House under the Olive Tree is a typical Sicilian house only steps from the beach near Cefalù in Sicily.
What is the story behind the property, what was your inspiration to create it?
Around 15 years ago, I lived in Ragusa, near Modica, and fell in love with the place — its views and the Baroque architecture. So I decided to renovate spaces in the historic centre that were largely abandoned. I liked the idea of being in touch with the heritage while also creating places that offered privacy. I was personally committed to the design and renovation projects and my properties are the result.
This apartment has a more lively, dynamic atmosphere. It has traditional charm and is authentically Sicilian.
All of my houses are rented for the exclusive use of our guests, with the two in Modica around five minutes’ walk from one another. They offer a great base for discovering Sicily’s cultural and natural attractions, as well as its food and wine experiences.
How would you describe the atmosphere and interior design?
I have a degree in environmental engineering from Bologna, so I renovated each of the spaces with attention to sustainability and using ecological materials. I also paint and sculpt, with my approach to renovation a lot like sculpting - the removal of what is useless to find the original soul and allow it to shine again.
All three spaces combine antique features with local materials and artisan crafts, as well as having contemporary amenities and artworks. I would describe them as bespoke-designed properties. I want them to reflect contemporary tastes while being strongly and deeply connected to the soul and poetry of the place.
To you personally, what is so special about Casa Ortigia?
When I travel, I’m always looking for market towns because they are such magical places where you can experience the flavours, colour and traditional life of a place. You can meet the local people and understand the history of a place. This is what I loved about Casa Ortigia - its balconies overlooking the market and the sea. A lot of the Sicilian food comes from the Arabs and when you are at the market, you feel as though you could be in North Africa. I also loved its original tiles, vaulted ceilings and plasterwork.