Views reach to Mount Etna from this graceful, grown-up, French-designed family house, half an hour from Catania airport. Once vineyards grew here; now a gated group of modern villas includes this one, its privacy maintained by a large walled garden with mature chestnut, lemon, orange, fig, palm and pine trees. You can dine on the terrace, lunch in the shade, swim in the big inviting pool. Inside: high vaulted ceilings, arched doors, dark lava pillars, muted colours and beautifully chosen antique and contemporary pieces. The split-level sitting room has a central open fireplace; the generously equipped kitchen has coloured tiles and lovely blue and white crockery. Bedrooms are light, fresh, airy and uncluttered, with snowy linen and towels; from the master bedroom you can step into the garden. Local architect and owner Paul lives nearby and arranges a welcome snack of breads, cheeses, olives etc. Talk to him about shopping, hiring more bikes, and guided activities ‘off piste’ – skiing Etna with sea views is seriously special! You’re 20 minutes from beaches, and the same from Taormina.