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- Monaci delle Terre Nere has a prime location in the foothills of Mt. Etna between Catania and Taormina. It is a gorgeous property, both the building itself (a beautifully restored 18th century-era villa) and the surrounding estate which comprises organic vineyards, olive groves and vegetable gardens, and has sweeping views over the Mediterranean 10km to the east. The gently elevated slopes that surround Mt. Etna produce some of Italy’s best wines and among them is the produce of the Monaci delle Terre Nere Estate. Under its Guido Coffa organic label it makes whites and reds from local grape varieties such as Carricante, a grape that can still only be found in the Etna wine region, and Nerello Mascalese. THE ACCOMMODATION: It has a choice of rooms and suites at the main building and a number of detached suites and villas, converted from old farm outhouses, dotted around the estate. They range from 27 square meter classic double rooms to a 200 square meter, two-bedroom villa which can sleep up to seven with the help of two sofa beds in the lounge. All are spacious, bright, stylish and elegant, their interiors display a confident mix of the historical and the contemporary, though leaning more towards the latter – modern art trumps classic art on all walls for example – but overall not too much interferes with the grandiose historical charm of the place and having no TVs in any of the accommodation certainly helps. Despite the wealth of space on offer at the villas none have self catering facilities beyond coffee makers, kettles and mini-bars. The food here though is highly praised, and a major focus of the estate – Monaci delle Terre Nere is as well regarded for its food as its wines. It is not cheap though, be advised. Their on-site restaurant, which has a large outdoor terrace and sea views, is also fully organic with much of the ingredients coming fresh from the estate’s kitchen gardens. Their menu is proudly Sicilian and if you feel you might miss it when you’re gone you could join the chef’s regular cooking classes. Guests can also take advantage of the resident READ MORE