Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2262: Rentvillas, Villa Due Angeli - Gabriel Residence
3bed/3bath apartment near Taormina, Sicily
7/1/06-7/8/06, 1 week
The villa is located in the hills west of Giardini-Naxos approximately 15 minutes from Taormina. Although it was at an intersection of two well-traveled country roads, it had a secluded feeling. The only nearby building was a country restaurant which did not impinge on the privacy. The general location (on the eastern end of Sicily, near Taormina) was excellent as a base for exploring this end of the island, including nearby Etna, Alcantara Gorge, Castiglione, and day trips to Agrigento, Siracusa, Piazza Armerina, and more.
A car is a necessity. The nearby town was approximately 3 kilometers and included a supermarket, bank/ATM, restaurants, bread store and more. There are several restaurants in the area, including the one next door, but we preferred the restaurants in Taormina where there is a marvelous selection and range of prices.
Gabriel Residence occupies the upper two floors of the rental villa. The lower floor is another (two bedroom) residence. Each has its own expansive terrace and complete privacy except for the sharing of the beautiful swimming pool. The villa is an old country villa that has been renovated and is beautifully furnished, with attention to detail that is evident throughout. The owners live on site and are artists whose taste and creativity has clearly influenced the residence. Their gallery, located on the ground floor, has a beautiful selection of their paintings, ceramics and more.
Our private terrace had two eating areas and additional private seating areas, all with views of the citrus groves below. Breakfast under the gazebo on cushioned benches around the wooden table was a particular delight. The pool is in a seperate area approximately 30 meters from the terrace and is shared with the other residence. Our "neighbors" were a young English couple who became engaged while we were there in celebration of which we shared a bottle of Spumante (you can't make this up!). The pool is large and immaculate surrounded by comfortable chaises, with outdoor showers, a wet bar and a barbeque.
Everything was above standard. The furniture was clean, sufficient for a larger group than we were and comfortable. The housekeeper was pleasant and competent.
The bedrooms were comfortable and the bathrooms were spacious and well appointed. One of the two upstairs bedrooms had an unshaded skylight, which could present a problem for people who prefer a dark room for sleep. Each bedroom had its own air conditioning unit which could be controlled separately.
The kitchen was well equipped. We did not cook dinners in the kitchen but did prepare breakfasts and some lunches. It appears to have all the necessary utensils and equipment for serious cooking.
Problems or Bonuses
We and our friends enjoyed the delivery (after we arrived home) of a package of the ceramics that we purchased in the owners' gallery. The items were all the more beautiful when we unpacked them after our trip.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was excellent in conveying information relevant to the villa and the area. This was our first experience with Rentvillas and we were very satisfied that the reality of the place exceeded our expectations. The owners on site were helpful and knowledgeable. The primary "host" is an American, so communication was easy.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would definitely recommend this villa. We are considering a return visit ourselves.
Things to do in this area
Don't miss Etna (on a clear day); Siracusa; Agrigento; Piazza Armerina; Castelmola (above Taormina) and the night life and restaurants of Taormina. Take in a concert at the Greek theatre there; have drinks on the terrace of Hotel Timeo, below the Greek theatre and overlooking the bay; and eat at some of the wonderful restaurants in the town: Pizza at Granduca's "lower" level pizzeria; an expensive but extraordinary dinner at Casa Grugno; a casual, traditional fish dinner at Hosteria Nero d'Avola.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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