Monaci delle Terre Nere

Sicilian farmhouse, vineyard setting, bucolic

Via Monaci, Zafferana Etnea 95019

(39) 331 136 5016

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At a Glance

This place is owned by a passionate local who returned from life in the U.S. to resurrect a crumbling villa tucked into forty acres of glorious countryside at the foot of Mount Etna.

Indagare Loves

  • The terraced gardens surrounding the pool, with sweeping views all the way down to the Ionian Sea
  • The incredible vineyards, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens (where else have you ever seen a field of Kiwi trees?)
  • The fact that most guests arrive with a long to-do list and many choose to simply stay put


With its pink-hued villa, terraced gardens and sweeping views up to Mount Etna and down towards the Ionian Sea, Monaci delle Terre Nere feels a bit like the Sicilian version of the estate in the Bertolucci film Stealing Beauty. The air is fresh, laced with the scent of jasmine, honey and fresh-cut grass; the vines are Kermit green; and the views are so vivid that they tease the book you're reading right from your fingers, making you stare into the yonder.

It’s a magical setting, and one that immediately captured the heart of Alessandro Guido Coffa, the earnest owner of Terre Nere. A native of nearby Trecastagni, Coffa worked in the U.S. for many years before his native Sicily drew him back, or, more precisely the opportunity to turn an overgrown estate back into a working vineyard and orchard. Along the way, he decided to turn a personal passion for architecture and art into an agriturismo hotel.

Today, there are thirteen rooms, scattered throughout the property. Some are located in the main villa, which dates from 1800 and was also used for winemaking, as evidenced by the massive stone trough in the breakfast room (a so-called palmento, it was used to gather the pressed grape juice). Most of the suites are located in a freestanding building, a short walk from the villa, made of lava stone and dating from 1730. Coffa painstakingly restored the buildings, eager not to lose any of the original details and charm. Interiors are strikingly modern, however, with select pieces from such Italian companies as FLOS and art work by Brazilian artist Olivier Mourao. Exposed wood ceiling beams and stone walls remind of the past, while wood-burning fireplaces and large bathtubs hint at modern-day pampering.

All rooms come with pros and cons (contact our Bookings Team for details). Also, potential guests must understand that this is a bucolic country setting on a working wine and olive oil estate, so if discovering a bug in your bathroom is unacceptable, you should not book here. The staff is very kind and caring but not highly trained in hotel services, so the service is uneven. Coffa and his longtime girlfriend Ada live on the premises and are usually mingling with guests during the aperitivo, which consists of a lovely spread of local goods, many of them grown on the property.

In sum, Monaci is a good choice for a young, eco-conscious couples who want to relax in a beautiful setting and who don't mind inconsistencies in rooms and service. The Catania Airport is an easy 45-minute drive away, so it's a good place to end a Sicilian sojourn.

Who Should Stay

Even though Terre Nere is child-friendly, there is not a ton to do on property, so it's better suited to couples who want to hole up someplace scenic after a sightseeing-heavy Sicily tour. Also, finding the hotel, up winding, rock-strewn streets, is challenging, so many guests choose not to leave, even though Etna National Park beckons just around the corner.

Written by Simone Girner

What's Nearby

More Inspiration

Indagare employees walking up stiars

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