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On the southern slopes of Mount Etna, in the town of Mascalucia in the Province of Catania, the harmonious complex of old buildings, orchards and gardens built in the 18th century by the Barons Rapisarda of SantAntonio has at its center a villa in late Baroque style protected by the Department of Cultural Heritage, around a lovely inner courtyard. This piece of Etnas history was given a new life in 2003 by the refurbishment of the property, under the direction of the architect Gianni Branciforti from Catania. An island of tranquillity in the old town centre, the Via Teatro is quiet and set apart, but not remote. The square-plan historic villa accessed from Via Teatro is composed of five residential units. The Main House, the Orchard House, the Barons House, the Donna Petras House and the Oleander Cottage are arranged around a square courtyard looking onto the orchards and a small garden at the back. They are divided into lounges, alcoves, a beautiful dining room with a cross vault, ceilings with 19th century stuccowork, a large fireplace, lava-stone windows and a kitchen in the former family chapel. The two roof terraces look out at the Etna to the north and, to the south, over the rooftops of old Mascalucia to Catania and the sea. The Sicilian masonry kitchens are covered in enamel tiles and decorated with traditional majolicas. On the other side of the narrow Via Teatro, a part of the property is dedicated to leisure and sports activities. The terracotta pool is set in the orchard, surrounded by a walnut and false pepper, palm and pergola of ancient vines. The gym/activity space is in the old barrelhouse which has an airy 7 metre-high ceiling with a large open space, two bathrooms and a small bar on the ground floor and two rooms on the first floor. This part of the property also includes a 60 sqm apartment known as Pool Cottage looking onto the lower part of the garden, a garage/store room and a palmento (a small 58 smq room used to press grapes), the only building that has not been renovated. There is also parking space for five vehicles.
It is strategically positioned beneath the volcano and close to Catania, the airport and the Ionian coast, just 45 minutes drive from Taormina to the north and Syracuse to the south.
Furthermore, in the past years a charming tourist accommodation facility has been run in this wonderful property, with registered trademark and active website domain.
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