There are two reasons we want to stay at Mandranova
First is it’s close proximity to Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples and secondly, Sicily’s best restaurant, La Madia at Licata is close by.
Now there is a third reason – to experience the hospitality of Silvia and Giuseppe.
Mandranova is an award winning olive oil estate.
It has been in Giuseppe’s family for six generations. Additions a few years ago mean they can have a maximum of forty people to stay in four different buildings but at this time of the year, there are only eight people. Perfect!
Our room over the Frantoio, is large and surprisingly modern with Culti products in the bathroom and a large terrace.
There are plenty of places to relax throughout the grounds
Lounges are dotted around under olive trees, in loggias or on verandahs.
A short walk away, the pool tempts sun lovers.
Inside the main building are two sitting rooms decorated with family treasures and the dining room.
Silvia is a fabulous cook and Giuseppe’s advice on the local wines is expert.
At dinner on the first night, we enjoy rigatoni with red tuna, tomatoes and peperoncino sauce, involtini and eggplant. We drink a lovely Cottanera syrah, Sole di Sesta, from the Mt Etna region.
Dessert is the most amazing lemon cake
Breakfast does not disappoint.
As with most Sicilian breakfast’s, there is an array of fruit, yoghurt, bread, cheese and cake
The next day, Silvia is giving a cooking class and we cook our own lunch.
The cassata is then made. The day before, Silvia had made the lightest sponge for the base. We combine ricotta and chocolate and spoon this over the sponge which has been sliced and laid on the base. After a while in the fridge, it is covered with icing and left to set.