Néroli Bio Relais: Organic Elegance in the Catania Countryside

| Mon, 11/27/2023 - 05:00
Pool at Nèroli Bio Relais

Ed.: The Inspired Stays series highlights hotels we love around Italy. Each property is independently reviewed by an Italy Magazine writer, who is generally hosted on a complimentary basis. Our contributors do not accept compensation or gifts in exchange for specific types of coverage. We only showcase properties we would genuinely recommend overall.

Why we love it

A short distance from Catania and Mount Etna, Néroli Bio Relais is a historic property with the sustainability clout and calm of an average agriturismo, but with an extra touch of elegance. With a sleek, handsome pool, a farm-to-table kitchen and its own production of organic wines and olive oils, the property pulls double duty as a style-minded home base for numerous day trips and a nurturing retreat in its own right.

What to expect

Understated and cozy with a designer’s touch, the property features 18 hectares of ICEA-certified organic orchards and an on-site kitchen turning out elevated local fare. Bucolic yet bourgeois, friendly yet discreet, the Néroli is suited for those seeking a bit of romance. Note: Families with younger children may feel a bit out of place in this quiet setting, and despite its proximity to the city, the property is not reachable by public transportation.


Grounds at Nèroli Bio Relais
Grounds at Nèroli Bio Relais

Originally an 18th century oil-making monastery, the space was converted to the Tenuta Giarretta agriturismo, named for the ferries which would once traverse the neighboring Simeto River. Renovated only in 2021, the Néroli Bio Relais is still in the early stages of its new generation.

Location, location, location

Hardly 20 minutes from Catania’s airport and its train station, the Néroli Bio Relais feels worlds away from both, with only the sounds of the occasional passing plane. Those with a car will find plenty to visit easily, from beaches to Mount Etna to downtown Catania, while those without their own means of transport may feel a bit isolated.

Where you’ll sleep

Classic room at Nèroli Bio Relais
Classic room at Nèroli Bio Relais

Though converted from former monks’ quarters featuring original terracotta tile, my “superior” room was nevertheless spacious and boasted a streamlined, mid-century modern look. Though each room is said to be unique, mine was consistent with the hotel’s overall spirit: rustic minimalism with some regional grounding in the form of colorful majolica-style bathroom tile. My AC unit offered sufficient respite from the heat (I stayed in late summer), the bed was plush, and furnishings were high quality in both build and design.

Dining & drinks

Dinner at Nèroli Bio Relais
Dinner at Nèroli Bio Relais

Focusing on site-grown ingredients, the kitchen reflects the hotel’s ethos: simple, healthy dishes rooted in tradition, yet plated with modern, minimalist flair. Dinner was inspired, and the house Frappato was expressive, if young, but the lone server on duty — well-intentioned but overwhelmed — did limit the kitchen’s potential. Breakfast was garden-oriented, featuring an ambitious spread of house-made pastries and jams. A modest bar is also available for a pleasant poolside aperitivo.

Service notes

Hotel staff members were all extremely attentive and friendly, with multiple concierges on hand. During my stay, the warm and welcoming owners were even pitching in with garden renovations. Dinner service did not meet the standard of the space, however; more hands on deck would help avoid confusion.

You should know...

Grounds at Nèroli Bio Relais
Grounds at Nèroli Bio Relais

The Nèroli Bio Relais is a lovely property with a compelling history, a promising kitchen and convenient location (for those with transportation). It has all the ingredients to be the luxurious retreat it aspires to be, and offers a far more intimate experience than a large-scale chain would, but at its heart it remains more boutique agriturismo than five-star resort.


  • The hotel does not have an elevator.

Features & amenities

  • Countryside setting
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Free WiFi
  • Parking (free) 
  • Pool
  • Garden


Néroli Bio Relais
Contrada Orfanelle, Barca dei Monaci SNC, Belpasso
Tel. +39 3494013064