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Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Il Picciolo Etna: Hotel Review, Golf Review, But Not a Future Home Review

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.

a white car parked in a parking lot


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

a room with a bed and a table a bed with two lamps on the wall a framed pictures on a wall a framed picture of a woman sitting on a tan wall


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

a bathroom with a mirror and sink a group of bottles of toiletries and a bag of toiletries a bathroom with a bathtub and sink


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

a plate of food on a table a plate of food with tomatoes and a salad

Hotel Itself 

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

a building with flags in front of it

Il Picciolo Golf Club

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

a building with flags on the side of it

a room with red couches and a fireplace

a pool table in a room

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

a plate of food on a table

a plate of spaghetti with sauce


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.

a sign with numbers and a logo on it
Hmm who is this Leonardi?

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

a screen with a golf ball in the middle of a room
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.

a glass of beer on a table
10% off this quality beer is not as good as 40% in Puerto Rico.

a close up of a car

a golf bag on a path
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

a person swinging a golf club
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.

a grassy area with trees and a blue sky

a golf ball on a golf course

a golf ball on a green field

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.

a grassy area with trees and a cloudy sky
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.

a grassy area with trees and a hill in the background a large green field with trees and blue sky a green field with trees and blue sky

a grassy area with trees and a cloudy sky
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.

a golf course with a flag on the green


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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