Wend your way up Monte Tauro’s hairpin bends, past Taormina’s historic centre, to arrive at a hotel with the most perfect views out to sea – and Etna’s steaming summit. Reception is on the top floor of this golden hillside villa, where you get a warm welcome from bubbly Katharine and the team. Rooms are bright and elegant, with terracotta tiled floors and gorgeous furniture in chestnut and wrought iron. En suites are luxurious, with vast jacuzzi tubs or hydromassage showers. All is charmingly Sicilian, not least the exquisite hand-painted ceramic ornaments from Caltagirone. Take breakfast downstairs in the big dining room or on the pool-side terrace: a buffet laden with Sicilian pastries, breads, jams, yoghurts, cereals, you name it. You can tread carefully down the short yet steep staircase to the heart of Taormina, or opt for the hotel’s shuttle bus. Don’t miss the Greco-Roman theatre, the botanic gardens and Corso Umberto, the pedestrianised main street, awash with shops, bars and restaurants. Etna National Park is close by, as is Catania and some of Sicily’s most beautiful beaches.