Our stay in Piccolo Paradiso was realy wonderful. We enjoyed the huge, lovely garden with the great view to Catania and the big pool. Salvatore is very helpful and friendly, he gave us useful tipps for shopping and dining. The location is perfect for getting up to the ETNA (from the south side). We did not expect the house being nearly 900 meters above sea level which made the stay realy comfortable although the summer was extremely hot.
I can confirm much of what has been written about this property. The photos don't quite do it or the vista justice, the latter having a sweeping view of Catania and its bay.
The house is fairly traditional inside, with a kitchenette near a large dining area. In truth, the kitchen makes it difficult to prepare food as there is very little food preparation area but the table makes up for this as needed.
The bedrooms are simply furnished with 2 double beds. The smaller of the bedrooms has a comfortable foam mattress and the main bedroom has a sprung mattress from ikea i think. This would be our only criticism of the property. This mattress has either seen better days or is past its sell by date. We are not large people but invariable rolled into the middle of the mattress as the springs give way, and were unable to lie flat as a result.
The outside area is delightful, with a pool that is a good size and deep enough in the middle. It appears colder than it actually is when you get in. There is one umbrella but could usefully use another as there are 4 bed loungers, not the most comfortable it has to be said. There's a shaded areas by the house with a table and chairs for al fresco eating. The only thing that was missing was a bbq. You would have course have to run the usual fly sortie to eat out at dusk.
The icing on the cake at this property was Salvatore, the owner. He will offer to meet you at the airport, which is a must. I am a very confident driver and navigator but would not have found the property as it is a little off road and no address to point your sat nav at. Salvatore was a genuine, personable and helpful host. Nothing is too much trouble for him. If you have a problem at the property, he will be there subito!
Lastly, 2 small warnings. We got an Audi A3 as a rental car. The turning into the property is up a single lane track before you swing into a drive through some electric gates. The swing in was tight. I used to drive a BMW 5 series and I doubt I would have got that into the drive. Also, the are a lot of dogs about in the country side about. None get in the way but they do bark. If you are a light sleeper may I suggest you bring ear plugs.
The villa and grounds are larger than they look on the photos and are so beautiful when you see them for real. It is truly an idyllic setting. The pool is more than enough for a couple to enjoy and Salvatore has landscaped the garden and poolside so that there is a variety of surfaces, flora and areas to relax.
The interior of the villa is very spacious, clean and has everything needed for your stay (including water etc to start you off until you can get to the supermarket for supplies).
The privacy of the villa was a huge plus and it was great to be able to relax here in between sightseeing trips. It felt very exclusive.
It is hard to express in words what a fabulous host Salvatore was. He met us at the airport and we followed him in the rental car (on the way to the villa he took us for a snack and showed us the supermarket / restaurant). He showed us around the villa and was so helpful and friendly. At the end of the holiday, Salvatore also helped us return to the airport (on our request).
This was the best holiday rental I have ever stayed in and we intend to return next year hopefully.
After we met Salvatore he guided us to the property. On the way he showed us where a supermarket is located and a restaurant he recommends.
Arrived at the property he showed us around and explained all the necessary things. The property and surroundings was clean and well maintained. A basket with fruits and some bottled water were prepared for us.
During our two week stay, by appointment Salvatore came by multiple times for watering the plants and cleaning the pool.
We enjoyed very much the quiet and private place.
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