SIGNUM, REGENERATIVE TRAVEL IN SALINA

Words by Andrea and C. Rametta, photos by Signum

Signum Hotel is a sophisticated and still authentic escape to have a regenerative travel experience in Salina, the greenest one of the Aeolian islands – Sicily. I visited this unique and secluded place in September last year and I had an inspiring chat with Mrs Clara Rametta, owner of the Hotel and mayor of Malfa – the town where Signum is located. This interview to Mrs Clara will let you grasp the conscious ethos of this gem as well as part of its incredible story.

“SIGNUM WOULD NOT BE SUCH ON ANOTHER ISLAND AND SALINA WOULD NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT ITS SEAL”

 

 

Be MyJourney (BMJ) : What is the origin of the Signum Hotel?

Clara Rametta (CR): Signum is a project I started with my husband, Michele Caruso, in 1988. What Signum is today was the vision we had when we decided to restore some ruins which became the first guest rooms of our hotel. Since the beginning we decided to change our lives to dedicate all our hearts to this dream, Signum.

BMJ : Last year you celebrated 30 years of Signum, which ones have been the most memorable moments in this long story?

CR : When Massimo Troisi stayed at Signum during the shooting for the movie Il Postino, the Michelin Star got by daughter and chef of the hotel, Martina, but, above all, I would say passing the baton to our kids – Luca and Martina – who are dedicating themselves making our Signum dream come true.

BMJ : What kind of vibes do you aim to create for your guests?

CR : We want to provide that kind of hospitality that makes you feel at home : we are a family run hotel which has been thought to be shared, a place where our guests can feel comfortable while being always able to choose among different options.

 

Be MyJourney (BMJ) : What is the origin of the Signum Hotel?

Clara Rametta (CR): Signum is a project I started with my husband, Michele Caruso, in 1988. What Signum is today was the vision we had when we decided to restore some ruins which became the first guest rooms of our hotel. Since the beginning we decided to change our lives to dedicate all our hearts to this dream, Signum.

BMJ : Last year you celebrated 30 years of Signum, which ones have been the most memorable moments in this long story?

CR : When Massimo Troisi stayed at Signum during the shooting for the movie Il Postino, the Michelin Star got by daughter and chef of the hotel, Martina, but, above all, I would say passing the baton to our kids – Luca and Martina – who are dedicating themselves making our Signum dream come true.

BMJ : What kind of vibes do you aim to create for your guests?

CR : We want to provide that kind of hospitality that makes you feel at home : we are a family run hotel which has been thought to be shared, a place where our guests can feel comfortable while being always able to choose among different options.

BMJ : The pieces of furniture featured at Signum create a unique atmosphere. What inspired you to combine classic and contemporary and how have you selected the vintage pieces?

CR : I have always had a thing for art, unique works and objects with a story to tell. I enjoy mixing and matching different styles to give a singular entity to every space. We found the vintage pieces in different antique shops, whereas the Sicilian Masters’ art works as well as the valuable fabrics that adorn the spaces have been passed down in our own family through generations.

BMJ : Is there a piece particularly dear to you?

CR : The Gesù Bambino statue in the concierge. An antique piece and a sort of guardian for us, I couldn’t imagine it anywhere else.

BMJ : On your website I was particularly impressed by the sentence “ Signum would not be such on another island and Salina would not be the same without its seal.” What makes Signum and Salina so bonded between each other?

CR: At Signum everything is bonded to its habitat, highlighting the authentic beauty of an Aeolian house. Here everything refers to the island’s nature and colours. Signum was born at the dawn of tourism in Salina and it keeps evolving together with its evolution. Almost unconsciously, Signum has always been a pioneer of the way Salina is promoting a kind of “good tourism” interested in the environment and linked to the island’s territory.

BMJ : What is Signum’s commitment to sustainability?

CR : We are on an island, Salina, that is highly committed to sustainability. As a hotel, we have done a lot and we’ll keep improving our practices. If hotels improve themselves in the first place, then the journey towards sustainability for the island becomes easier. Signum tries to lead as an example every day.

BMJ : And what is the role of sustainability for the village of Malfa, where Signum is located and where you are the mayor?

CR : To Malfa, sustainability is a yardstick to make all our choices.

BMJ : How would you define a conscious traveller?

CR : A conscious traveller is someone who pays attention and is eager to learn. A traveller who cares for the destination she chooses, respecting a protecting it through her choices. A traveller who prefers the quality over the quantity.

BMJ : What are your favourite places in Salina?

CR: “Le Balate” in Pollara are particularly dear to me – these are storehouses craved into the tuff that were used by fishermen in the old days, the small lake in Lingua – whose reflections of light are breathtaking, and “La praiola” in Rinella – a place by the sea that seems to be still in time.