No.1 ranking gives Verdura Resort double reason to celebrate

21 July 2022

Sicily’s Verdura Resort is riding high at the pinnacle of Italian golf after being named as the country’s number one golf course and resort in a comprehensive new ranking of the best courses in Italy.

The luxury venue’s East Course took top honours in Golf World’s inaugural list of the ‘Top 100 Courses in Italy’ just nine months after reopening following a major upgrade by acclaimed golf architect Kyle Phillips.

Verdura also finished first in the ‘Best Resorts’ category, while there was further good news for the Rocco Forte hotel with the venue’s West Course being rated as fifth in the poll of Italy’s best courses.

Chris Bertram, the Top 100 editor, said: “In late 2018, Kyle Phillips returned to Sicily to rework both the East and the West. Whereas before we would readily acknowledge there was little to choose between the courses, we are now absolutely certain that the East is the best. And, indeed, the best in Italy.

“Originally, the two were a bit like Walton Heath, with all the holes intertwined, to such an extent that the Sicilian Open combination course comprised nine holes from each. [Now] the holes are largely in similar positions, but the combination course has become the West. The remaining holes, remodelled significantly and for the better, have now become the East.

“This also has the advantage that the two courses are physically more separate, and with different characters. The West is muscular and masculine, the East a little more subtle.

“The East is actually a little longer than the West yet feels more forgiving and is more fun... It has its dramatic moments, but it is its overall consistency and fun that really impress. Italy’s first no.1 for good reason.”

Phillips returned to the site of his original creation to upgrade the East and West courses and spent three years reworking his magic at Verdura Resort.

The extensive renovation has seen a number of new features added and modifications made to the routing of both courses. The reordering of hole numbers has allowed for the restoration of former favourite holes and brings exciting new additions, while the planting of fescue grasses throughout the course gives the layout added definition.

Giacomo Battafarano, General Manager at Verdura Resort, said: “To be named as the number one golf course and resort in Italy – what a fantastic honour and achievement for all our staff to receive.

“We’re thrilled with all the comments and feedback that we have received since we reopened the East Course last year, and the work that Kyle Phillips has done has not only matched but exceeded our expectations. We couldn’t be happier with the final result.”

The accolades are the second major recognition that Verdura Resort has received in as many months after the venue was recently named as a recipient of Golf Digest magazine’s coveted ‘2022 Editors’ Choice Award for the Best Resorts in Continental Europe’ for the seventh year in a row.

Home of the European Tour’s Rocco Forte Sicilian Open, Verdura is nestled in 230 hectares of stunning Mediterranean landscape on Sicily’s southern coast and features a choice of 203 elegant rooms and suites as well as 20 new Rocco Forte private villas. The courses and facilities combined have established Verdura as one of the world’s elite golf and lifestyle destinations.

A member of the exclusive European Tour Destinations network, the resort is famous for offering members and guests an unforgettable five-star golf experience in one of the most beautiful settings in world. Away from golf, guests can enjoy an extensive array of other luxury sports and lifestyle facilities, as well as the opportunity to sample wide variety of gastronomy, wine, history, and culture.

n Golfers can experience Verdura’s award-winning East and West courses for themselves this summer and autumn by booking one of the resort’s Golf Inclusive stay-and-play breaks – with prices starting from €315 per person. Available until November 12, the eye-catching packages feature five-star accommodation, full daily breakfast and one green fee per nightly stay.


About Verdura Resort
Part of Rocco Forte Hotels and member of The Leading Hotels of the World, Verdura Resort overlooks the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean from the southern coast of Sicily. Immersed in a 230-hectare park, it has 203 elegant rooms and suites as well as 20 new Rocco Forte Private Villas, nestled on the hillside that gently slopes towards the resort’s private coast, which is over 1.8 km long. The resort's restaurants and bars celebrate Mediterranean cuisine using seasonal ingredients typical of the island, accompanied by an extensive wine list. The Verdura Spa is an exclusive refuge with a holistic approach to health and well-being: 4,000 m2 with four thalassotherapy pools, two saunas, a hammam and a wide range of personalised treatments and programmes. The resort also has a 4,000 m2 convention centre. On site there are championship golf courses, designed by Kyle Phillips and leading figures of the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open in 2017 and 2018 (European Tour stage), making Verdura the golf destination par excellence in the Mediterranean. The sporting offer is further enriched with six tennis courts, a 60-metre infinity pool, a football pitch, an equipped gym offering a full programme of fitness and meditation activities, as well as jogging paths that wind through the estate's olive and citrus groves.

Rocco Forte Hotels
Established by Sir Rocco Forte and his sister, Olga Polizzi in 1996, Rocco Forte Hotels is a collection of 15 individual hotels and resorts. All of the hotels are landmarks, both old and new, occupying magnificent buildings in exceptional locations. Led by a family who has been in hospitality for four generations, the hotels are united by their distinctive approach to service ensuring guests experience the best of the cities and surrounding areas. Rocco Forte Hotels comprises: Hotel de la Ville, Hotel de Russie and Rocco Forte House, Rome; Hotel Savoy, Florence; Verdura Resort, Rocco Forte Private Villas and Villa Igiea, Sicily; Masseria Torre Maizza, Puglia; The Balmoral, Edinburgh; Brown’s Hotel, London; The Charles Hotel, Munich; Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt; Hotel de Rome, Berlin; Hotel Amigo, Brussels and Hotel Astoria, St Petersburg. Future openings: The Carlton Milan in 2023; The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai.


Luke Frary - Golf Director
Tel: 01730 711920