At home in an Etna Orange Grove: Borgo degli Aranci

I took this photo from my bed in the “Mandarino” house at Borgo degli Aranci. Waking up there, making a cup of coffee in the kitchen and sitting on the terrace looking out at the orange groves, I had the feeling of being at “home”.

A big part of that feeling comes from Guenda Auteri, who manages the Borgo, lives there, and whose family handed the property down to her. A tall, vivacious yogi who until recently traded stocks and bonds in London and Milan, she is exceptionally generous and outgoing: ready to have lunch or dinner prepared for her guests or to offer suggestions on the myriad of things to do in the area. (NB: She is the one who took me for breakfast in Fiumefreddo see my post.)

On my first day there, her cook prepared fresh pasta salad, bread, cheese, fruit and wine at the table overlooking the orange groves and the sea.

One afternoon, I went for a swim at the Marina del Cottone (10 mins drive): easy, free parking, very clean with few people. To the north, up the beach, is the town of Taormina on a rocky promontory.

Behind the Borgo, Etna rises up. Guenda has a list of hikes or guided tours on foot or by Jeep, or information on the Alcantara National Park and Gorgesformed by the Alcanatra River flowing down from the Nebrodi Mountains. She will also tell you about not only the major tourist attractions nearby like Taormina and Syracuse, but smaller, out of the way spots like Novara di Sicilia.


It was sad to close up the “Mandarino” on my last morning there, but I’ll be back!

The Borgo has three houses and Guendalina’s policy is to rent all to one family or group. If you go, the Borgo will be yours. There is more information on the website. For prices, contact Guenda directly +39-347-7966714.

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Tags: beach, Etna, Italy, Sicily
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