Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and the narrow Strait of Messina separates it from mainland Italy. Whilst Mount Etna smoulders menacingly in the background in the north east corner of the island, locals just get on with their daily business as usual, welcoming tourists in ever-increasing numbers every year to this charming holiday destination.
Golfers in Sicily are well catered for with a total of 126 holes available for play at five different golf facilities. These range from the homely little 9-hole course at Villa Airoldi in Palermo to the magnificent new 45-hole Verdura complex near Sciacca.
In between these golfing extremes, you’ll find a couple of Luigi Rota Caremoli-designed layouts at Picciolo and Le Madonie as well as two contrasting 18-hole courses at Donnafugata, near Vittoria, whose future is uncertain.
Without doubt, the top tracks on the island are those at the luxury Verdura Resort, where half the fairways from the East and the West courses created a composite championship layout when the Sicilian Open was held here in 2012.
Donnafugata hosted the inaugural competition the year before and its Parkland and Links courses, designed by Gary Player and Franco Piras, formed the centerpiece of an impressive five-star resort, which unfortunately closed in 2019.