In Sicily, you can better relax without thinking about anything. This is especially true on a sun-soaked golf course in the hills of Landi Vento where in one stretch, four tee boxes open up so visitors can take a more gentle, laid-back approach than they might at one of the usual short, punishing courses: less resplendent but no less enticing.
The Golf Club, above the bustling town of Fiorano, begins at the Genna Concordia golf bunker, standing at 9,379ft above sea level and nine miles north of Palermo. It is the highest public course in the country.
The course itself is seven miles long and six miles wide. One corner allows the most spectacular views in the country as players eye distant mountains.
The dining area at the Golf Club in Landi Vento, Sicily. Photograph: Jago
It starts with a £225 five-course dining experience from chef Christian Chellini in the supremely smart back dining room. Tables are taken around long, informal tables. Set menus start at €75, and there is a wine pairing option. Tablecloths are laid out, dark shades are pushed back, and a roaring log fire is lit while a band plays deep tunes. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.
The course can be challenging, including a 240-yard par five on the downhill Par-4 15th hole. It takes players through an undergrowth of snowswept, rock-strewn slopes, and provides terrific views of valleys, mountains and porticoed villas.
Equally dramatic is the Air Miles 360 leg – a three-minute walk through the mountains from the car park. Piles of rock form rock formations; some climbs require binoculars. No one appears to have left the place ahead.
• Genna Concordia golf bunker, 01858 531271, golfclubslandivento.com