The Verdura Golf & Spa Resort in Siciliy

Spending time in the warm Mediterranean waters of Sicily might normally be enough to result in a tourist’s jaw to drop… but the Verdura Golf and Spa Resort could very well leave visitors too lightheaded to even speak.

A luxurious getaway is what awaits those traveling to this island escape. Located near the town of Sciacca, miles away from the historic city of Agrigento and its Valley of the Temples, and an hour from the International Airport in Palermo, Verdura occupies a land unto itself, complete with all of the splendor Sicily
has to offer.

Verdura Golf and Spa Resort is the 13th property in the Rocco Forte Collection in which Sir Rocco has truly outdone himself Forte has designed hotels all over Europe, such as Hotel Savoy in Firenze, and The Lowry Hotel in Manchester, but number 13 has proven to be a very lucky one for its guests. Verdura offers 203 ocean view rooms and suites with private terraces overlooking 1.2 miles of private coastline, as well as six tennis courts, a 43,000 square foot spa, fitness and yoga center, four extravagant restaurants, a private beach, 55 private villas and two championship golf courses which are a “must play” for any golfer.

When asked about golf getaways in Europe prior to Verdura, Forte stated “there wasn’t anywhere in Europe that offered the kind of golfing holiday I was after”. So, he created one that changed the European resort golfing experience as we know it. The first task was to find a designer for the job. Kyle Phillips, whose work includes ‘The Kingsbarn Links’ near St. Andrews, and ‘The Grove’ outside of London, was chosen for this project. Phillips created two championship courses known as the East and the West, along with a 9-hole Par 3 course and a full practice facility. Both the East and West courses are Par 72 at just over 7,300 yards each, with many challenges awaiting golfers of all skill levels.

Those challenges include more than a few water hazards, including six greens located directly along the Mediterranean Sea. Phillips actually routed holes from both course layouts in the hope of hosting a future professional tournament. The aforementioned 9-hole course is a 998-yard Par 27 that features its own share of challenges.

While the courses offer a great test for all golfers, the sights, backdrops and overall location ensure an unforgettable experience. The courses are part of a setting that is completely peaceful; the Sicilian landcape 2dds to the ambiance with the aroma from nearby orange groves and olive trees.
If somehow you aren’t quite ready to take all of this in while playing a full round of golf :here is a spectacular practice facility offered at Verdura as well. Complimentary to all resort residents is a driving range of over 380 yards in length which includes 5 target greens with bunkers, 2 practice putting greens, and 1 chipping and practice green. Verdura also boasts a Director of Golf Niall Cameron, who previously played on the European Tour. Cameron’s resume lists experience at a number of notable locations such as Turnberry, Royal St. George, and Lyford Cay in the Bahamas.

Cameron talks about the feeling and ‘vibe’ of the course, saying “the sheer size of the resort provides a wonderful feeling of being totally isolated and at one with nature. The peace and quiet of the courses, punctuated only by birdsong and the gentle rustle of the wind through the native Sicilian grasses, makes the stroll through the rolling fairways a gentle delight. The fairways are well separated, and with
the deep pot bunkering you can easily imagine that you are playing one of the historic Scottish links courses. Kyle Phillips is a true mastermind who created golf courses that highlight the stunning beauty of Sicily.”

As for the resort itself, designers Flavio Albanese and Olga Polizzi blended modern contemporary design while
incorporating the historic traditions of the island. Materials such as volcanic tufa, wood and cane shape the exterior, while interior designs such as local ceramics, artifacts and polished ceramic floors decorate guestrooms and lobbies.

The Verdura Golf and Spa Resort is a luxurious getaway that will please families, honeymooners and even those doing business with facilities for meetings and events. Whether you are looking to relax at the spa, play golf, eat authentic Mediterranean cuisine or simply lie in the sun at the beach, Verdura offers an exotic Sicilian vacation that pulls out all the stops. For more information, go to

Rich Gulotta & John J. Glozek, Jr
Golfing Magazine – Long Island/Metro NY Edition
Winter 2010

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