It had been a long day in the car – my mother driving, me navigating, and my long-legged brother in the back seat trying not to get car sick – as we drove up from Agrigento in the southwest, through Enna and Piazza Armerina, home to the lovely and well-preserved Roman mosaics at the Villa Romana del Casale. With Mt. Etna’s peak long looming in the distance, we were happy to finally have arrive on the lower slopes of the volcano. Just past the tight, black stone-cobbled streets of Santa Venerina, we stumbled upon the road sign leading the way to our destination, the hotel Monaci delle Terre Nere.
When I visited the Chêne Bleu estate in June 2013, I was deeply impressed by the care and precision that had gone into every aspect of restoring the property, including the house and its surroundings. Visitors to the area can actually rent out rooms or the entire house for periods of time (a weekly minimum during high season) for a relaxing, elegant, and deeply restorative experience, high above Provence.
Available for rent by room or for the entire house
Chemin de La Verrière, Crestet, France