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B&B Review: Villa Quartarella, Modica, Sicily

Updated on August 18, 2017
bdegiulio profile image

Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures, experiences, and makes the world a better, more tolerant place.

Masseria Quartarella
Masseria Quartarella | Source

Should you find yourself planning a trip to Sicily and wish to visit the southeastern corner of the island then I have the place for you. Nestled onto five acres of farmland on a hill just a few miles outside of the ancient Baroque town of Modica is the B&B Quartarella. Surrounded by farmland and perfectly constructed stone walls, this picture perfect Villa is your ticket to true Sicilian life.

Let me preface this review by saying that Quartarella will not be for everyone. If you are looking for a fancy resort then look elsewhere. And while it can be difficult to locate even with a GPS, this is certainly no reason to stay away. Once you drive down that long, narrow, stone lined road and enter the courtyard you will immediately begin to feel the magic that is Quartarella.

Stone wall lined roads
Stone wall lined roads | Source

So what exactly is Quartarella? It is officially a Bed and Breakfast that could easily be confused for an Agriturismo. It is also referred to as a Masseria, which is an old Sicilian farmhouse. The property was at one time a working farm and it dates back to pre-World War II. In fact, during the German occupation of Sicily the farmhouse was used as the headquarters for the local German command. Of course all of this changed on the night of July 9th, 1943 when US, British and Canadian forces launched the invasion of Sicily.

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Damaged and left in ruin after WWII, the history of Quartarella over the next fifty years is but a mystery to me. What I do know is that sometime in the late 1990’s a young Italian man by the name of Francesco Monisteri was persuaded by his father to purchase the property. The decision certainly changed the course of his life. It has also changed the lives of the countless visitors who have stumbled upon this slice of heaven.

So back to what exactly is Quartarella? It is not your ordinary run of the mill B&B. The old farmhouse, or what was left of it after WWII has been transformed into five suites that are as comfortable and inviting as their host. Each suite contains a loft that can accommodate two extra guests for those of you traveling with children. The rooms are easily the largest that we have come across in our travels across Italy.

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The loft
The loft | Source

The common room, which was once the stable, is now a beautiful area with a large fireplace and makes for a great room to sit and relax or spend some time admiring the numerous artifacts that Francesco has collected over the years.

The room contains some amazing pieces that Francesco has acquired, some of which were dug out of the property here at Quartarella. It's almost like a mini museum and Francesco will be more than willing to tell you the history of each piece.

Common Room
Common Room | Source
A German WWII helmet.  Notice the two bullet holes?
A German WWII helmet. Notice the two bullet holes? | Source
Common Room
Common Room | Source

The kitchen area has been renovated to include the original style reed roof that was reconstructed by hand. The reed used in the roof was hand cut from the local area for use here.

In the middle of the kitchen is a hole into the ground that takes anyone wishing to go down, into the wine cellar that sits directly below the kitchen. If you would like to go down into the wine cellar just ask Francesco and he will be more than happy to take you down there.

The entire building including the suites, common room and kitchen have been restored using stone from the fields of Sicily and at two feet thick the walls eliminate the need for air conditioning. All of the rooms are exquisitely decorated and contain antique pieces which add to the atmosphere.

Coming out of the wine cellar
Coming out of the wine cellar | Source

Would you consider staying at Masseria Quartarella?

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Wine cellar
Wine cellar | Source
The kitchen
The kitchen | Source

As you step out of each suite you enter into the courtyard of Quartarella where there is a well that no doubt was part of the original property. Beyond the courtyard are fields and the coops that contain the chickens, quail, and the turkey that Francesco keeps here. There are also two dogs that reside on the property, Nicky and Pimpa, who are a joy to watch as they romp around their kingdom. Next door to Quartarella is a field with horses and cows that makes for a picture perfect country setting.

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The neighbors
The neighbors | Source

Should you wish to cool off there is also a small pool on the property. While not large enough to actual swim in, it is certainly sufficient for cooling off after a long day of touring the beautiful Baroque towns of this corner of Sicily.

The well in the courtyard
The well in the courtyard | Source

Breakfast each morning is at pretty much whenever you would like it. Francesco is attentive to your every need and provides everything needed for a wonderful breakfast. For anyone wishing eggs for breakfast you will be served fresh farm eggs straight from the chicken coop. It doesn't get any better than this.

Breakfast
Breakfast | Source

Francesco was born and raised in this corner of Sicily. I can’t imagine anyone knowing the area better and he will direct you to the most precious of sites that Sicily has to offer. He is also a student of Sicilian history and he can educate you in the culture and history of this magnificent region of Sicily. Just walk through his common room and if you look closely you will see relics and artifacts that he has collected over the years. Out in his courtyard are pieces of history that have been harvested from his fields. Be sure to sit under the olive tree in the courtyard at the large stone table for a meal or two, it will be a memorable experience.

Under the olive tree.  Francesco, Francesca, Terry, Bill
Under the olive tree. Francesco, Francesca, Terry, Bill | Source

I take great pride in doing my homework when researching and selecting accommodations for trips to Italy and anywhere for that matter. I must say that our stay at Villa Quartarella was the most memorable experience that we have had to date. The attention to detail, the serene surroundings, and the charm and graciousness of our host and his family are simply unparalleled. You will not be disappointed!

Terry with Pimpa and Nicky
Terry with Pimpa and Nicky | Source

Summary

If you think that the price of paradise is going to empty your bank account, think again. Quartarella is not only reasonable but simply a great value. A double room will run you between 75 and 80 euro depending on the season. Rates are higher if you have more than two people per room and max out at 120 euro for four people in the high season. If you are travelling alone a single room is 40 euro per night. Prices include breakfast and daily cleaning. Upon checking in you be issued your room key and a key to the kitchen and common room.

If you are looking for a wonderful retreat to use as a base for exploring the southeast corner of Sicily, look no further than the 5 star Bed & Breakfast Masseria Quartarella. The beautiful towns of Modica, Ragusa, Scicli, Siracusa, Noto, and some of the finest beaches in Sicily are all just a short trip away.

Modica is located about an hour and thirty minutes from Catania and approximately one hour from Siracusa. To tour this region of Sicily it is recommended that you have a vehicle. Be forewarned that the roads in some parts of Sicily can be narrow so watch the size of your rental. We traveled with a group of six and had the largest minivan that I have ever seen and did not have any problems getting around.

Enjoy your visit to Sicily and give my regards to Francesco and Francesca.

Ciao for now

Please take a moment to rate Masseria Quartarella

5 out of 5 stars from 4 ratings of Masseria Quartarella
A markerModica, Sicily -
Modica, Province of Ragusa, Italy
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© 2012 Bill De Giulio

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    • bdegiulio profile image
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      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Keala. Thank you so much for the holiday wishes. A very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours also.

      Sicily was amazing. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel there. I very much appreciate the support. Have a great day.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Great hub, Bill! With all the traveling you and your family are doing (lucky stiffs! : ) ), just wanted to be sure to wish you all a very memorable and happy holiday season from my family and me back home in America!

      Thanks for enriching our lives with the beauty and grace with which you write about these far-off places.

      Aloha!

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Penelope. Next time you get to Sicily pay them a visit, I think you would love the place. Hopefully we'll get to Tuscany again in the near future so we can pay you a visit. Hopefully you had a great summer and autumn season. I am so envious that you live in Tuscany. Would love to retire there someday.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      It looks fabulous. We won't be going in the near future because of our own small business - but certainly will bookmark your hub and mention it to my travelers and children (who are always looking for somewhere great and interesting to stay). Love your pictures. It's the perfect retreat and the room sizes are so great!

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Vespawoolf. Thanks for the visit. It really was a beautiful place to unwind and relax. We would love to return someday soon. Many thanks, have a great day.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Very observant. Some of the bottles were on a makeshift rack that was on the ground on the right. Any yes, some of the bottles were on the ground, I believe these were empty except for the gallon jug in the middle there. Francesco definitely does things his way. I know he was waiting for his grapes to arrive from his fields that were not at the B&B so he didn't have too much wine down there when we were there.

      Thanks for the visit and have a great weekend.

    • bdegiulio profile image
      Author

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks Sandra. It was beautiful. A great place to unwind and tour southeast Sicily. Have a great day.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Wow, this looks like just the place for my husband and me! What gorgeous photos...it looks like the perfect out-of-the way spot for an intimate and relaxing vacation. Thanks so much for taking us on your trip! I really enjoyed the review.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great review, Bill, as all of yours are. It was interesting to me that the bottle of wine in the wine cellar were on the ground instead of a rack, or did I miss something? I've never seen that before.

      Great pics; well done my friend!

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 4 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      Lovely hub, bdeguilio. Masseria Quartarello sounds the an ideal place for a relaxed vacation in Sicily. Voted up, interesting and shared.