Baglio Occhipinti | Vittoria, Sicily

Baglio Occhipinti | Vittoria, Sicily

Surrounded by over ten hectares of organic vineyards, olive groves and vegetable and citrus gardens in the beautiful Sicilian countryside is the charming, family owned and operated Baglio Occhipinti. Fully restored, the working farm dates back to around the year 600 and reached its height in the 19th-century as a major winery. Speaking about wine, the Baglio is located in the oldest wine area and offers views of the Etna on one side and the sea on the other. Inside white minimalist living spaces are set off by natural stone walls, pale terracotta tiles and a wonderful rustic fireplace. The boho-chic style includes big lounging sofas, family antiques, art books and prints.

The spacious accommodations are distributed between the main house and newer extensions and range from classic, superior, to deluxe open plan suites. All are different with some having double height living spaces with mezzanines, direct access to the courtyard or even private gardens. They are soothingly, spartanly white; wild flowers spill out of jugs and there’s a bath tub with a view. All rooms come with heating and air conditioning Guests won’t find a TV or a mini-bar, but always fresh water and a wine cellar with a selection of natural wines produced by the Baglio and others from the area.

The main living room is in the ancient restored winery, called “Palmento”, and has floor-to-ceiling windows toward the court, and an enormous old fireplace. The original kitchen has a wood-burning oven and a large stone sink. Here, or in the garden, meals can be enjoyed. They are simple but important rites for which particular care is taken in choosing ceramics, porcelain, as well as silverware used daily and without any ostentation. For the parties, linen, porcelain and crystals are chosen, as well as the most important silverware, just like at home. You can freely pick the figs, tangerines, and oranges from the garden which are also used or the homemade jams at the wonderful breakfast. For dinner try the aubergine Parmigiana (creamy, delicious) accompanied by the family’s spicy, citrusy, organic wines are.

Baglio Occhipinti is in the middle of the six UNESCO heritage sites in Sicily: Villa Romana del Casale, the late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Scicli, Caltagirone, Palazzolo, Noto, Catania), Agrigento, Siracusa and Pantalica. Have a romantic walk in Puntasecca, the charming fisherman village that features in the Inspector Montalbano novels. The fish market in Scoglitti, with its explosion of colors, smells and sounds, takes place every day at 11 in the morning and 4 in the evening. Back at the Baglio enjoy an aperitivo at the swimming pool, which is set in a three hundred years citrus grove of Arab and Persian historical tradition. There’s also cooking classes, yoga and massages.

Your host: Fausta Occhipinti & family

✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 12 rooms & suites (23-42m2) (248-452 sq ft) • hotel opened: 2018 • bathroom amenities: organic homemade soap made exclusively for Baglio Occhipinti ✅ free on-site parking • pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • Comiso Airport: 5km • beach: 13km • Ragusa: 18km • Noto: 48km

The DNA: Fausta Occhipinti is a landscape architect, passionate about botany, watercolour painting and cooking. The landlady grew up in Sicily between Marsala and Vittoria until the age of twelve, when she moved and started a new life in Milan and Paris, where she lived into her 30s. Full of international experiences, Fausta decided to return to Sicily with a desire to host and to make her heritage live. The plan is clear: to create a typically Sicilian place, welcoming and captivating travellers from all over the world, enchanting them with warmth. The restoration project of the baglio – the term for a fortified farm also used in Arab, Persian and Greek – saw the search for workers and craftsmen capable of building with ancient methods, such as the perimeter dry walls: true works of art. Arianna, Fausta’s sister, runs the organic farm and vineyard. Mother, father and brother lend helping hands gardening, cooking, decorating, and with the wines – well, enjoying life.

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