DonnaCarmela is a luxury boutique resort near Catania, nestled in the hills between Mount Etna and the Ionian sea. We discovered it through our friend Federico Bianconi, who personally knows the owners (they also own the beautiful villa we stayed in close by).
This secluded escape is incredibly landscaped with more than five thousand varieties of bushes and flowers (the owners also own one of the largest plant nurseries in Europe), and features stunning modern design. Just the walk from the entrance to the restaurant is enough to inspire any architecture aficionado.
While we did not stay at DonnaCarmela, we definitely wanted to check out their beautiful restaurant, where you can dine on a candlelit patio surrounded by centuries-old olive trees.
DonnaCarmela also has an extensive wine list, with a vast selection of Sicilian wines. We didn’t spend too long looking at it, because as soon as we saw rare bottles from Alessandro Viola on the list, our decision was made.
The restaurant at DonnaCarmela serves traditional Sicilian cuisine in a highly-refined style. Being in Sicily, we had to try their swordfish polpettini, which were unexpectedly (and delightfully) light and airy. We can’t wait to try to replicate them at home. We also tried their paccheri alla norma and fresh spaghetti with tomato, basil, and garlic cream, followed by the grilled catch of the day.
Thank you to DonnaCarmela for hosting us for dinner.