Il Picciolo Etna: Hotel Review, Golf Review, But Not a Future Home Review

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Il Picciolo Etna Golf Review & Hotel Review is part of the Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report.


The suspense is gone. I did not buy a villa for 1 Euro in Italy (see Did TPOL Buy a 1 Euro Italian Villa?). That does not mean I won’t provide another Hotel Review and another Golf Course Review.

Let’s start with the hotel. It should come as no surprise that there aren’t any brand hotels in Castiglione. If I could compare Il Picciolo, I would compare it to the Wyndham at my home, Rio Mar, meaning there is some good, some bad, but no best.

Getting There 

You must rent a car to get to Castiglione (see Did TPOL Buy a 1 Euro Italian Villa?). I recommend a Panda. The drive takes one hour.

Room 

After a long journey, we settled into our comfortable room, wondering if we would frequent the resort more frequently as members.

Bathroom 

As a potential future resident, I was relieved to find a modern bathroom with good water pressure.

Breakfast

Like the Wyndham Rio Mar, the breakfast was adequate but not great.

Hotel Itself 

The word “charming” is appropriate to describe this hotel.

Il Picciolo Golf Club

With the possibility of purchasing a villa here, I needed to see what Italian country club life was like.

Before playing, I had lunch at the clubhouse. Sorry, Puerto Rico, but fresh pasta is better than fried pork.

Golf

While I was golfing, Ms. TPOL was out with the Germans house hunting. Now, I could focus on what was important- golf. But first, I needed to scope out my competition.

Hmm who is this Leonardi?

The club had a TrackMan, an indispensable tool to beat Leonardi.

We also have one in my club in PR.

Before teeing off, I inquired about membership. It’s $2,000 a year with a 10% discount on alcohol. Cart is not included.

10% off this quality beer is not as good as 40% in Puerto Rico.

I have a much nicer push cart at home.

The Course 

TPOL has a rule. If I drink the night before, I do not golf the next day because I will lack the mental capacity to focus. It pains me to think about how I am supposed to hit a tiny ball hundreds of yards and then have the finesse to finish off the job with smooth putting. But for the fact that I needed to verify if I was a right fit at this club, I would’ve taken the day off. #sambuca

Now teeing off, a future member?

A Hole in One?

The 10th hole, a par 3, is the most magnificent hole on the course because it stares directly at Mt. Etna, an active volcano. I fired off a beauty with my hybrid and watched it sail right at the mountain.

Had it went in, I would’ve taken it as a sign. My ability to birdie and not bogey, a rarity in Puerto Rico, gave me the will to keep playing. However, it fell short of the divine intervention I was seeking to signify that this was the place for me. My drive to continue playing did not last long. As I came down to earth and as my hangover started settling in, I reverted to my old habit of losing balls every which way.

Treasure trove of golf balls in there.

Despite my lack of engagement, I still had to take photos of the many beautiful holes along the way.

Another par 3 without a hole-in-one.

With no cart, I had plenty of time to walk and think about if I really wanted to move here. As I started skipping one hole after another, it became apparent that yesterday’s excitement to buy was due to the sambuca. I arrived at the 18th, parred the hole, then retired.

18th

Overall

If you’re looking to play golf while on vacation, this is a nice course. If you want island life with full-time golf, move to Rio Mar, Puerto Rico instead.

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