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Sicily’s buzziest new boutique hotel


Catania has for far too long been considered Sicily’s fly-through city, a mere conduit to the Aeolian Islands, Taormina, Ortigia and other better-known holiday locations. But its cachet is growing; and the base for exploring is a new and very original boutique hotel, Asmundo di Gisira (asmundodigisira.com; from €220), which combines the buzz of an art gallery with the welcome of a small, independent inn. Against a backdrop of baroque and art deco architecture are collectable and vintage design pieces, with each room boasting a clutch of unique details, from bespoke tile work to original art. The dead-central location, a stone’s throw from the Cathedral of Sant’Agata – Catania’s patron saint – and a few blocks from the sea, only adds to the appeal.