Hortus is a refined 16th-century-Mediterranean residence, situated in the historic center of Modica, next to the cathedral of S. Giorgio, a masterpiece of Sicilian baroque. It is the ideal retreat for aesthetes and travelers, a place of inspiration for poets and artists, an exclusive location for special occasions, where you can enjoy complete privacy whilst being in touch with the ancient soul of Sicily.

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Upon entering Residenza Hortus you will discover your own private oasis of nature, stone and silence. A major restoration has brought back to life this centuries old Mediterranean abode, which comprises 3 refined bedrooms, 3 en-suite bathrooms, living area and kitchen with wine cave cellar. The lime and clay floors and plasters, the beds on a concrete base and the vaulted ceilings evoke elegant minimalistic atmospheres embellished by decorated local stones, antique Sicilian bedspreads and bespoke sculptured washbasins. The specific features of each suite refer to the three elements of Water, Air and Fire which complement the element of Earth of the garden. The living area is a charming space retaining features of the old structure, such as, carved on an architrave, the date of 1554 which identifies the year the property was built, at the time of the Spanish rule of Modica. The stylish kitchen island, with its stone archway, is a functional space where you can have breakfast or dinner in the winter. The underground cistern with its original plaster, which can be accessed from a striking staircase made of iron and glass, has been converted into a wine cellar with a selection of organic and natural wines. The garden and the terrace of Residenza Hortus, with stunning view over the cathedral of San Giorgio, are places for meditation where one can enjoy the silence and reconnect with the earth. Sheltered by tall walls, you can relax in the stone hot tub, enjoy a massage under the pomegranate tree, have dinner or read in the shadows of the citrus trees. You will be entering a dimension that combines the silence of the hortus conclusus of the monasteries with the secret harmonies of the Arab gardens.

100% electric supply from renewable sources, solar thermal panels, clay and lime floors and wall coatings, cork insulated roof, Domodry® rising damp control system, eco paints, integrated air conditioning and water heating system with heat pump, led lighting, water flow reducers, separate waste collection, Ecolabel refill soap and shampoo
The artworks showcased in the property are made by artist and owner Luca Giannini e are available on sale.
Info: + 39 3389275393 – info@lucagiannini.it –  www.lucagiannini.it


Residenza Hortus is located in the upper part of the historic center of Modica near the Cathedral of San Giorgio, a masterpiece of the 18th-century baroque art. In the surrounding area you can find cafes, restaurants and grocery stores. Discover the charme of the city walking up and down its alleys and staircases, admiring its hidden corners and scenic views, amidst noble palaces, ancient churches and stone courtyards pervaded by the scent of jasmine. Enjoy the pleasure of slowness entering the old artisan shops, visiting the renowed chocolate ateliers and sitting at the table of a cafè for a granita with brioche.

How to arrive at Residenza Hortus
– nearest airports: Comiso Pio La Torre (42 km), Catania Fontanarossa (125 km)
– from Catania airport to Modica: by bus with Etna Trasporti (1h45′)
– by car: free on street parking on Corso San Giorgio and Corso F. Crispi (5′ walk from the house)
– airport transfer service: available on request

Itinerary Syracuse + Modica
If you are planning an itinerary through the South-East of Sicily and would love to split your stay between our homes in Syracuse and in Modica, you can consider taking the train connecting the two towns across the beautiful countryside of the Noto Valley (1h 40′). Alternatively by car it’s about 1 hour drive (mainly highway). In any case we will be happy to help you with your travel plans.


Reception & service
– open all year round
– our staff will welcome you in person (check-in from 15 to 20, check-out by 10)
– late check-in always available with extra price, lat check-out available on request
– towel change every 3 days, bed sheet change and room cleaning every week

Facilities & amenities
– outdoor heated jacuzzi: active June to September (included), on request October to May (extra price)
– air-conditioning / heating
– Wi-Fi , Hi-Fi Bluetooth, TV-sat, books
– fully equipped kitchen
– cave wine cellar with selection of Sicilian wines
– washing machine, ironing board, iron
– body soap and shampoo, hairdryer, room slippers
– linen and towels, memory-foam mattresses

– step-free access not available

– parties are not permitted
– smoking is strictly forbidden and pets are not allowed


“I sense, in this episode, an analogy with the existence of places, the difficulties they experience, their phases of marginalisation until the day they are finally rescued. It is as if they had asked to be abandoned, to suffer marginalisation only to be fully re-discovered, thus revealing their deeper identity. Through this, they become real: Places one can say were born twice.” (J. Hillman, L’anima dei luoghi) This interestingly laid out property probably dates back to 1554, as found engraved in a stone in the wall. It was probably part of the Castle of Modica or of a religious building. When we found it, the property had fallen into a state of disrepair, but it had not lost its secret charm. The significant renovation process was carried out whilst maintaining the multiple souls of the place and the mark that time has left on it. Green technologies and bio-architecture have been used and carefully integrated into the original stone structure and high-end local handicraftmanship.

CREDITS Architectural project & interior design: Luca Giannini, Lily Pungitore, Paolo Smurra

> Learn more:  From ruin to recovery – project history (pdf)