Hotel Highlights

  • Boutique luxury for €100 a night
  • Rustic b&b hideaway charm
  • Tantalising seafood at the hotel’s sister restaurant nearby

Overview

On your meanderings through the historic Sicilian city of Modica, blink and you could easily miss tiny bed and breakfast Le Lumie hotel, located in a courtyard near the Duomo di S. Giorgio. Three simple and stylish rooms, each with its own colour theme, make for a truly romatic hideaway, complete with a secret garden straight out of your imagination. This excellent-value escape is of the true don't-let-the-word-get-out variety.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Le Lumie with us:

One of the following, depending on season: Modica chocolates, a pot of organic honey or a jar of capers

Facilities

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Le Lumie hotel - Sicily - Itlay

Need To Know

Rooms

Three.

Check–out

11am, but very flexible, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $138.13 (€100), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.00 per person per night on check-out. Le Lumie is unable to accept payment by credit card.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

Le Lumie’s gardens are the main event – a smartly landscaped courtyard of terracotta tiles and sweeping stone walls. There’s a small wooden table and a handful of deckchairs – ideal for lazy days in the sun.

At the hotel

Free WiFi, kitchen area. In rooms: TV, minibar, air-conditioning.

Our favourite rooms

All three of Le Lumie’s rooms are simply and cleanly decorated, differentiated by splashes of colour. Although the blue room is the largest, we like the medium-sized brown room with its elegant wallpaper, characterful a stack of antique suitcases, little balcony looking out over the terracotta rooftops, and the white-painted rafters.

Children

Extra beds can be provided for €30 a night.

Food & Drink

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Le Lumie hôtel - Sicily - Italy

Hotel Restaurant

There’s no restaurant at Le Lumie – breakfast is served in-room or in the courtyard – but the b&b owners are also behind Torre d’Oriente, possibly the most accomplished seafood restaurant in Modica and a must-eat while you’re in Sicily.

Hotel Bar

Le Lumie doesn’t have a bar.

Room service

There's no formal room service, but a coffee in your room is never out of the question.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Fine Italian threads.

Top table

There’s nowhere better to lounge with a sundowner than on the terracotta-tiled terrace.

Local Guide

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Le Lumie hotel - Sicily - Itlay
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

Le Lumie's owners also run the nearby Torre d’Oriente (+39 0932 948160) – Modica's acclaimed seafood restaurant, which boasts fabulous views of the  town and the hills. Head to Via Blandini and try the tasting menus at Le Lumie (+39 0932 755655; www.ristorantelagazzaladra.it), an elegantly styled Michelin-starred white restaurant, which turns out accomplished plates along the lines of linguine with anchovy cream, candied orange, fennel flowers and spring onion.

+ Enlarge
Secret Modica courtyard

Le Lumie

106 Via Alessandro Grana, Modica, Sicily, 97015

Planes

The closest airport is Comiso (www.soaco.it), 88km from the hotel, a 90-minute drive away; Catania Fontanarossa is also close by, 114km from the hotel. British Airways (www.ba.com) flies here all year. AST (www.aziendasicilianatrasporti.it) buses run to Modica, where you'll be within a 10-minute walk of Le Lumie (the bus journey is just over two hours).

Trains

The nearest train station is in Modica, a five-minute drive from Le Lumie, from where you can reach Syracuse in under two hours. It’s possible to get to the Italian mainland without leaving your train; the carriages simply load onto a ferry across the Strait of Messina. See Trenitalia (www.trenitalia.com) for train times and prices, but railways don’t cover the whole island.

Automobiles

Le Lumie is linked to Syracuse and Catania by the E45 and is half an hour from the coast. There's free parking near the hotel.

Reviews

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Le Lumie hôtel - Sicily - Italy

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

There are worse ways to begin married life than in the searing Sicilian summer sun. Everything from here on is likely to be downhill. Not our stay at Le Lumie though – even with expectations as high as the city steps we’re struggling over. We’re halfway through a long-awaited Italian honeymoon and we’re lost for the second time this holiday. Once is forgivable, twice is ...

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Le Lumie

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

There are worse ways to begin married life than in the searing Sicilian summer sun. Everything from here on is likely to be downhill. Not our stay at Le Lumie though – even with expectations as high as the city steps we’re struggling over. We’re halfway through a long-awaited Italian honeymoon and we’re lost for the second time this holiday. Once is forgivable, twice is vow-testing. Alas, the navigational gods have it in for us and, what on first impressions appeared to be a mildly calf-straining flight of steps, has morphed into a mountain. With every step I take, our abandoned chariot (left lonely on the main road) seems ever more desirable; Mr Smith ever less so. My new Greek husband is in dire need of strong coffee, strong whisky, a chair in the shade, an ice-cold shower and a 40-pack of George Karelia cigarettes – none of which look likely to appear soon.

Adding to the confusion is Modica’s architectural jostle of winding streets and nougat-coloured, carbon-copy houses. From the road, you can’t gauge how high this higgledy-piggledy city rises. Of course, there’s nothing as sensible as simple signs or numbers. A tiny three-bedroom bed and breakfast hidden among the terracotta rooftops of Modica, Le Lumie has only been open since March 2008, and it’s ensconced in a pristine private courtyard that’s all too easy to miss if you’re passing by, and is still undiscovered by all but a lucky few. When we eventually stumble up to the hotel, Mr Smith gets down on his knees, kisses the door and sings a song of celebration.

Mr Smith nearly gets a black eye when owner Annamaria throws the door wide open with an exclamation. Federica is close behind. This mother-daughter team are as fast-talking, eye-flashing and hand-waggling as you’d expect native Sicilians to be, and we couldn’t feel more welcome. Mamma doesn’t speak English, but she instantly takes a shine to Mr Smith. Taking in our crumpled clothes and puffy, luggage-ruined hands, Federica earns immediate access to our good books by detailing very clearly, very slowly, how best to access the hotel by car. For once, I put aside my default reaction – nodding, smiling and thinking of cannoli – and actually listen.

Simple, stylish, and double-take-inducingly cheap, Le Lumie has rooms starting at €100 a night. Yet we know we’re in good hands: the owners won their hospitality stripes running the nearby Torre d’Oriente – a romantic modern restaurant celebrated for its seafood and glorious views of the city. After Modica’s mediaeval architectural sprawl, a tour of the hotel’s contemporary good looks come as something of a surprise. Interiors are crisp, white and airy, and each of the three bedrooms is decorated around a different colour theme: purple, blue and brown. Design details for us include beamed ceilings and strips of patterned wallpaper, and a slick little ensuite bathroom.

Chocolatey as an Easter egg, our room is also so tranquil that a bed ‘inspection’ soon turns into slumber – cue loud snoring from this Mrs Smith. Obviously, because I am sleeping, I am unaware of this, Mr Smith who is busy brewing more fresh coffee (his fourth that day; a blood sample would reveal a most exciting Lavazza blend), gleefully reports back later. It’s the soundtrack to his swotting up on our city from a pocket library of guidebooks.

A neatly concealed power shower washes away post-nap weariness and I stroll onto the flowery patio to find Mr Smith sitting studiously at a little table in the sunshine. Mr Smith surreptitiously slides his crib notes under a sun hat, and starts casually dropping some Modica tips as though he’s a local. Where to find the best pizza? How to zip around on a Vespa? Where to gorge on tiramisù? Soon it’s time for Mr Smith to put his money where his mouth is, and we stroll into town, happy, hungry and headed for La Gazza Ladra.

Amid this Michelin-starred restaurant’s pill-white, black-chaired elegance, we embark on a culinary orgy. After a laboratory-worthy parade of espumas, froths, cubes, textures, clouds, test tubes and quenelles, this Mrs Smith and mum-to-be has soon enough eaten too much – either the baby is on its way or too many petits fours have been consumed. Slowly, we waddle back and clamber clumsily into bed, vowing never to eat again.

The next morning, we wake with an urgent lust for croissants, which must be satisfied immediately. Thankfully, Annamaria obliges, loading our table outside with fruit-filled pastries and buttery pains au chocolat plucked from the local bakery, along with a mini market stall of fruit and more steaming coffee, practically inhaled by Mr Smith. From our garden perch, we eye up Modica and try to outdo each other with stories of what sights these ancient stones have seen.

Mamma re-appears, and with one flash of his black eyes, Mr Smith catches her attention (Annamaria and Federica live just across the courtyard, so they’re always there for the asking). Soon they’re off again, absorbed in a conversational tennis match played out in Greek and Italian. The lovely expression ‘una faccia, una razza’ (‘one face, one race’) rings true. Lots of map-stabbing and ‘Gree-talian’ chatter results in a recommendation for the day: the riserva naturale at Pino d’Aleppo.

It’s about an hour’s drive to the nature reserve (well, it is when you’re good at getting lost), so it’s a relief when we finally stumble out of the car and stretch our legs in such scenic surroundings. Mr Smith and I go off-track and, after some sweaty walking, we stumble upon hiking gold: a human-less haven of white sand and glass-clear waters. Stretched out on our own private ‘beach’, Mr Smith and I are as content as newlyweds could be. Le Lumie’s prescription for a happy marriage? Simple: sun, sleep and a generous dose of coffee.
 

The Guestbook

Reviews of Le Lumie from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on 28 Oct 2013

We loved

I liked the quiet terrace for enjoying breakfast in the sunshine or an afternoon siesta. We had a tasty breakfast, and got a warm welcome from the hosts. It's close to the town yet peaceful.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 20 Oct 2013

We loved

This is a lovely old town and excellent hotel; we were very well looked after by Federica and the family. The hotel has a great view across Modica where we sat and had an excellent breakfast each morning. Beautiful countryside and beaches are a short drive away

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on 20 Aug 2013

We loved

Le Lumie is perfect! The setting is beautiful and our hosts could not have been more hospitable. The location in the centre of Modica is great for eating out in the evening and for seeing the best of what Modica has to offer. It is also quite easy (once you get your bearings) to access other beautiful places in the region. Definitely use the motorway to get to Modica from Catania – we didn't on arrival and it took forever! Tolls were not up and running this summer and the road was virtually empty. It is a much simpler and direct route.

Don’t expect

Le Lumie is not easy to find. Although the address is Via Grana, there is no street sign to this street (which is actually a stretch of steps) and you can't get in to the property from that entrance anyway – you need to be on the parallel street. Even then, there is no sign for the B&B outside – you can only see a sign on the wall inside the locked gates. There is an additional tourist tax of €1.50 per person per day, of which we were not informed beforehand.

Rating: 10/10 stars