The beach season in Italy starts early enough, and all thanks to the Southern Regions of the country. Mid-April is considered quite acceptable for enjoying the azure sea, bright sun and warm sand, and some enthusiasts join this fun already in March. There is another advantage of these months – the low level of tourism, although to be more precise, lower than in the summer season, since tourists in Italy are quite high in number throughout the year. Plus, from mid-July to September, it can be too hot for some, so if you want to start your summer holidays in April, here are some recommendations for you in Sicily and Puglia – the hottest regions of our beloved Italy:
P.S. It is better to book in advance as these exclusive places are in huge demand and it is not easy to get there.
Sikelia (Pantelleria, Sicily)
Pantelleria is part of Sicily, but the island actually lies much closer to Africa than Italy. It is precisely this privileged position (Homer called it “the navel of the Mediterranean”) which gives the island its look and its culture rich in contrasts, a place of Arabic forms and typical scents of Southern Italy. The island is characterized by its dammusi, archaic architectural structures made in stone, immersed harmoniously in the Zibibbo vineyards. Vineyards whose cultivation is still carried out according to ancient rules and traditions that have been recognized as part of the Unesco World Heritage. Pantelleria’s volcanic origins are also to thank for its authentic open-air spa facilities: from the hot springs of Gadir and the Benikulà Cave’s natural sauna to the mud of the Lago di Venere. Every hidden corner the island will guide you through a regeneration of the senses and a newfound connection with nature.
From one woman’s passion for this magical, rugged, wild place came the idea of transforming a large private residence into an exclusive destination. They placed the conversion and extension of the original structure in the hands of Gabriella Giuntoli, an architect originally from Milan. Giuntoli brought a conscious harmony to the project, respecting nature and the ancient dammusi, thanks to her extensive professional portfolio and her life experience on the island itself. The design details, the choice of materials and the architectural languages were handled by two young engineers, Francesco Alessandrelli and Katherina Pazienza Gelmetti, who integrated technical aspects with formal research. The interior design was born from a complicity and understanding between Katherina and Giulia Pazienza Gelmetti, who share a taste for simple elegance, firmly integrated with the natural way of life of the island. High quality fabrics, metals, concrete and glass become a source of enrichment of this striking setting designed around the vaults of the ancient dammusi.
An exclusive, timeless place, synonymous with luxury and tranquillity, which will accompany you in your discovery of the many contrasts of the island of Pantelleria. Sikelia houses 20 Suites, all different in conformation, and which all share the same stylish design, meticulous attention to detail and style coherence. Each suite expresses its exclusivity with works and unique pieces tailor-made for Sikelia with natural materials that are reminiscent of the wild nature of the island.
Salinara (Marsala, Sicily)
The historic estate, “Salinara” is located in Marsala close to the Mediterranean Sea, one of the largest Marin Natural Preserve in Europe. Full of extraordinary charm and natural beauty, it is a perfect holiday hideaway with a beautiful sea view where both body and soul can regenerate, receiving a positive energy. During workshop and retreats, they serve home-made Sicilian cuisine, preparing with fresh seasonal vegetables that comes from their organic vegetable garden, fresh seasonal fruits, eggs from their hens, freshly baked breads and cakes. Their mission is to let guests experience the best Sicilian traditional cuisine together with selected local wine by sommelier.
Almost all accommodations look out over the vineyards and Mediterranean Sea.
Most have a private garden, terrace or balcony and all have natural lime-washed walls, hand-made tiles on the floors, air conditioning, Internet connection, kitchen or kitchenette and a private entrance.
Respect for nature and sustainability are the key words of the restoration project. During the renovation owners worked with local artisans and used only natural and local products. They tried to keep all the rooms more or less like they were, the founders wanted to respect the authentic Sicilian style. All the marbles are Sicilian, the colors used to paint the wall were made by Sicilian grounds and natural lime. You will find authentic doors, windows, floors and wardrobes, have all been restored with our attention and passion. All the floors of the house are in authentic 18th century Sicilian tiles, made and decorated exclusively by hand.
“The first time we entered the garden of the house, disentangling ourselves from the weeds and cactuses, although it was all abandoned, destroyed and covered with weeds, we felt that the home welcomed us, we fallen in love and wanted to breathe new life into this place and made us to dedicate our life to this Sicilian new adventure.”The Founders
Masseria Schiuma (Bari, Puglia)
Italy’s heel, also known as the country’s pantry because of its red soil, rich produce and otherworldly herbs. Thanks to its porous and mineral-rich limestone soil, proximity to the sea and scorching hot summers, Puglia is also where Italy’s most delicious food is produced. Bunches of herbs dusted with salt from the air; figs that thrive in sandy coastal fields; and peppers of heavenly sweetness. Fancy it is not, but bountiful it is.
In 2014, Pernille and Lars Lembcke purchased Masseria Schiuma. As they got to know the area and started growing their own produce, they discovered facets of Puglia that deserve recognition not only within Italy, but around the world. That sparked an interest to cultivate, preserve and spread learnings from Puglia to the friends and guests around the world.
“Schiuma” means foam in Italian, and Masseria Schiuma got its name because of its close proximity to the sea. A lush natural area with fruit trees and olive groves just outside it. The farm was restored a few years ago, with its new proprietors blending their own unique aesthetic with its original character. The result is an homage to craftsmanship, Danish design and collected ephemera. There are six double rooms, two of which are large enough to accomodate three people.
Palazzo Penelope (Bari, Puglia)
Palazzo Penelope is a modern, quiet enclave located in Polignano a Mare. Upon arriving, you will find yourself in the company of the most primary of elements: sky, sea, sun, wind. A beautiful ancient building on the cliffs with spectacular sea views facing the famous Grotta Palazzese of Polignano a Mare. It has been carefully renovated in typical Apulian style, with vaulted tuff ceilings. The house has been tastefully restored by the best local Apulian craftsmen in local materials, and has been enriched by Scandinavian designer items and African art. It is a sister property to Masseria Schiuma, which is a 20 minute drive away from the house.
The house is ideal for a group of friends and can host up to 4 couples/families were each couple has a private sleeping area. One double-room downstairs and 3 double rooms on first floor on each side of the stairs. In total 3 double rooms with sea view and one family room with a double bed and a queen size bed (sleeps 2 children) facing the street. The full house in 2 floors is available including the top terrace with a small dipping pool and sun-beds.
Tenuta Masseriola (Brindisi, Puglia)
Tenuta Masseriola enjoys its exclusive privacy just a few kilometres from the village of Carovigno, rich in history and savoury cuisine. Surrounded by 8 hectares of olive groves and red soil, it offers maximum comfort to its guests. The house is immersed in the most genuine Puglia countryside, wide open spaces of stone and tuff, managed with volumes and details that ensure relaxation and total wellness. Tenuta Masseriola winds its way through two modern structures that surround the most classic of Puglia construction: a trullo/lamia. Arranged harmoniously in these spaces are 4 bright bedrooms with relative bathrooms, painstakingly taken care of down to the tiniest detail, a spacious and comfortable living room, the elegant technological and functional kitchen and the dining room which can comfortably seat all the guests of the Estate. Modernity and tradition blend to offer the maximum of the Italian good life. Outside, the splendid pool that stretches between the olive trees lets you fully enjoy the wide open spaces and the breathtaking sunsets of this unique land.
Villa Cargo (Brindisi, Puglia)
The house is within one hectare of land, filled with olive and almond trees, and with views to the sea from the roof terrace. The house comprises a large living room with a dining room, 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. One of the bedrooms is a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, with a bath and double shower. The main bedroom has its own veranda, with outdoor bath, and private garden with outdoor shower. There are a further two bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with two single beds, that can also be used as a small living area. These bedrooms have a shared bathroom. Downstairs is a cinema hall. In addition to the main house there is an old “lamia” country house that can sleep 2 people with a large bathroom. Surrounding the pool, there is an outdoor kitchen with BBQ and wood-fired oven, dining terrace, outdoor sofa, and sun beds. On the roof there is a large terrace with great views to the sea.
Casa Olivetta (Brindisi, Puglia)
The Villa, Lovingly restored by Australian fashion and interior designer, Collette Dinnigan, is surrounded by hills, centuries-old olive trees and trulli scattered throughout the landscape. Casa Olivetta is located in the heart of the Apulian Itria Valley, in southern Italy, between the charming villages of Cisternino and Ostuni.
Casa Olivetta comprises one main building, with three bedrooms and a guest house separate from the villa. All buildings are in pale limestone brick, with traditional stone terracing and reclaimed antico terracotta tiles for inside floors, finished with lime-washed white walls and contrasting timber. The villa has a total of four bedrooms. All beds are king size with handmade aloe vera mattresses. Outside, a large swimming pool with a view of the hills and a gazebo with a view of Cisternino town.