Casa Talìa in Modica: 'slowliving' in an Italian Riad

Ideal journey through feelings and colours of the Mediterranean

by Malcolm Clark
11

The imperative verb Talìa in Sicilian means "look!", "Admire" and is an exclamation of surprise coming from anybody who stops in the garden of this original hotel in the heart of the Val di Noto, Modica, in front of this beautiful baroque scenery. Casa Talìa, a small oasis in the heart of the city, is an Italian style "Riad", consisting of small houses, restored with the use of natural materials and above all local ones typical of the Sicilian tradition, surrounding a lush garden.

The project is designed by a couple of architects from the Milan school, Marco Giunta and Viviana Haddad, who have chosen to live here, preferring 'slowliving' to the bustle of the city. This is this philosophy of the place: “living slow”, the peaceful passing of time, in an ideal pause punctuated by the Mediterranean sun and by the silent atmosphere of the context in which the structure is inserted. [ ... ] Talìa is a 'place' of unquestioned charm, where all the rooms exude a Mediterranean atmosphere, an ideal journey through feelings and colours from the East to the West, and as they were surrounding the sea, the residences provide the backdrop to a green roof garden, with fruit trees, prickly pears and citrus fruits”.

Talìa “is like an island in the island, where harmony prevails, the result of careful attention paid to every single detail”. A new hotel, where relaxation and comfort blend with modern technology, amongst nature, home automation, bio-architecture, with great respect for the historical context, highlighted by the final project.

The rooms, all with views of Modica and spread out over natural terraces, were recovered from old houses and, like in a Moroccan Riad, are distributed in a ring around a lush internal garden. The restoration project was inspired by the intimate, interior, typical of Arab homes in Medina, havens of peace in the heart of the town.

Great care has been taken over every detail and particular attention has been paid to the choice of natural biocompatible materials, particularly traditional Sicilian ones: fairfaced stone for the walls, lime plaster, roofs made of reeds and polychrome ceramic floors.

Every room, in the colours and atmospheres, is inspired by a different place of the Mediterranean, in a way that recovers the traces of different cultures passing through this land over the centuries. A hidden home automation system which can easily manage the security, consumption and comfort of the guests balances the renovation, carried out in full compliance with the existing architecture and the interiors, furnished with simplicity, good taste and with objects that talk about its “Sicilian” nature.

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    Casa Talìa 260

    Casa Talìa

    Modica / Italy / 2012