Lord Horation Nelson Lord Horation Nelson

Many people, if asked whom they consider to be England’s greatest hero, would say “Nelson” without much hesitation. But not all of them know that there is a corner of Sicily with which the great Admiral is forever associated – although he never went there. Nelson has several connections with Sicily: he watered his ships at the Arethusa Fountain in Syracuse before the Battle of the Nile, and he ordered Marsala wine for the fleet from the winery in the west of the island. But it was not until 1799 that he became closely connected.

In the terrible year of 1798, at the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the French armies were invading Italy and had conquered much of the north. In Naples King Ferdinand IV of the Two Sicilies, and his Queen, Maria Carolina, who was a sister of the executed Marie Antoinette of France, were forced to flee, and it was Nelson’s ship, HMS Vanguard, which took them to their second capital, Palermo. The Admiral, together with the British Ambassador, Sir William Hamilton and his wife, Emma, were great friends of the royal couple. Some months later the King and Queen returned to Naples, but once again had to ask Nelson for his help in getting away to Sicily. This time he took them on HMS Foudroyant, and it was very shortly after their safe arrival in Palermo that the King, in his gratitude, made Nelson a splendid gift: the Duchy of Bronte, with its castle and estate of Maniace on the northern flanks of Mt. Etna. Nelson, who was to die six years later, was never able to visit his property, but he signed himself “Nelson & Bronte” for the rest of his life.


Catania, Sicily Catania, Sicily

The Castello Nelson and much of the Maniace estate, together with the title of Duke of Bronte, descended via Nelson’s elder brother, and are still in existence today. Viscount Bridport, the present duke, sold the property in 1981 to the Municipality of Bronte, who have looked after it with care. The house, barely changed since the Bridports left, contains many memorabilia of the family, including the decanter and glasses used by Nelson before Trafalgar, and family portraits and furniture. In the courtyard stands a Celtic cross, a memorial to “the Immortal Hero of the Nile”. The whole is a fascinating relic of times gone by, a small corner of England and a shrine which should be visited by every Englishman who cares about his country’s history.

The Castello Nelson is not far from Catania, a good shopping centre and well-known for its baroque architecture. Fashionable Taormina is also close. The whole area offers many interesting excursions on foot or on horseback, as well as being noted for its good country food, mainly meat – lamb or pork – and for the cultivation of pistachio nuts.


The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

Sunvil's holidays are designed by passionate travellers just like you. Our reservations experts and product teams, many of whom have been with us for many years, are passionate about our destinations and, through their personal, first-hand knowledge can answer any questions that you may have. They are well qualified to advise and recommend, based on your own holiday criteria. We can point you to those special, little-known places, some not found even in guidebooks.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8568 4499

We're open tomorrow at 9:00 AM

Make an Enquiry

Please use this form to request further information about a Sunvil holiday or destination.

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify

Details

Preferred departure date *
Duration *
Preferred UK departure airport *
Party size *

Back

  • Adults(12+ yrs)
  • Children(2 to 11 yrs)
  • Infants(Under 2 yrs)
Budget range
Other comments:

Email newsletters

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify
Booking reference number *
Alternatively, please enter your query in the box below:

Email newsletters

Thank you for your enquiry

Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our specialist reservation teams will be in touch shortly.

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Your details have been saved

Feel free to continue to browse the site and add to your enquiry. Don't forget to send the enquiry before you leave!

My Suitcase

We understand that so much choice can be overwhelming which is why we have developed 'My Suitcase'. This facility allows you to save and compare your favourite holidays, and even allows you to return to your selection at a later stage.

Why not use 'My Suitcase' to compile a wish list of your future Sunvil holidays?

 

Sign in


New to Sunvil?

Create Account


Already have an account?

Password reset

Back

Close

Close