Italy: Splendor of Sicilian Baroque from Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa

Historic Val di Noto, in the heart of Sicilian Baroque just outside Ragusa, is the location of 5-star Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa, a luxury resort that opened in summer 2010.

Baroque became the distinctive style of the region after the 1693 earthquake that forced almost total reconstruction. Eight Sicilian cities feature this look, including Ragusa, Noto and Modica, have been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa offers a 3-night Sicily Yourself Package that includes breakfast; 1 dinner (3 courses, drinks excluded); a Spa massage (60 minutes); 1 Spa entry (1 hour’s relaxation course) per stay; and a half-day excursion to Modica or Ragusa Ibla by car with guide. Rates start at approximately $636 ppdo.

The Ragusa Ibla hub has many attractions, including the masterpiece cathedral of San Giovanni. Facades in the Beneventano di Scicli palazzo date back to the mid-eighteenth century. Modica is famed not only for monuments but also for chocolate from an Incan recipe said to have arrived from returning explorers. San Giorgio, Chiesa del Soccorso, and the Jesuit monastery are important sights, as well as Chiesa del Carmine with its imposing stairway and San Pietro Inferiore built into the rock.

A visit to nearby Castello di Donnafugata, which the resort is named after, is a must, as well as the park with its “coffee house,” small temple, labyrinth and artificial grotto.

Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa, situated on a restored aristocratic estate, is laid out in villas, with generously sized rooms of high detail and sophistication. Ten bright suites with pastel furnishings enjoy a large private terrace. All the rooms offer splendid views of the panoramic surround. Its jewels are two 18-hole championship golf courses.

Donnafugata Spa won the Condé Nast Traveller Favourite Overseas Day Spa award for 2010. Not far away are the marvelous beaches of Camarina, Punta Secca and Marina di Ragusa.

Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa,,