Showing posts from August, 2016


When visiting Sicily a trip to the South East corner is a must do, the landscape is very much different from the rest of the island yet this small corner is rich in sights. The towns of Syracuse, Caltagirone, Modica, Ragusa, Palazzolo Acreide, Scicli and Noto have all been declared as UNESCO World Heritage sites on the merits of their Baroque architecture and town planning, the result of the rebuilding after the destruction of the 1693 earthquake. Noto is a most beautiful Baroque city and has been a UNESCO site since 2005, its nickname is “The Stone Garden of Europe”. It was lovingly reconstructed after the earthquake by a Sicilian-Spanish aristocrat, Giuseppe Lanza the Duke of Camastra. The town fascinates visitors with its noble palaces and churches. Before you explore Noto it is worth a trip first to Noto Antica. Here lays the ruins of the pre-earthquake town. Built on an arid limestone ridge the site has views of the Province of Ragusa and Mount Etna. When Giusep

Casa Cuseni ... A House in Sicily

Casa Cuseni is an enchanting villa in Taormina built in golden stone and was designed for the English painter Robert Hawthorn Kitson in 1905. In his Taorminese house and its beautiful gardens, art nouveau mixes with Sicilian style. The dining room was both conceived and designed by a friend of Robert Kitson, Sir Frank Brangwyn,a pupil of William Morris, the famous member of the artistic movement  “Arts and Crafts” and by Sir Alfred East,who was at that time, President of the Royal Society of British Artists. The decoration of the dining room boasts a series of murals inspired by the famous photographic models of Von Gloeden. Robert Kitson integrated perfectly with the Taormina community and Casa Cuseni with its gardens became one of the favourite places of D H Lawrence and his wife to have afternoon tea. After his death, Robert Kitson’s niece Daphne Phelps inherited the villa in 1947. At the age of 34, war-weary from working as a psychiatric social worker, with barel