A Bird’s-Eye View of Sicily

Rocco Forte Hotels

For the best views of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea just off the “toe” of Italy, climb aboard a helicopter and gain a new perspective of the region as you glide over gentle hills, ancient towns and rocky coastline. Blessed with ripe vineyards, staggering views and centuries of civilisation, this idyllic part of Italy has an embarrassment of riches.

For the love of wine

As the famous proverb in Sicily goes, “white wines strengthen the hip,” a wonderful excuse for sampling the region’s delicious local wines. As you fly over the rocky cliffs, you’ll spot the Turkish Steps and Agrigento’s iconic temples, before touching down in the family-run Planeta Ulmo Winery. Sip and sample wines grown on the picturesque estate. 

Explore the family’s favourite vintage labels in the Infernotto, the winery located near the 16th century stone farmhouse within the estate. You can also trail through the surrounding woodlands overlooking the banks of Lake Arancio, or learn about  the fascinating history of Sicilian viticulture at the Iter Vitis open-air museum.

The vineyard’s signature creamy Planeta Chardonnay with subtle notes of honey, peach and vanilla has come to be one of Sicily’s most quaffed wines – best enjoyed in the rolling hills behind Sciacca, surrounded by neatly lined rows of vines.

Cap off your visit with a light lunch in the family’s cosy dining room before flying back to Verdura Resort


For the adventure seeker

If your intrepid spirits soar high, uplift your Sicilian getaway with this exciting hike up Mount Etna. Your pilot will deliver you directly to your base at Monaci delle Terre Nere helipad before guiding you through the moon-like rugged slopes of the stratovolcano. Encounter the mountain’s unique landscape and sprawling lava spills on a trail leading to the main crater of Europe’s highest volcano.

Alternatively, you can take a flight over the Aeolian Archipelago, comprising seven volcanic islands and five smaller isles. Begin your bird’s-eye discovery of this UNESCO World Heritage Site with Vulcano, named after Vulcan, the fierce Roman God of fire. Next you’ll visit Lipari, the largest island in the cluster known for its geological heritage of lava formation resources such as smooth black ​​obsidian rocks and rough-textured pumice stone. Heading seaward, see if you can identify the twin peaks of Salina, fondly referred to as the ‘green island’ for its rolling vineyards and lush valleys. Round off your flight with views of Stromboli, known as the ‘lighthouse of the Mediterranean’ and named after its steady towering luminesce amidst the seawater.

For the curious historian

A helicopter tour over ancient Greece is every architecture enthusiast’s dream. From Sicily, you can still make this a reality as you fly over the Selinunte, one of Europe’s largest archeological parks, located on the south-western coast of the island. Take your binoculars and focus on the ruins of five temples remaining around the acropolis. Hovering over the Temple of Hera, its dramatic columns are unmissable from the air. Zoom in and you might spy performers staging a show in the Greek amphitheatre.

Alternatively, for the best adventure by air and by foot, you can fly over to the hilltop town of Taormina featuring beautifully restored mediaeval buildings and winding streets dotted with colourful shops and restaurants. The magnificent Mount Etna peering through narrow alleys as you walk around the historic town. Make your way to the widely-loved ancient Greco-­Roman theatre, Teatro Antico di Taormina, which continues to set the stage for performances today before settling down for a meal of fresh seafood overlooking the sandy coves of the town.

Soar over archeological wonders, turquoise seas and rolling vineyards during your next stay at Verdura Resort. To book your journey on a helicopter, get in touch with us at concierge.verdura@roccofortehotels.com or +39 09 259982008.

You may also like

Exploring Europe Outside the Olympics

Paris is always a good idea. Except, perhaps, when it’s hosting the Olympic Summer Games, and the usual tourist throng looks set to multiply almost prohibitively. Of course, the Games are exciting, but if wading through crowds feels like a marathon effort, try a cultural relay around one of these stunning European cities instead.

A World Within: Europe’s Most Enthralling Opera Houses

As the gentle glow of each ornate chandelier begins to dim, a hush descends upon the audience before an all-consuming world of tragedy and triumph unfolds. Both exhilarating and deeply moving, a night at the opera has the distinct power to evoke emotion, while offering a unique insight into a perhaps unfamiliar city. 

Journey through Europe’s symphony of unmissable opera houses, each steeped in history and grandeur. 

Stepping into an urban oasis: Olga Polizzi unveils Hotel de Rome’s new lobby

They say the lobby is the beating heart of any hotel; where first impressions linger, inspiring journeys begin and end, and friends and lovers reunite. Upon entering Hotel de Rome, an immediate sense of calm is restored, as light pours in from the glass atrium and plants and palms breathe new life into the space. Olga Polizzi, Director of Design at Rocco Forte Hotels, shares her inspiration behind the hotel lobby’s new look.