Villa Dionysus Taormina

Taormina has always been renowned as a destination for literary greats from the past.

From Ancient Greece there was Pindar, Cicero and Aeschylus and thereafter Shakespeare, DH Lawrence, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Oscar Wilde just to name a few.

They chose Taormina for its peaceful location and beautiful landscapes to draw inspiration for their poems and novels. DH Lawrence wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover in Taormina and is said to have based the love story on a noble English lady living there who fell in love with her Sicilian gardener.

These writers and poets enjoyed Taormina’s glamourous way of life, with afternoon teas and soirees in beautiful villas and gardens.

Last month I was invited to a barbeque at one of Taormina’s most beautiful villas and enjoyed an afternoon of wine, good food and good company.

Villa Dionysus is located in the heart of Taormina with four tiers of beautiful terraced gardens and panoramic views across the sparkling Ionian Sea towards the Italian mainland and Mount Etna.

The host is Eros who is an Anglo/Greek professional novelist, analytical psychologist and adventurer who's main themes are erotic philosophy, sensuosity, the psychology of Carl Jung (a Swiss psychologist) and the philosophy of the early Athenian hedonists. He uses Villa Dionysus as an atelier for his writing and illustrative work and as a place to entertain other writers, artists, friends and acquaintances.

He is an absolutely charismatic character, is passionate about Taormina and its glorious past and is a complete pleasure to talk with.

He lovingly named the villa "Villa Dionysus" himself after dinner parties that have been held on its grand terrace.

Dionysus is the God of the grape harvest, wine making and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy in Greek mythology.

The villa is available for private rental and is a luxury retreat best enjoyed by large families, a group of friends or as a venue for events, parties or weddings. 

The property is located on a secluded hillside and is a two minute walk up to Corso Umberto. The villa with its terraces is 8000 Sq feet and can accommodate fourteen people in six bedrooms and can be extended to twenty one people in nine bedrooms if the villa’s nearby luxury apartment is included in the arrangement and there are five bathrooms. A private chef can be arranged for your stay and it is pet friendly.

For special events the villa can accommodate sixty  to eighty guests for a casual buffet or barbeque. It is also an ideal location for photo shoots.

On a warm hazy June day I arrived at Villa Dionysus and was greeted by a sign on the gate quoting “Enter me and do as thou wilt, but harm no one”. At this moment I knew that I was going to love this house and its host. 

Myself and my friend Liz Gaan, who is a Taormina wedding planner, excitedly explored the property and its beautiful gardens full of beautiful colourful plants and flowers and me being me I fell in love with Eros’s gorgeous dogs. I am the person who always talks to the dogs at parties. The garden is furnished with sofas and hand painted tables and ceramics from Caltagirone. Eros is currently planning to have a swimming pool installed in the autumn.  From the main terrace the view of Taormina’s Greek Theatre is so close you can almost touch it.

The villa’s interior is beautifully decorated with a quintessentially English touch and a traditional Sicilian twist. It is accessorised with personal touches such as family photos, books and paintings.

We sat at one of the ceramic tables on the terrace with a glass of crisp Sicilian white wine and I envisioned Eros sitting there writing his novels with the breath taking views in front of him as inspiration, as I do myself at home in Giardini Naxos whilst writing my blog posts with Mount Etna watching me.

The food was delicious and prepared by Chef Massimo, a whole suckling pig was barbecued and accompanied by mouth watering traditional Sicilian side dishes, local produce and artisan breads. As we enjoyed our lunch looking at the views amongst entertaining company, I thought of how the times of DH Lawrence and Oscar Wilde would not have been too dissimilar. A group of fascinating people who all have fallen under Taormina and Sicily’s magical spell.

Eros and his wonderful assistant Emily are the perfect hosts and made us feel right at home and we left feeling that we had made new friends for life as is always the way in Sicily. Liz is now looking forward to co-ordinating a wedding party there this September.

You can find Villa Dionysus on:

If you are a fan of Greek mythology and Greek tragedies like me, this year at the Greek Theatre in Taormina there is a performance of "Dionysus" on 24th September, the story was written by the Athenian play writer Euripide, there is  also a performance at the Greek Theatre in Morgantina, Central Sicily on 8th July.

Photo Gallery

Teatro Antico Morgantina 8th July 2016
Teatro Antico Taormina 24th September 2016

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Love Sarah x

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