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High/Low: Sicily

Rudston Steward (our Italian guru) has let us in on a couple of his favourite hotels in Sicily, for the big spender and for the little spender. Or why not stay at both to see everything this Mediterranean isle has to offer?

High: Grand Hotel Timeo
550 USD and up
When you think about a “top dog” hotel in Italy, the rooms in your mind probably look a lot like the Grand Hotel Timeo. It’s everything you’ve ever dreamed of from a luxury hotel, including large rooms, expansive gardens, and the ruins of a Greek amphitheatre just behind it. As Rudston says, “it’s the kind of hotel where you arrive, and never look back.” Why would you when you’re surrounded by this kind of Sicilian grandeur. With a spa, restaurants, boating trips, and a sister hotel (Villa Sant’Andrea) down on the waterfront which shares its access to the beach, you don’t have to leave the property if you don’t want to. For those who do, however, the town of Taormina is one of the prettiest on the Mediterranean and yours to explore. This is the kind of grand dame you’ll want to end your trip with. Just beware of the post-hotel depression that may creep in on the way home.

Low: Casa Talia
140 USD and up 
There’s something fantastic about a well-run bed & breakfast. It feels comfortable, not fussy, and it’s as though some distant relatives are taking care of you while you visit. Casa Talia is this sort of place, and is excellently located in an unexplored part of Sicily. The southeast is relatively un-touristed, which means you’ll have cheese tastings and winery visits nearby more or less to yourself. Marco is a formidable host, and will give you plenty of advice on nearby Greek ruins and Baroque towns to visit, which really is the key when visiting an area that’s off the average travel circuit. And when you aren’t out and about on Sicilian adventures, you’ll find yourself on a gorgeous terrace or among a garden of lemon trees. It’s just like home, with (much) better views.

Amy Smithers is our Sounder editor, tasked with crawling inside the minds of our trip planners and sharing what she finds in there.

It's as though some distant relatives are taking care of you while you visit.

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