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!