests to have always a hot drink whenever he want. Of the 62 rooms, 11 are placed in the Depandance, a three-storied building easy to reach directly from the parking, and enjoy a panoramic view on a grassy patio overlooking the eastern shore. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Airone Hotel Zafferana Etnea
- Airone Wellness Hotel Sicily/Zafferana Etnea, Italy