Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia, Salina

Aeolian Islands
of Stromboli and Panarea lies evergreen Salina.
Distinctive in its shape, the island’s ancient name, Didyme, means
“twins” and is taken from the landscape’s defining dual

Often referred to as “the green island” thanks to its luxuriant
vegetation, Salina is one of seven islets that make up the
Aeolians. Docking at the port of Santa Marina, a quick taxi drive
will take you to Capofaro Locanda & Malvasia,
which precedes itself via pulsating light beaming out from the faro
(lighthouse) as it beckons you to the namesake estate.

Created by the Tasca d’Almerita family out of a love for the sea
(and wine), today the family manages five estates in nearby
Regaleali, Etna, Mozia and Camporeale. Synonymous with bespoke and
sophisticated Mediterranean hospitality, Capofaro engulfs its
guests with a feeling of serenity upon arrival. Its cliffside
positioning and Aeolian Sea view creates a sense of seclusion and
true escapism in the shadow of the northernmost lighthouse in


With just 27 rooms across the estate, Capofaro never feels
crowded. Dislodged from other guests (unless you choose otherwise)
rooms feel remote and restful. Minimalist in design, the style is a
reflection of the naturalism of the Aeolian Islands; think muted
tones and organic materials. Influenced by traditional local
architecture, distinctive colonnades mark each of the guesthouses’
private entrances and gardens. The most prized rooms are in the
faro, where guests can sleep in luxuriating tranquility right at
the water’s edge.

In the evenings, turndown service bypasses the typical
chocolate-on-your-pillow routine in favour of an evening elixir.
Created by artisan perfumer Meo Fuscuini a valve of “essence of the
night” is left to spray over your pillow for a citrus-induced


“Start the day with something sweet; and a coffee.” That’s how
the Sicilians do it, according to Capofaro’s pastry chef, Gabriele.
And in Sicily, home of the cannoli, what else would you expect? A
buffet consists of cakes and cold cuts, biscotti and breads. Of
course, there are plenty more savoury items on offer – eggs
made-to-order, and so on – for those still adapting to the
salty-meets-sweet Sicilian palette.

How about lunch and dinner?

All meals are served in the main restaurant; an airy, open-plan
space that combines wicker chairs, white-lacquered tables and plant
pot partitions, for easy day-to-night transitional dining. “Slowly
slowly” is the mantra of the kitchen – and one that thankfully does
not extend to the service.

Southern Italian chef Ludovico De Vivo places a real focus on
produce, with approximately 70% of produce sourced from the
Capofaro vegetable gardens. A slow-food presidium, the Salina caper
is the prodigal son of the island and an integral part of the
landscape. Making its way into many dishes – from the fish of the
day to the bar nibbles – prepare to leave with a predilection for
pickling. Produce is transformed into jams and marinated vegetables
for sustained use. Giving traditional recipes a revamp, pasta here
is a key player. The bread has been voted the best in all of Sicily
– like the pasta, it’s made using ancient grains grown at Tenuta

If you get a taste of something you fancy, cookery lessons
taught by Ludovico De Vivo are available on request. The further
you go below the equator the sweeter the taste, so expect a lesson
heavy in sugar – caramelising techniques are a mainstay on this

Is there a bar?

There is a relaxed bar adjacent to the restaurant that spills
out onto the veranda and stays open until midnight. With a resident
DJ and a first-class view on the locanda’s panoramic terrace,
sundowners are enjoyed here with poetic license (read from

The property also cultivates its own wine, Malvasia delle
Lipari. Deriving from an aromatic Malavasian grape, the distinctive
fruit makes not one but two types of wine – one dry (Didyme) and
one sweet (Malvasia Capofaro) – both very, very drinkable.

Within a short distance you’ll find…

The on-site sports area encompasses a paddle tennis court and
swimming pool, while up on the clubhouse roof, yogis can enjoy
morning salutations surrounded by rows of vines reaching the seas.
Post yoga, walk the few minutes to the cottage in the garden and
book in for an afternoon massage or facial treatment.

Also within the grounds of Capofaro you’ll find The Maritime and
Malvasia Micro Museum, an initiative aiming to protect and preserve
Aeolian maritime culture. Head out on the hotel’s sports yacht MIKY
for a day trip around the seven Aeolian Islands and explore their
coves, bays and grottoes.

For something a little further afield, cycling in Pollara makes
for a scenic afternoon excursion. If only a beach with do, take a
short taxi ride to the sands at Rinella, or pebbles at every other

Things you should know

In addition to readjusting your watch, it’s probably a good idea
to reset your sense of pace on Salina too. With whiles to go from
the airport to the island – you’ll endure a car and a ferry ride
over a combined time of roughly three hours 30 minutes, ­before you
reach your destination. If you’re a tad impatient (and a lot
loaded) there’s also the option of a private helicopter to take you
from Catania direct to Salina.

Before you depart from the harbour (or helipad) at Santa Marina,
take some time in the quaint town and enjoy breakfast or lunch
along the seafront on your final day. Try Il Gambero for some great
seafood and saccharinely sweet granita, while Da Alfredo is the
place for final Sicilian lemon tastings.