Author Leonardo Sciascia once wrote that ‘all of Sicily is a dimension of the imagination.’

Sciascia lived his whole life on the Italian island and knew what it meant to be immersed in its incredible landscape. There is something nostalgic about the region, about its raw yet grand beauty, about the myths and history rooted there. D. H. Lawrence was so fascinated with it that he moved there for two years, during which his wife had a relationship with a local mule keeper and inspired Lawrence’s most famous novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The novel The Leopard perfectly captures the island’s romantic nostalgia: following the decline of a Sicilian family during the 19th century, Tomasi Di Lampedusa’s masterful book depicts a world of shimmering beauty and grandeur, where nothing ever changes. The novel’s most famous line is ‘If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change,’ and such is the world of Sicily: opulent mansions, sunlit, dusty landscapes, proud characters and fragrant food, lovingly prepared, all to create a dream of everlasting childhood.


Adler Spa resort during the day and night 


Adler Spa was launched in 2022, a beautiful, innovative and sustainable resort that combines the elements of the Italian Dolce Vita with the landscape of the island. Immersed in a stunning location where the sky stretches endlessly over a horizon of bright blue sea and gentle green hills, the resort offers rooms with private terraces overlooking the sea and access to a private beach. Next to it, is one of Sicily’s most breathtaking natural reserves, Torre Salsa, 760 hectars of hills, cliffs, sand dunes and wetlands stretching between Agrigento and Sciacca. The place is an perfect respite from the crowded beaches of the island, with many animal species quietly appearing among the vegetation, such as porcupines and caretta caretta turtles, which come to lay eggs on the beach. 

The view from my room, day to night 


The architecture of the resort is in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings: from the chosen materials to the design, everything is made to enhance the breathtaking landscape. The buildings are low, almost woven seamlessly into the hills. The colours of burnt orange and yellow are used to make the structures blend with the gardens and fields. The lines between exterior and interior spaces are beautifully blurred, to create a sense of wide spaces and of being constantly surrounded by views of the sea and sky. From the saunas to the restaurants and pools – each space seems to flow into the other. As you are swimming in the outer heated pools, it feels like you are touching the sea, while, in the main restaurant, lamps float gently on pathways made of water. 

More importantly, in the Adler resort the balance of the natural environment has been respected using sustainable materials and a 360° ecological infrastructure. The design has been created and built by the Sanoner family, who, in the past years, have worked on every Adler resort focusing on both impeccable hospitality and advocating sustainability.


The landscape of Adler – the path to the sea (left) and to the spa (right)


Adler Spa is designed to promote a lifestyle of rest and rebirth, of comfort and luxury. The resort has three pools, flower and herb gardens, a spacious spa and a fitness zone. All spa therapies and treatments include the use of local herbs, oils and fragrances harvested from the Sicilian hills. The therapists can create tailormade treatments for each customer, assessing your needs and goals first, then choosing ingredients such a seawater, algae and wild aromatic herbs. The massages available are many, from draining treatments to aromatic facial crystal, and sound and chaktra massages. Doctors are also available at the resort for a medical consultation, blood tests and reports. 

I spent my days at Adler immersed in a constant sense of peace, relaxing in the spacious saunas, looking out at the gardens and sea. Yoga classes are in a bright, spacious room in the winter and on a secluded platform in the gardens in the summer, surrounded by the orange blossoms and wisteria. Separated from the spa, the three pools overlook the sea: the freshwater infinity pool, the saltwater hydromassage pool, and the thalasso, a smaller pool closer to the spa, half-hidden by shrubs and bushes, warm and quiet beneath the cloudless sky. 

View from one of the Swedish saunas (left) and the Thalasso pool (right)


In the Adler gardens, fruit, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers grow – oranges (the oranges thrive in Sicily, due to the fertile, volcanic soil and the high water content in the ground) and lemons, apricots and peaches, lavender and rosemary. All fresh ingredients are harvested and then used for the spa treatments as well as in the resort’s restaurant. Adler’s kitchen offers typical Sicilian dishes: penne with Sicilian pesto, spaghetti with tomatoes and prawn tartare, freshly caught squid and desserts with chocolate and raspberry, cream-filled cannoli. Throughout the centuries, the Sicilian cuisine has been influenced by Greeks, Arabs, Normans and French, who have each introduced key ingredients like almonds and honey, oriental spices, tomatoes and sweet peppers, pistachios and figs. 

The view from the restaurant 



At Adler, guests are invited to take part in various activities, and local guides are available for tours of the stunning area around the resort. Highly recommended are Agrigento and its beautiful Valley of the Temples, a UNESCO world heritage site and a stunning testimony of ancient Greek culture. Flowering almond trees grow between the temples of the gods and the bronze statue of the fallen Icarus, who, in the Greek myth, flew too close to the sun, burnt his wax wings and fell into the sea. 

The second day of our stay, we visited Racalmuto, the birthplace and home of author Leonardo Sciascia. Accompanied by our guide, we walked the narrow streets of the town, past the author’s statue and into a bakery where we savoured freshly baked pastries: almond pizzicotti, soft cookies with an amazing lemon scent, and cannoli filled with ricotta. 

We then entered Sciascia’s home, which is open to the public and features an incredible collection of books by Sicilian and Italian authors: from Pirandello to Dacia Maraini, Tomasi di Lampedusa and Giovanni Verga. The house is currently owned by the lovely Pippo, who showed me Sciascia’s letters, notes and articles, as well as some of the oldest editions of Italian classics. 

The home of Sicilian author Leonardo Sciascia


A bakery in Racalmuto and the statue of Leonardo Sciascia 

For our final stop, we travelled to the countryside around Racalmuto to have lunch with Franca and Lillo, who had prepared an incredible meal based on the author Sciascia’s favourite courses. We were welcomed with homemade wine and honeyed almonds, bread with oil and anchovies, and a long table was spread with every kind of healthy, delicious food: olives, broccoli and sundried tomatoes, delicious cavatelli, a small kind of pasta, and sweet frittelle (fried dough balls) for dessert. Franca and Lillo, who both knew Sciascia, filled our lunch with love and laughter, telling us anecdotes about the author and, like real Sicilians, urged us to try everything on the table. 


A meal by Franca and Lillo 

Our stay at Adler resort Sicily was an unforgettable experience, four days of comfort and relaxation, great food and even better conversation. Our days started with slow yoga and ended with seafood dinners in the stunning restaurant whose glass walls give the impression of dining under the stars. Overall, this is a highly recommended experience in one of the most beautiful regions of Italy.