A luxury farmhouse stay at Kapuhala Sicily
“In Latin, ‘agri’ means ‘the land’ and ‘cultura’ means care of plants. This is our Kapuhala philosophy. We care about our land, our plants and most importantly, the cultivation of young, brilliant minds, and our culture.”
At the Southeast of the Province of Syracuse in Sicily lies the city of Noto, a hidden Italian gem. Rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1693, Noto’s architecture is built in the unique Sicilian Baroque style. The city is home to The Cathedral of San Nicolo, a designated UNESCO world heritage site.
As you traverse out of the city centre, you will find Palazzi giving way to native plantation, and amongst them, many discarded, unfinished houses. These are the houses which inspired Kapuhala Sicily. Crystal Lee, Co-founder of Kapuhala resorts explains, “Sicily is an agricultural place with a beautiful history, that’s why we built it the way we did, incorporating what was already on the land as part of the whole structure.” Working with local architects, Crystal and Stefano Passarello, Crystal’s partner and Co-founder of Kapuhala, transformed the discarded houses into villas that celebrate Sicily’s heritage.
The villas are an ode to the region’s nature and culture. White walls bathed in the Mediterranean sun converse with exposed limestone brick walls, Sicilian style tiles and antique furniture. Each villa is also equipped with a mini open kitchen, so that guests can brew a coffee with their moka pots any time of day.
Concepts of circularity and sustainability are woven into Kapuhala’s fabric. The resort has solar panels in place for electricity and freshwater and sources all of its produce locally.
Its signature restaurant Vivi Vinu, meaning “Drink the wine!’” or ‘Long live the wine” Sicilian dialect, has a plant-based seasonal tasting menu inspired by the rhythm of nature and the seasonal crops on the farms. Italian classics are conjured from the arsenal of fresh produce from Kapuhala’s heritage farm, paired with a glass of wine made in Kapuhala’s winery on the same grounds. The resort also sources cheeses made in its neighbourhood farms, bringing the notions of seasonality and farm-to-table to the fore.
The picturesque 360-degree landscape is at once grounding and otherworldly. Overlooking Noto’s’ bountiful landscape, dotted with local plantation and the tiled roofs of Italian casas, it is a view that is difficult to get tired of. At dusk, guests love to lounge in the pool or sit with a glass of cocktail in hand as they breathe in the beauty of the pastel skies.
Wanting to bring about cultural exchanges and inspiring dialogue, the co-founders infused the resort’s shared spaces with books and cultural artefacts. Kapuhala also collaborates with the local government to promote film screenings and cultural events, offering guests a chance to immerse in Sicily’s rich heritage.
Cultivating spaces where one can be productive and inspired is also essential. Crystal explains:
“We are very much promoting co-working at Kapuhala Sicily. We have received so many interesting guests because we are ‘different’ and they all love our concept. By being the “hub’ of intelligence and culture, sparks are ignited and relationships form.”
Kapuhala Sicily is a gem that reconnects one with the beauty of the land, the sources of our food and therefore, with ourselves. A luxury farmhouse stay combined with idyllic landscapes, culinary delights and inspiring conversations will leave anyone who has set foot in Kapuhala with a golden glow.