Hortus, Latin for “garden”, is a refined 16th-century-residence with a Mediterranean garden, situated next to the cathedral of S. Giorgio, a masterpiece of Sicilian baroque, in the heart of Modica. It is the ideal retreat for aesthetes and travellers, a place of inspiration for poets and artists, an exclusive location for private events or a unique venue for honeymoons, where you can enjoy complete privacy whilst being in touch with the ancient soul of Sicily.
Upon entering Residenza Hortus you will discover your own private oasis of nature, stone and silence. A major restoration has brought back to life this centuries old Mediterranean abode, which comprises 3 refined bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, living area and kitchen with wine cave cellar. In the future, a cave wellness area will be added.
The lime and clay floors and plasters, the beds on a concrete base and the vaulted ceilings evoke elegant minimalistic atmospheres embellished by decorated local stones, antique Sicilian bedspreads and bespoke sculptured washbasins.
The specific features of each suite refer to the three elements of Water, Air and Fire which complement the element of Earth represented by the garden. The Acqua suite has a circular bed with a bathtub made of volcanic stone and hard limestone; the Fuoco suite has a king size bed with a lava stone headboard and bio fireplace; the Aria suite, on the upper floor, has a queen-size bed with natural black stone “pietra pece” headboard and access to the panoramic terrace overlooking the Cathedral of S. Giorgio.
The living area is a charming space retaining features of the old structure, such as, carved on an architrave, the date of 1554 which identifies the year the property was built, at the time of the Spanish rule of Modica.
The stylish kitchen island, dominated by the stone archway, is a functional space where you can have breakfast or dinner in the winter. The underground cistern with its original plaster has been converted into a wine cellar, which can be accessed from a striking staircase made of iron and glass.
The secret garden and the refined terrace are places for meditation where one can enjoy the silence and reconnect with the earth. Sheltered by tall stone walls, you can relax in the stone hot tub, enjoy a massage under the pomegranate tree, have dinner or read in the shadows of the trees (orange,
mandarin, lemon, fig, oleander and medlar). You will be entering a dimension that combines the silence of the hortus conclusus of the monasteries with the secret harmonies of the Arab gardens.
– 40% downpayment, free cancellation till 7 days before arrival (for reservations made in 2020), till 30 days before arrival (from 2021)
– refundable damage deposit 400 euros (added to the balance and returned 48 hours after check-out in case of no damage)
– city tax: 1,5 euros/person/night up to 7 nights
– payment methods: credit card, bank transfer
– on line check-in before arrival, welcome by our staff from 4pm to 8pm (late check-in till 11pm is available with extra price), self-check-out by 10am
– free on street parking (about 100 mt away)
– open all year round, flexible changeover day
Health, privacy & safety | more details (pdf)
– on line concierge
– accurate end-of-stay cleaning and disinfection of the property
– linen cleaning and disinfection at high temperature in our laundry
– safe on line transactions without handling of cash on site
Facilities, services & comfort
– towel change every 3 days, bed sheet change and room cleaning every week
– outdoor heated plunge-pool (from April to October)
– air-conditioning and heating
– free Wi-Fi internet, iPad, hi-fi stereo with bluetooth connection, TV, library
– equipped kitchen with induction hobs, toaster, kettle
– cave wine cellar with selection of Sicilian wines
– dishwasher, oven, freezer
– washing machine, ironing board, iron
– eco bodysoap and shampoo, hairdryer, room slippers
– memory-foam mattresses and pillows
– step-free access not available
– parties are not permitted
– smoking is strictly forbidden and pets are not allowed
natural mortars, clay and lime floors and wall plasters, cork insulated roof, Domodry® rising damp control system, eco paints, integrated air conditioning and water heating system with heat pump, indoors and outside led lighting, water flow reducers, re-used furniture, ecological soaps, separate waste collection.
All the artworks inside Residenza Hortus are by artist and owner Luca Giannini. – Further information and prices on www.lucagiannini.it
“I sense, in this episode, an analogy with the existence of places, the difficulties they experience, their phases of marginalisation until the day they are finally rescued. It is as if they had asked to be abandoned, to suffer marginalisation only to be fully re-discovered, thus revealing their deeper identity. Through this, they become real: Places one can say were born twice.” (J. Hillman, L’anima dei luoghi)
This interestingly laid out property probably dates back to 1554, as found engraved in a stone in the wall. It was probably part of the Castle of Modica or of a religious building. When we found it, the property had fallen into a state of disrepair, but it had not lost its secret charm. The significant renovation process was carried out whilst maintaining the multiple souls of the place and the mark that time has left on it. Green technologies and bio-architecture have been used and carefully integrated into the original stone structure and high-end local handicraftmanship.
> Learn more: From ruin to recovery – project history (pdf)
Architectural project & interior design: Luca Giannini, Lily Pungitore, Paolo Smurra
Engineering & supervision of the works: Studio Scifo (Modica)
Indoor & Outdoor furniture: ClayLime | Made a Mano | Paola Lenti | Emu | Desireè | Ponsi