Villa Miraglia, restaurant and resort in the Nebrodi park, it is one of my places of the heart. Built in 1926 as a private residence, in the seventies it became a refuge that it was managed for many years by my uncle Gaetano Rizzo Nervo. I often went there with my parents. The scenery was always the same. Walk in the woods, collection of chestnuts or flowers , jeep ride to the lake and then pantagruelico typical Sicilian lunch. Pure happiness. Then I grew up, I left Sicily and I didn't go there for many years. My uncle is unfortunately no longer there, but this summer I found it again Villa Miraglia and with it many memories.
The place my uncle loved immensely has become a resort, a chalet in wood and stone in the woods of the Nebrodi Park, in the municipality of Cesarò, in the province of Messina. Structure, owned by the Metropolitan City of Messina, was renovated and inaugurated in 2020 after ten years of inactivity and now reborn to new life. Today it is managed by the Mazzurco brothers, active in the world of catering right in Cesarò. The place is spectacular. Hidden among the beech trees of the Nebrodi mountain park, at 1,500 meters above sea level. So beautiful that you can't forget.
I suggest it both as a travel itinerary to learn more about the Nebrodi park, both as an ideal destination for a weekend of relaxation and walks. Is, if you are planning a trip to Sicily, have a look to my EIGHT TRAVEL ITINERARIES IN SICILY NOT TO BE MISSED.
Villa Miraglia sui Nebrodi Resorts: history and memories
Villa Miraglia has changed, but in a way it remained the same: a place where you can sleep, to eat, have a snack al fresco, an aperitif in summer or winter. Starting point for the Excursions in the Nebrodi Park, it is surrounded by immense trees, that move and change with the passing of the seasons. Is’ intensely frequented by cats and small black pigs of the Park. Who live in the wild feeding on acorns and spontaneous roots in a truly unspoiled nature.
Outside Villa Miraglia is an area beyond 30 thousand square meters of woodland. The structure has been renovated with great care and elevated compared to my memories. Is’ news, with large windows overlooking the woods. But it is still made of wood and stone: downstairs there is the restaurant, which is set up on beautiful days even abroad, a bar area and kitchen. Upstairs there are the rooms. The wooden carabiniere you see in the picture was my uncle's: it is one of the few things he owns that have remained at Villa Miraglia. I recognized it immediately, it was a small blow to the heart.
Resort Villa Miraglia: rooms and excursions
The structure is on three floors, with 10 rooms (extra, standard and suite). The Furnishings are rustic-chic. Everything is clean, cured, bright. The staff is prepared and punctual, always smiling. The older ones remember my uncle well: a particular person, extremely intelligent and creative, always dressed in white or black. Each room has a lovely stone fireplace, bedside tables made with tree trunks and a wonderful view of the volcano or the woods.
Etna and Villa Miraglia look out of the windows, from the tables in the woods. But the views of the volcano are also guaranteed along the different itineraries that can be made from the chalet, both in summer and in winter. One of the easiest places to access is Lake Maullazzo. Just forty minutes walk on the road and then on a simple path, with a small final slope, they will take you to a body of water surrounded by cyclamen and sea buckthorns.
The restaurant of Villa Miraglia in the Nebrodi park
The specialties of the house are the dishes of the Sicilian mountain tradition: handmade pasta, meat, cheeses and cured meats. Accompanied by wines, from craft beers and cocktails, thanks to the work of the independent bar that is located inside the structure. I remembered the kitchen of Villa Miraglia as a simple kitchen, abundant and traditional. Today, however, the restaurant alternates between typical traditional menus and more elaborate dishes. With the use of seasonal and Sicilian products.
The dishes of the Sicilian tradition are still the protagonists of the cuisine of Villa Miraglia in the tasting menu of the tradition, at the price of 35 euro per person. Here the chef Gianluca Barbagallo offers as appetizers a selection of cold cuts and cheeses, a wide selection of seasonal vegetables and vegetables. The traditional menu includes two first courses: the classic and beloved macaroni with black pork sauce of the Nebrodi and the tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms. Among the second, the mixed grill of black pig and the grilled castrato.
Ristorante: menu and prices
Alternatively, at Villa Miraglia there are also more elaborate proposals such as potato and truffle ravioli, lard ravioli, Marjoram, ricotta and asparagus. Among the second courses the grilled quail and barley, beef with caponata and tartar sauce. And again the sliced veal with mushrooms and the pork in all cuts, obviously black pig of the Nebrodi. Among the side dishes, do not miss the fried mushrooms and grilled porcini mushrooms, collected in the neighboring woods. Among the desserts: pistachio cake, lemon cake, ricotta cannolo, fried ravioli with ricotta.
Fresh pasta and bread are produced in the restaurant, with selected flours and Sicilian grains. Cheeses and meats come from local farms. The wines are mainly Sicilian. But you find a’great selection of bubbles and Champagne and great Italian denominations. Discreet paper of distillates. The price of the traditional tasting menu is 35 euros per person. To the paper, you spend about 50 euros for a complete meal from appetizer to dessert. Spend a weekend in the resort on the Nebrodi Villa Miraglia, stroll through the woods and eat typical at the restaurant, remains an experience not to be missed.
(visited in September 2021)