Casa Talía is a small, beautiful Bed and Breakfast with panoramic views framing a Mediterranean garden in Modica.
How would you describe Rifugio Lanzagallo in a nutshell?
Rifugio Lanzagallo is ‘the realized dream’, the dream of Daniela, an architect with deep Sicilian roots, a family and life in Belgium, and a foolish desire to return to her land. It is a small paradise, a place where it feels good to be and where it radiates spirituality.
What’s your background and what was your inspiration behind Rifugio Lanzagallo?
Being an architect, living in northern Europe, I have always had the desire to return to my Sicilian roots.
When I and Istvan met and our love story started, we understood that we were both made for an authentic life. Having always had a passion for ancient architecture, my research has turned to what already has its own history, and with which one can grasp the opportunity to give it life again.
After three years of exploration and living between Brussels and Sicily, we found our hidden jewel: Lanzagallo refuge.
We immediately understood that it was the right place that would give us the strength to face this big rebuild. It took stubborn tenacity to make this dream come true.
How would you describe the atmosphere of Rifugio Lanzagallo?
Surrounded by spectacular carob and olive tree and dry-stone walls lies Rifugio Lanzagallo. A farmhouse made of stone, a ‘Masseria’, standing proudly on a ridge, with magnificent views of the sea and ‘L’isola Delle Correnti’.
We want to convey a spirit of simplicity with our warm welcome. We invite our guests to abandon the stress of everyday life and recharge.
To you personally, what is so special about Rifugio Lanzagallo?
It is special to be in an enchanted place to enjoy the tranquility while being in a strategic position to visit all the Baroque Sicily, its artistic beauty, and the surrounding natural wonders.
Lanzagallo is the ideal place for curious and aesthetic travelers, who prefer immersion in nature, and who appreciate ancient structures. It is the place for the traveler who does not like crowded places, does not seek luxury and technology, but charm and refinement.
Please tell us about the food.
The day starts at Rifugio Lanzagallo with a king’s breakfast, based on fruit from the region, with warm ricotta from the farm, flavored with orange zest, ancient wheat flour bread, typical local sausages, cannoli filled with sweet ricotta, yogurt with pistachio cream and Moka coffee!
In Sicily, the memories of the old mothers in the kitchen are still very much alive. We are very fortunate to have a neighbor with a traditional farm, our dear Ms Catena, who will let us savor not only her ricotta and her cheese, but also her home-cooked traditional family recipes. For dinner, we can arrange on request, traditional recipes, such as hand-made ravioli with a tomato cherry sauce (a typical tomato from Pachino), as well as also other local specialties.
Just ten minutes away (7km) is Ispica, one of the jewels of the baroque UNESCO protected cities. Walking down the church square you can eat the best handmade pasta in the world.
Also just a few minutes from Lanzagallo is Pozzallo, a small port city where it is beautiful to walk along the sea, and taste the best octopus and the best ice-cream in the area.
Is Rifugio Lanzagallo best suited for couples, families, groups? What’s your policy on kids?
The rooms are spacious, some of them with a mezzanine accessible via a staircase, which is not suitable for kids under 12 years. Couples or families of three or four are welcome.
The three rooms can accommodate a group of up to 10 people. Cots and extra beds are not available.
The domain and the swimming pool are not fenced. Permanent supervision of children is necessary.
What activities are available at the property and nearby?
At Lanzagallo there is a magnificent garden with an organically shaped pool bordered by a sun terrace with sea view, surrounded by aromatic plants. You can relax, read, swim, meditate, or sunbathe.
Everywhere you can find private spaces. Some spots at Rifugio Lanzagallo such as the farmyard ‘Aia’ or the ancient sheepfold surrounded by high dry-stone walls are perfect for a range of activities such as meditation and yoga classes.
Behind the property, there is a canyon where you can walk through the extraordinary botanical variety and wildlife.This is the only canyon in the Modica territory with intact Mediterranean scrub. A walk in the autumn after the first thunderstorms can give us unexpected opportunities to collect sage asparagus and a fine variety of mushrooms. For horse lovers, there is a riding stable 3 km away.