Santa Venerina is an excellent base from which to explore eastern Sicily, thanks to its very strategic position halfway between Catania and Taormina. The village is 5 minutes drive from the highway A18 Catania-Messina from which (in an average time of 20 minutes) you can reach the most beautiful places of Eastern Sicily, such as Taormina, Alcantara Gorge, Catania, Acicastello, Acireale, Etna, Giardini Naxos...
The charming baroque town of Acireale is only 15 km away from Santa Venerina. It is situated next to the 'Riviera dei Ciclopi', a unique coast with a crystal clear sea and lava stacks (Faraglioni) which is believed by Greek mythology to correspond to the stones thrown by blind Polifemo to Ulysses. The Riviera traditional resort towns of Acicastello and Acitrezza have long been a magnet for local day trips and offer arguably the best Granita to be found anywhere and lots of good seafood trattorias. Catania, with its rich architectural heritage, its vibrant markets, restaurants and shops, is only 30 minutes away from the town.
The east coast Ionian Riviera has some of Sicily's most picturesque pebbly and sandy beaches including those of Isola Bella, Giardini Naxos and Letojanni (below Taormina). Santa Venerina is just 25 km from Gardini Naxos and 30 km (20 minutes with the highway) from Taormina, which draws more visitors than any other town in Sicily, thanks to its splendid position, its elegant shops, and its Graeco-Roman theatre with a unique view of Mount Etna. Torre Archirafi, Pozzillo and Santa Maria la Scala are pleasant seaside villages near Santa Venerina. The nearest beaches can be found in Praiola, Stazzo and Pozzillo (8 km).
Santa Venerina is also an excellent starting point from which to explore Mount Etna and its surroundings. The towns and villages that dot the flanks of Etna, such as Zafferana Etnea, Trecastagni and Randazzo, are well worth stopping off for a visit to their seventeenth century churches built in lava stone or for a spot of lunch in restaurants offering delicious local products. The town is only 4 km away from Zafferana Etnea and 10 km from Rifugio Sapienza, the main ski area, where you can take the Etna cableway, up to the main craters.
The sun of Sicily holds the record in Europe and maintains a mild climate throughout the year. Spring is the ideal time to enjoy the culture and nature that this island has to offer. It’s well worth making a trip just to experience the Easter processions, bringing together folklore and tradition in an incredibly mystic way.
The interior is spectacular, with the mountain slopes exploding in colour, while on the coast the first bathers start taking to the beaches.
In autumn, throughout October and mid-November, the sea water is still warmed by the summer sun, and the daytime temperature still reaches 30°c during the warmest hours. Many towns around Etna organize festivals dedicated to local products such as wine, mushrooms and sweets.
The villa is suitable for winter, Christmas and New Year. The weather between December and March can often be mild and sunny, but the villa offers good heating systems, wi-fi and plenty of indoor space just in case!