Seen from the garden of Casa TalÌa, the village of Modica looks dreamlike, with labyrinthine passageways swirling down the steep sides of a ravine. Seven years ago, Milanese architects Viviana Haddad and Marco Giunta acquired five adjacent houses in what was once a ghetto to create the bed-and-breakfast, bringing an urban sensibility to the ancient stones. They have taken great care in choosing simple but beautiful materials—lace coverlets, pressed-iron beds, and bamboo ceilings. Thanks to wireless Internet, Giunta runs his design business from underneath their fig tree, where breakfast is also served, and the homemade jam—made from Pachino tomatoes with flesh that looks molten—tastes like the sun.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.