A Slice of Sicily For All at Verdura Resort by Sharyn Hodgson
Posted: 02 August 2016
A sprawling resort on the Mediterranean coastline of the sun-soaked Italian island of Sicily, Verdura Resort has long been a favourite with our clients looking for a place to kick back and relax, without having to stray too far from their sun lounger. A wealth of fantastic facilities and thrilling activities are waiting within the two-hundred-and-thirty hectares of immaculately kept grounds, where the year-round sunny weather can be enjoyed with an array of experiences, whether you are sporty at heart, a curious foodie or have troublesome toddlers in tow!
I was lucky enough to experience the pleasures of this renowned, five-star Rocco Forte luxury resort for myself on a recent trip, and was blown away by the selection of sumptuous guestrooms and suites, the soothing tranquillity of the surroundings and the brilliant range of leisure pursuits. I arrived at Verdura Resort after a ninety-minute transfer, and was taken to see my accommodation for the duration of my stay – a spacious Grand Suite that immediately felt like a luxurious home-from-home. With a private entrance and sweeping views of the sea and golf course, these suites truly stand out above the rest, and are ideal for families, who will find the kitchenette and separate living room a godsend for dealing with needy children!
Next, I took it upon myself to unearth the splendid array of things to do at the resort. Whether you have your favourite pastime already in mind, or are itching to try your hand at something new, Verdura Resort will oblige. Boasting two kilometres of stunning Mediterranean coastline and a three-mile scenic jogging and cycling track around the resort, you can either relax to your heart’s content, or take a rejuvenating sprint under the irresistibly blue Sicilian sky. With a tennis academy, a watersports club offering a thrilling choice of activities and a tempting spa, equipped to the brim with treatment rooms and state-of-the-art wellness, healing and restorative therapies, deciding what to do with your day can pose an unexpected challenge! Having tried my best to cram it all in, let me propose to you a few of my highlights...
I was most excited to get involved with one of Verdura Resort’s exceptional culinary experiences. Led by the chef, Gianluca Interrante, I was delighted to have the chance to master the flavours of authentic Sicilian cuisine, planning on showing off my hard-earned skills when back at home! We got started by learning how to correctly peel tomatoes, segment an orange and snap peas by hand, before the chef demonstrated the best way to cook and present our exemplary three-course meal. A number of lessons are offered at the resort, each focussing on how to make a different Sicilian classic, including homemade pasta, pizza, Caponata, pastry and chocolate-crafting classes, so there is bound to be something to inspire you. I would highly recommend putting some time aside for this if you are a foodie-fanatic like me – the insights into a traditional Sicilian kitchen and history behind the dishes are nothing short of fascinating.
Designed as a family resort, one of the best features of Verdura Resort is the extensive offering for children, meaning parents can take some time for themselves, while little ones won’t even think twice about waving goodbye to mum and dad for the day! The new children’s club, Verduland, offers different zones where guests, aged four to twelve years, can keep busy and make new friends, whether they just need to take it easy in the television room, or get involved with arts and crafts, cookery, science experiments, outdoor adventures or even brush up on their swimming skills at the club’s new heated swimming pool. An award-winning programme ensures every child will make the most out of their stay, and the resort truly goes out of its way to ensure young guests are just as well cared for as their parents.
For golf fans, Verdura Resort should be at the top of your list for a break in the sun, with three courses designed by Kyle Phillips, which provided home to the Sicilian Open Championship in 2012, cutting a stunning landscape and boasting breathtaking views. For those less adept at their backswing – like me! – help is at hand from a PGA-qualified team of golf professionals. I took a taster lesson to see if I was a champion in the making, and received a helpful demonstration, covering basic techniques on hitting the ball effectively and pre-shot routines, though lessons can be as advanced as you like. For younger guests, there is also the Junior Golf Academy, offering a fun introduction to the game for those aged six to sixteen years of age.
One of my favourite day trips during my stay was to the Ulmo Estate, a forty-five-minute drive away in Sambuca di Sicilia. The vineyards here are part of the Planeta Winery, one of the premier wine estates of Sicily. I was greeted by the charming landscape and given a fascinating introduction to the first winery owned by the Planeta family, followed by a much-appreciated wine-tasting session! Further to my delight, I also found there is a great little shop on the estate for purchasing your favourite bottle, plus authentic extra-virgin olive oil and essential cookbooks, helping you continue your Sicilian culinary journey back at home!
For more information on Verdura Resort, a quote or to book your luxury holiday in Sicily, please call our expert Travel Consultants on 01244 897 771.