Lovely Villetta in Agriturismo, located Etna National park. Wonderful Mountain/Sea views. Centrally positioned for Taormina, Siracusa and sea. Private swimming pool with new caretakers for 2015
Set in the natural beauty of the National Parco di Etna, Villa Segreta is an ideal destination for your “secret” holiday. The accommodation is made up of a comfortable apartment in a 300 year old restored Sicilian Farmhouse and Vinery. Set on two floors with an open galleried bedroom upstairs, and a second bedroom and other facilities on the ground floor the holiday Villetta is ideally situated for holidays throughout the year.
Summer and Winter!
A beautiful shared swimming pool is available for use from May to September, and a cosy open fire available for those looking to use it as a base for skiing on Europe’s southernmost ski runs (usually from December to February ). If you come in December, you may have an opportunity to assist in making Olive oil, in October winemaking.
Grounds and location
The grounds are made up of approximately 15 acres of Olive groves, and vineyards with fig, sweet chestnut, cherry, peach, mulberry and apricot trees and lead directly on to some beautiful walks, good for serious ramblers and for those just fancying a stroll after dinner. In fact Villa Segreta is an ideal position to allow you to explore all of Mount Etna’s beautiful countryside and experience the untamed countryside. A walk in the spring surrounded by wild crocuses and a host of other flowers is a real delight.
If your intention is to visit the cultural heritage of Sicily, then you will be centrally located to visit Taormina, Siracusa and the so-far undiscovered gem that is Baroque Catania (with some fantastic restaurants!)
With new caretakers for 2015
There is a reasonable restaurant within walking distance and many more just a 5-10 minute drive.
There are two good double bedrooms and a cot is also available.
A gas BBQ is provided for guests (gas costs extra)
We booked this villa as we liked the photos and wanted to be near Etna. What a lovely place, really. Though the weather was against us and we were ill, the caretake Salvatore completely made up for it. Looking back at the reviews now, none of the issues raised seem to be a problem now, except perhaps the hot water pressure, which is not really a huge problem due to the heat, though a pump would make this place flawless. The dogs are no problem at all and are well behaved to the point that they won't even come into the guest accomodation, if you like dogs they are wonderful company and if you don't they just get on with their own thing. The owners are extremely accomodating - we suggested a microwave as families with babies might appreciate this (we weren't bothered) and Salvatore went out that day to buy one!
On our first night we arrived late and were hungry and tired - a large glass of wine each, a bottle of prosecco and beautiful pasta meal provided by Salvatore was so welcome. He couldn't do enough for us, extremely accomodating for us and our children, who were free to run in the acres of olive groves, safe and fenced in from the road on the estate. The pool is one of the best we have come across at such accomodation, and was being meticulously cleaned by Salvatore every day. Yes its slightly cool but welcome in 30 odd degree heat. The poolside relaxation area was lovely and its incredible when there to think that you have such a facility completely to yourself.
All in all a very comfortable and enjoyable stay where we all felt at ease the entire time and would definitely stay again.
We looked forward to our stay in Sicily and were not disapointed. The caretakers (Christine and Salvatore) know how to make people feel at home. They also have three very friendly dogs (Cokie, Luna, and Beagle). The premises were fine, and cleaning in top. It was pretty hot when we were there, so a cold dip in the big pool was refreshing. There were some slight problems with hot water in the guest house because of some problems with the water pressure. The caretakers will take care of it eventually. But because of the heat it was no problem, you just need to let the hot water run for 2-4 minutes and then it should be fine. We had good advise from the caretakers regarding places to see and places to eat. It's a very peaceful area, and there are nice views of Etna. If the caretakers invite you for homemade Sicilian food, you can definitely look forward to that. They also have an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven and a Weber gas grill. We didn't use it but we are sure you could make a nice homemade pizza or beef. There are many good places to dine out both nearby and in Nicolosi. But remember, don't order to much food at once as they generally serve big portions in Sicily.
We have given the area four stars because of its nice location and surroundings, but you just have to ignore the fact that the Sicilians leave garbage along the roads.
We hope to be able to come back some day. The owners have done a good job in renovating the place, and with the ideas they have for the future we would love to visit another time.
Having read all the very positive reviews about Villa Segrata, my wife and I were very much looking forward to a relaxing week in the Sicilian countryside. We drove to the Villa and had no difficulty finding it from the directions provided. By chance, we arrived just as Benson, the caretaker, was returning to the property and opening the remote controlled gate. He seemed a little perplexed when I tried to drive in behind him and we soon established that he did not seem to know we were coming. We had an uncomfortable exchange in which he asked me to call the owner to confirm that we were expected. I tried this using the numbers provided but failed to get a response and so I sent an email. Benson then calmed down and told us that the property had been vacated earlier in the day but he had not cleaned it as he was not expecting guests. My wife and I decided to go out for a couple of hours and visit a supermarket and have a drink while the property was prepared. During this time I received a very apologetic call from the owner who assured me that Benson was aware that we were staying. It was a slightly awkward start to our week, but I must say that Benson was subsequently very polite and helpful. Having read all the reviews, and having met the owners son, I think that the property has probably suffered a bit from the owners no longer living there. It is a wonderful location and the facilities are very good, but there is some evidence of a lack of attention to detail and this needs to be addressed. As small examples, the inventory of equipment is no longer used properly and the glassware and crockery need replenishing. Around the excellent swimming pool, the tiling looks tired and the pool itself needed topping up which had we been staying longer would have been irritating. The dogs were great company, very friendly and good natured, but were quite noisy at night (in common with several others it seemed from nearby properties). Overall, we had a lovely week which was unfortunately slightly marred by our arrival and some relatively minor but nonetheless disappointing attention to detail issues.
We discovered that the end of May is not an ideal time to go to Etna as many recommended restaurants and excursions were closed/not available. Nevertheless we enjoyed our stay in this charming apartment. Having got lost driving from Palermo we arrived an hour late at 9pm, but the caretaker, Benson, and the 3 dogs were there to greet us with smiles/barks and a very welcome bottle of Prosecco. We didn’t see Benson again (although we had his number for emergencies), so we just left the keys in the letter box when we left.
That first evening, on Benson’s advice we walked down to the nearby restaurant but it turned out to be closed on a Monday so we had to get a takeaway pizza in Belpasso - the only place we found to be open. Tuesday evening we walked for 35 minutes (accompanied by the ever-present dogs) down to another recommended restaurant, only to find that that was closed too. We later discovered that the place to eat out is Nicolosi, a couple of miles away, which is more touristy with a variety of restaurants – we would recommend Antico Orto Dei Limoni.
The apartment is joined to the house (which was unoccupied while we were there) but is a separate entity. It wasn’t perfectly maintained (eg none of the lamps in the living room worked and there were a few dead flies around) but the towels and bedding were perfectly clean and comfortable and the place itself was gorgeous and wonderfully peaceful. The kitchen had everything you would need if cooking, though we could have done with a washing line or tumble dryer to dry towels and trunks. The view of Etna is superb from the top window.
Re facilities, parking is easy and safe. I should imagine the pool is lovely in summer, though at this time of year it was not pleasant. After half an hour of fishing out the bugs and debris with the net provided, my son and husband enjoyed a good couple of hours in it, but it was way too cold for me!
The location of the villa is ideal for exploring Etna, but it is difficult to get anywhere else from there. Then again, driving anywhere in Sicily is a challenge!
Nice holiday home in a great location with view of the Etna volcano. The area is really quiet and a good starting point to explore eastern Sicily. Theres a huge private area around the house (garden, olive groves) which is excellent for kids to explore. The owner welcomed us at two in the morning after we got lost driving from the airport great service (whatever your satnav or description tells you, when leaving the airport first get onto the highway and only then drive towards Messina). There are three dogs and a horse roaming the area, the dogs are friendly, prefectly trained and OK with kids. You should definitely try baking your own pizzas in the traditional brick built pizza oven which is surrounded by a large outdoor kitchen and bar, we had great fun doing this and trying to get it right. The security camera on the terrace is a bit intimidating. While he was on business, the owner asked us to use the services of a caretaker but he was unavailable most of the time, unfortunately. Other than that: highly recommended.
Reply from Maria
Thank you for your review. In reply to the mention of the security camera I would like to advise that the camera isn't activated when we have guests but is only ever activated when guests and owners are absent from the property for obvious security reasons. The care taker is there to welcome guests on their arrival to show them around the property, hand over keys and gate controllers and is there for any advice guests may need. Villa segreta is a self catering holiday rental not a B&B or a hotel so a concierge service isn't available. Contact numbers for the caretaker and the owners are given to guests should guests need to contact someone in emergencies or a problem has arisen with the property.
The house is set in a lovely area, good restaurants nearby, easy and quick access to Mt Etna.
The man looking after the property for the owners was helpful and very pleasant.
However there was no internet availability in the rental part of the place and the pool was too dirty to use.
The poolside seating also had no cushions.
The adverts should state that the house has three dogs roaming around, although friendly, they barked considerably during the night.
Add to this a stubbon horse, also wandering around the property which might worry some would be rentees.
Overall the place was adequate but no-where near as good as the other three places we stayed in this year in Sicily.
Reply from Maria
Thank you for your review. We were saddened to hear your complaints regarding the pool being dirty, however during your stay we did have a volcanic eruption and the dust and ash was all over the patio area and obviously in the pool, the caretaker with the help of the pool robot were doing their best to clean out the volcanic ash but as you can appreciate this takes time. The dogs are normally kept inside the main family home of an evening but the caretaker had failed to do this for your stay which I apologise for, if you had mentioned to him your problem he could have sorted it out for you and kept them indoors of a night time.. Cushions for the patio furniture are kept inside the house to keep them clean during the eruption, if you had asked I am confident the caretaker would have put them out for your use and collected them in on an evening time.
3 other reviews
When I stayed in this gorgeous villa my family and I had a magnificent time. The view of Mt.Etna is spectacular.If you have the chance to go on the season that the olives come out, you will have a wonderful time and it will be a experience that you wont forget. I would definitely go there again. Im pretty sure that who ever goes their will be delighted by its enchanting views. Also the owners are really outgoing and nice. So I hope who ever goes there, will have a wonderful vacation! (:
Reply from Maria
This review was sent to the owner 's email address and they have sent it to Villa renters who posted it on here.
We had the pleasure to stayed in this wonderful villa and share a unforgettable time with its lovely owners. Definitely we will return again. Ciao cari amici
Reply from Maria
This review was sent to the owner's email and they sent it on to Villarenters who in turn posted it on their behalf on their website.
We arrived at the address and were surprised by the road side appearance of the property. Although it was positioned with a great view of the mountain from the road the villa doesnt look anything. However when we entered the gate and saw the pool and grounds we were not disappointed! It was great just like the photos on thw website. The pool and poolside has beautiful views of the mountain and (just about) the sea. The Villetta/Apartment is part of an old winery and farmhouse and has been restored in a cosy Sicilian cottage style (if there is such a thing). The bedrooms were a good size, but we probably could have done with 2 bathrooms for two couples rather than the just the one. We spent most of our time by the pool, although the owner pointed out some fantastic walks - the flowers were incredible. We took a trip to Taormina (45 minutes there but 1 hour back) and only went to the beach once. One thing I would recommend is talking to the owners (who live on-site) about restaurants. The quality is highly variable locally varying from excellent to dire. It was not the first time we had been to Sicily so we knew what to expect of the Island, although it was a lovely change to stay on the mountain -. peaceful! Would we go to Villa Segreta again? Yes
Reply from Maria
Thanks for the lovely review. Since this was posted we have refurbished the side of the property roadside to the same high standard as the rest of the property as you can see from the photos on the advert. Electric gates to replace the manual ones are due to be installed in February 2011! Please note that we will probably have to ask for an extra €10 euro returnable deposit per controller.
This review was sent to the owner's directly who in turn sent it to Villarenters who poster it on their behalf
Beautiful views from garden and pool area and amongst the olive groves of Mount Etna.
Guests have use of the owners washing machine or can indulge in the laundry service that we provide for a small charge your load of washing will be delivered back to you clean and pressed.
Sports and activities:
Boat Hire Climbing Fishing Flying Golf Sailling
Scuba Diving Sports Center Tennis Water Skiing Wind Surfing