The remote south-east corner of Sicily may not be your first thought for a quality golf location but Donnafugata Golf Resort & Spa may soon change your thinking.
The island's turbulent history and Michael Corleone's first wife being blown up in The Godfather may be your stereotypical thoughts of Sicily but the island at the toe of Italy's boot is making giant strides as an upscale tourism destination.
Sicily is also making significant investment in golf tourism with a number of courses due to open on the island in the next 12 months and the introduction of the Sicilian Open to the European Tour schedule last year.
Donnafugata is at the vanguard of this movement having held that event and with two 18-hole golf courses - one designed by Gary Player - is a real trest.
Player's Parkland course sees fairways lined with olive groves and carob trees, typical of this part of Italy, and typically the architect uses water both as a challenge to the player and for aesthetic value.
None less so than on the par-five seventh with water on three sides of the green, ensuring only the most brave - or foolhardy - would try to reach the green in two and still putting pressure on those left with a wedge onto the putting surface in regulation.
Scorecards can also go skywards on the closing stretch with water hugging the left side of the fairway at the 17th, whilst also coming into play off the tee for the big-hitters, while the 18th is a beautiful downhill dogleg to finish with again water very much in play down the left
The fairways are fairly open with few hazards but the greens are undulated and well protected by deep bunkers.
The natural stone walls frame parts of holes and an archaeological site dating back to the sixth century BC is situated just a hundred yards from the sixth tee.
The 7273-yard Links course, designed by Franco Piras, is a total contrast.
It is set across two valleys with lakes and the opening par-five hole give you a taster for the amount of water you have to combat with aqua running the entire length of the fairway down the left.
The prevailing sea wind also provides an additional test to any tee shot such as on the long par-three third where you may be forced to take out the driver.
The water poses a cerebral challenge such as on the short par-four eighth where any tee-shot too long will be gobbled up by the lake on the left but you stand on the tee wary that a conservative tee-shot will leave you with a long iron to a green guarded on three sides by water.
The fairways undulate due to the terrain and there are some deep bunkers to complete 36 holes of quality but contrasting golf.
Off-course there is also a golf academy complete with a 70-bay driving range whilst to relax after a round there is a spa and wellness centre, swimming-pools and three restaurants.
For those wanting to take in some culture, the resort lies near to the town of Ragusa, the cradle of Sicilian Baroque architecture with its neighboring towns listed among the pearls of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Modica, Scicli and Noto.
The resort has 202 rooms — each with terrace or balcony - and with all your home comforts like Wi-Fi and satellite television.
There is no public transportation to speak of and taxis to and from the nearest international airport, Catania, are hefty so you will need to hire your own car but it's hardly a gamble on weather with Sicily's desirable year-round climate.
A four-night package is available from just €712 per person during the summer based on two people sharing a double room and all meals provided. More details here.