The Location

A Corner of Paradise

Ngonia Bay was born from the dream of a Sicilian family to offer luxurious hospitality and to rediscover one of the most beautiful places on the island.
'Ngonia' (from the Greek for 'corner') is the term by which the Greeks called this small inlet framed between sky, sea and mountains where sunsets are tinged with orange. Here the Milazzo beach, straight for kilometres, curves all of a sudden and meets the rocky ridge rich in Mediterranean vegetation with patches of myrtle, broom and caper.
The cliffs of the Bay of Tono enjoy a breathtaking view of the blue sea, which for centuries was home to one of the largest tuna fisheries in Milazzo. It is here that we have built our sea-view hotel, immersed in a centuries-old garden with swimming pool.


Everything is in harmony with the landscape

The brand-new boutique hotel structure designed by the associated firm of architects Barili & Mazzoni of Prato and inaugurated on 6 July 2017 by the Calabrese family, respects the state of the place and fits perfectly into the naturalistic context of the Milazzese promontory with its hanging gardens, dense vegetation and century-old plants dating back to the end of the 19th century. The architects integrated the building with the horizontal fabric of the mountain. The result is a structure in which the stone walls and the green terraces blend harmoniously with the natural landscape of Ngonia.
The hotel's long glass windows enclose the interior space, cancelling the traditionally understood concept of a window and freeing the view of the surrounding nature. The elegant, light-filled rooms overlook the picturesque bay to the west, from where one can admire the sunset, and to the east the imposing green mountains that surround it.
The accommodation is located in Piazza Ngonia, next to the residences that housed the D'Amico and Calapaj families, engaged in the running of the Tonnara del Tono tuna fishery, near the small 16th century church dedicated to the Black Madonna of Tindari and the warehouses of the tuna nets that for centuries offered shelter to the tuna boats.
Next to the hotel is the old palace dating back to 1815 that belonged to Domenico Calapaj and is now the residence of the Calabrese family. The finely renovated palace, again with the advice of designer Maurizio Barili, blends perfectly into the old village and the surrounding natural landscape.


Antique Tone


The interest in tuna fishing in Sicily for millennia shows how important this activity has been for the civilisations that have followed one another around the Mediterranean. Sicilian tuna fisheries have an ancient origin and date back to the period of Arab domination. According to historian Francesco Carlo D'Amico, 18 existed along the northern Peloritan coast. Among the largest tuna nets in Milazzo was that of Tono, which operated until 1966. The tonnara del Tono was first granted to Federico Giordano at an unspecified time.


Under the reign of Martino d'Aragone and Queen Maria, Nicolò D'Amico was granted the sea space to arm the tonnara under the castle in the inlet called Ngonia. From 1818 to 1756, the tonnara was owned by various families, including Marullo and Bonaccorsi. In 1970 it passed into the hands of Don Girolamo Calapaj, who managed it together with the D'Amico family until 1996. In that year, the tonnara ceased its activity.
Work in the tuna nets began in April with the customary 'going out on the flat' ('nisciuta in chianu'). After the blessing of the premises and staff, the boats were repaired by the shipwrights while the other workers worked on the revision of the nets. The tuna fishery was equipped with many boats, including the muciara, which was the rais's boat on which a flag was hoisted, the colour of which indicated the type of fish caught: white for swordfish, red for tuna; the 20-metre long palischermi without masts that were used to transport the tuna to the shore; and the smaller boats that carried the nets and tools. The small church, recently restored, was used to store nets and ropes during the Tonnara's months of inactivity. At the base of the votive aedicule, there is still a marble inscription that recalls that the tiny shrine was erected in 1907 'A Maria Consolatrice dai Marinari della Tonnara del Tono'.Behind the small church, in which the simulacrum of the Black Madonna of Tindari is venerated and within which an elegant and delightful paving dating back to the 18th century has recently been brought to light, a steep flight of steps allows one to walk to contrada Manica, where from the heights of the promontory one can enjoy another breathtaking view of 'Ngònia, the Castle and the entire western riviera.
Today, the small square of the 'Ngònia houses, towards the south, the old renovated warehouses that for centuries offered shelter to tuna boats. Facing the sea stand the buildings that belonged to the families who owned the Tonnara del Tono. The palace was commissioned in 1815 by Domenico Calapaj, as can be seen from some inscriptions legible in the freestone decorations, and was renovated by the Calabrese family.
Not far from 'Ngònia are the low buildings of the 'La Tonnara' residence, erected at the beginning of the 20th century to house the factory producing tuna in oil in tin cans, where mostly the wives of the 'Tunìsi', as the inhabitants of the district are called, found employment.


The Family

The fundamental part

In 2000, the Calabrese family bought the estate that had belonged to the owners of the old tonnara del Tono. The father Tindaro, the fourth generation of builders, together with his wife Anna and their children Marco and Rachele, dedicated himself to the renovation of the old building dating back to 1800, and to the recovery of the garden and the various outbuildings.
In order to enhance the area of great historical value, linked to one of the most important and ancient fishing activities in Sicily, the Calabrese family plans to build a hospitality structure for luxury tourism in the area. The dream becomes reality. On 6 July 2017, the boutique hotel Ngonia Bay was inaugurated and this corner of paradise was made available to everyone. Shared by a great passion for hospitality and in love with this magical place, every day Anna, Marco and Rachele, with dedication, dedicate themselves to the care of the structure. Of the garden, the design and the furnishings, in which there is a strong reference to Sicily, is taken care of by their mother Anna who, with her marked aesthetic sense, imparts that touch of refinement necessary in a modern, contemporary boutique hotel. Her daughter Rachele takes care of the administrative side, a fundamental aspect for the proper management of a business, and finally Marco is the manager of the hotel, the sunny and competent face who takes care of the reception, ensuring that everything is perfect in the running of the hotel and restaurant.


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