Mirror Houses are two luxurious holiday homes in South Tyrol for 2 to 4 guests each. Their modern design is surrounded by apple orchards and incredible views of the Dolomites.
What is the story behind Tenuta Borgia, what was your inspiration to create it?
The property was restored in the 1980s by Rosa Borgia Baroness Collice and her husband, Massimo, who originally purchased the main house as their family home. Over the years, they bought the neighbouring dammusi as they didn’t want someone else to purchase the land and build something that would ruin the landscape. The dammusi are constructed from black volcanic rocks with a domed roof in an architectural style that is unique to Pantelleria.
Around 10 years ago, Rosa’s husband passed away and she wanted to keep the property alive by renting it out to paying guests. I met her in Venice where we are neighbours and have been managing the property for the last seven years. Most visitors to the island are still Italian but we are one of the few properties that attract people from abroad, mostly British, Americans and Northern Europeans.
Because this part of the island is almost entirely occupied by the estate, there is a purity to the landscape. It has also been designated as part of Pantelleria Island National Park, so it is guaranteed to stay like this for many years to come.
How would you describe the atmosphere and interior design of Tenuta Borgia?
The atmosphere of Tenuta Borgia is not like a hotel, as each of the dammusi is different and decorated with lots of antique furniture. It doesn’t feel like it was built as a conventional resort, with more of a country house atmosphere.
What do you particularly like about Pantelleria?
Pantelleria is peculiar because it is volcanic and there are no sandy beaches. It is similar to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands but with Mediterranean vegetation. Because it doesn’t have sandy beaches, the tourism industry is still underdeveloped and the island is well preserved. While there are many places where you can access the sea, it is rocky and most of the visitors to the island tend to be young and without families, as you need a lot of energy to explore! But Pantelleria offers more than just the seaside — there is a lake, a mountain, hot springs and lots of great trekking. Because there are not a lot of private establishments on the island, you have free access to explore. We have a high number of returning guests but Pantelleria is not everyone’s cup of tea.
The northern side of the island (facing Sicily) is much greener and was where most people settled in the 1960s as they wanted to build holiday villas with gardens. The side we are on is drier, wilder and much less developed, which is what a lot of people are looking for nowadays. You feel as though you are in the middle of nowhere, but in 5 minutes, you can be at a restaurant or anywhere you need to go. We are also close to some of the most attractive places for accessing the sea on the island.