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Maîtres de Maison Relais & Châteaux

Giovanna Manganaro

Maître de Maison - Relais & Châteaux

Giovanna Manganaro

Monaci delle Terre Nere

Zafferana Etnea - Italy

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L'histoire d'un chef Relais & Châteaux

Can you tell us the story of your property?

When I first saw Monaci delle Terre I was impressed by the dedication of the team, many of whom had been working on the project from the start. I appreciated the sense of place, and how this little-known part of Etna had been brought back ‘to life’ so sensitively. The property’s founder Guido Coffa invited me to join in 2018, as he knew of my work and experience. We’ve been working together to develop new villas, new programming, and new partnerships for guests to enjoy time spent on Mount Etna, but most importantly, to push the team even higher, and to raise the quality of the entire experience for guests. My dream was to help the team reach the goal of becoming a luxury hotel through careful mentorship and training, and now we've joined Relais & Chateaux, that dream has been realized. And it’s just the beginning.

What is your trademark in terms of the art of generosity and warmth?

My background is in luxury hotels, so I am somewhat of a perfectionist. I do believe that the devil is in the detail, whether it’s a pretty bunch of wildflowers arranged just so in a vase, the scent of fresh fruit collected each day by our gardener Rosario, or perfectly folded bed linens which welcome you to bed - each element in a room, has an effect. It has to appear natural, and seamless but it takes a lot of effort and care. That’s hospitality to me.

What memories do you want to give your customers?

It’s a balance of the place and the people. Our beautiful estate, with grassy, terraced gardens, views over volcanic Etna and the Mediterranean Sea and a host of heritage plants, olives and fruit trees, provide an unforgettable backdrop. The warmth of the welcome, genuine intuitive service, and a sense of place, that makes a stay at Monaci delle Terre Nere memorable.

What do you want to communicate to your team?

Though I’m half Danish, I am Sicilian through and through – my whole professional life, I’ve lived and worked on this diverse and spectacular island. I love to share my secret travel tips with guests and consider myself the ambassador of a territory, an outstanding corner of Sicily full of hidden treasures.

What passions do you share with your guests at your property?

My professional life has been spent at some of the very best hotels in the world, and one thing that is extremely important to me, is to mentor our team here at the hotel. It’s wonderful to use my role and expertize guide them to deliver Guido’s vision. I help them evolve, and they have excellent opportunities to learn. We are very fortunate to be able to employ a very local team. I want to inspire them to combine some of the quality and service of the most superb hotels with the charm and authenticity of an idyllic rural retreat. Sharing my passion for hospitality with a passionate and inspired team which will make all our guests feel at “home away from home”.

Monaci delle Terre Nere

  • Hotel and restaurant in the country.
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