Beautifully framed in the dramatic landscapes of Sicily in Italy, San Domenico Palace has reopened for its second season as a Four Seasons hotel.
The former 14th century convent enjoys a spectacular location overlooking the Ionian Sea, with majestic Mount Etna to its right and Taormina’s iconic Ancient Theatre to its left.
This year, the Hotel introduces a number of exciting novelties including a Stargazing Safari, a new menu for the Hotel’s Principe Cerami restaurant and the Art Concierge service.
For lovers of the night sky, San Domenico Palace has created a Stargazing Safari on Mount Etna. With little-to-no light pollution, the volcano offers the perfect position from which to enjoy an immaculate view of the stars.
Accompanied by a local astrophysicist, guests will learn to recognize Orion, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, and other constellations while hearing tales of Greek mythology. To accompany the evening, Chef Massimo Mantarro will prepare a meal of local specialties and wines.
Mount Etna and the fruits of its rich local terroir remain at the heart of Chef Mantarro’s culinary creations.
Mantarro continues to experiment with new flavours and techniques introducing a series of new menu items at his signature restaurant Principe Cerami including a Parmigiana 2.0 – a revisited version of this beloved Sicilian classic, Green Broccoli Ravioli with datterini tomatoes and Turrato bread, and Amberjack with glazed fennel and beetroot.
Pastry Chef Vincenzo Abagnale has also been busy inventing tempting new desserts for the sweet-toothed such as his sCassata, an innovative twist of one of Sicily’s most iconic cakes.
Another novelty this year is Eat the Volcano, the ultimate foody experience for those who want to taste the richness of the produce of the Etna.
Accompanied by Chef Massimo Mantarro or a member of his team, guests will journey onto the Etna making their first stop in the town of Linguaglossa to meet with a local shepherd and taste freshly made ricotta paired with heavenly just out-of-the-oven bread. From there, guests will spend some time foraging for seasonal wild vegetables and herbs.
The next stop is the stunning contemporary Pietradolce vineyard for lunch and wine-tasting. Upon returning to the Hotel, the kitchen staff will prepare the vegetables and herbs guests have foraged for dinner, so that at the end of this spectacular day they can honestly state they “ate the volcano.”
Guests staying at San Domenico Palace shouldn’t miss the opportunity to have an aperitif at the Hotel’s atmospheric Bar & Chiostro. The Grand Cloister, Bar & Chiostro enjoys great ambience at dusk, and its cocktail list intrigues with references to the Hotel’s history.
Take for example Gelosia e Mandolino 23 ("Jealousy and Mandolin 23") with Vodka Giovi and red garlic and oregano distillate, a reference to a legendary episode that took place between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in 1967.
During one of their stays at the Hotel the pair had such a furious quarrel that Taylor allegedly broke a mandolin over Burton’s head.
With its 111 guest rooms and suites, San Domenico Palace has an Old World grandeur but still retains an intimate atmosphere - it is one of Italy’s most iconic and unforgettable destinations.
For a complete list of unique experiences, see here.