Situated in an enchanting landscape, high on the Hyblean Plateau that lies between Ragusa and the south-eastern coast of Sicily, Tenuta Cammarana is an old country house in an ideal location to explore the natural beauties of the Park of the Hyblean Mountains. The Baroque treasures of the Val di Noto are also close at hand, with the cities of Ragusa, Modica and Scicli respectively 15, 30 and 40 minutes away. Another architectural gem, the ancient aristocratic residence of Donnafugata Castle, is only 10 km distant, and the area also boasts a renowned 18-hole golf course, just 8 km away. The picturesque fishing villages of Punta Secca and Scoglitti and the beautiful beaches of Marina di Ragusa can be reached in about 20 minutes.
Tenuta Cammarana is a handsome stone building which has been well loved and maintained since it was erected in the 18th century. It is still owned by the descendants of the noble family who had it built, Silvia and Giuseppe, and it has been restored recently with great care and attention. The rooms are spacious and well connected to each other; very elegant and warm, they are furnished with furniture and adorned with pictures and furnishings which have been in the family for a long time. There is a beautiful library which is an invitation to rest and tranquillity, and a terrace with open views of the Ragusa countryside that, bathed in the light of the setting sun, makes aperitif time into a truly “happy hour”.
Tenuta Cammarana is in the middle of a real botanic garden with a long history; its encircling walls seem to create leafy rooms and secret corners, but the surface of the garden is vast, with areas covered by meadows and orchards, carob and olive trees, flowers and plants that are a rarity, such as a kind of wild orchid that attracts great interest. The grounds of the estate have been farmed for many generations too; the major crops are hay and wheat, but the farm produces much more, and all its products become the ingredients of the mouthwatering dishes that are served in the proprietors’ dining room, which takes the name of “L’Ortodisilvia”, or “Silvia’s vegetable garden”: milk and cheese from the renowned cows of the “Modicana” breed, a delicious carob tree honey, a good oil pressed from the garden’s olives, and vegetable and herbs that grow in the kitchen garden. “L’Ortodisilvia” has a warm, cordial atmosphere, with its suffused light and posies of wild flowers and roses on the tables; guests can also dine al fresco by candlelight, in the garden. Howeverer, they are not the only ones to be invited to sit and eat: this is in fact a Supper Club, and non-residents can also become members. Food and wines are excellent and their enjoyment is completed by the accompaniment of stories that explain the recipes and their origin. Breakfast is as good as dinner: fresh fruit, cold meats, various cheeses and delicate ricotta, a whey cheese which is a speciality of Sicily, a refreshing almond beverage called “latte di mandorla”, homemade cakes and jams are among the delicacies that are offered to start the day.
There are five quiet, airy rooms at Tenuta Cammarana, looking into a splendid internal court; they are full of history, and the careful restoration that they have undergone has preserved their traditional features. Only local natural materials have been used, such as the flagstones for the floors, the wood for the ceilings, or the exposed stone in those rooms that are surmounted by barrel vaults.