By Nora Zelevansky / July 30th, 2010

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My job takes me to amazing places: Thailand, Scotland, Bora Bora, Arcadia.

Hey, don't knock Arcadia!  Not unless you're a soup dumpling hater.  HATER!

Anyway, I get to travel a lot to all corners of the globe, but sometimes I end up sitting at my desk, researching places I've never been.  Mandranova in Sicily, pictured above, is one such place that I hope one day to visit.

Visitors stroll around hilly farmland and taste olive oil created onsite, just a couple miles from the seashore.  Sixteen guests rooms and suites, including entire residences that can be rented weekly for groups, are house in three structures: Il Castello (a converted railway station), The Farmhouse and
stone La Robazza, overlooking the entire property to the water.  Take a cooking lesson, boat trip,
daytrip to Agrigento, frolic on Scale Dei Turchi and Eraclea Minoa beaches or
sip wine and taste homemade farm products like pistachio pesto and spicy
marmalade preserves, black mulberry jam or mandarin sweet cream.

Also, the hotel is really reasonably priced for Italy, starting at around $160 a night.  Okay, now transport me there.

Or here at slightly more upscale recently re-hauled Grand Hotel Timeo, just across from 2,800-year-old ruins.

Or here at super swanky Villa La Massa, where the chef has his own vegetable garden.

Anyway, I'm off to have my weekend and eat Italian food or something.  Ciao, bellas!

xo – N.