How this Sicilian golf clubhouse stayed cool during Italy’s hottest summer

Written by By Laura Reynolds, CNN

Guadagnino Seguino co-owns Villa Dorsoli Golf Club, which is surrounded by peaks of Mount Etna in northern Sicily. Built in 1858, the clubhouse is built into the rock and is both a classic Neoclassical and modernist structure.

There are seven different fountains. There’s something bizarre and cool about that, and that to me is what makes it look so incredible. It was one of the first that people tried to build and they couldn’t build it, because they had to pull a large bridge down. It would have been five hundred meters long and one meter wide. It would have moved mountains. Nowadays it’s floating — as a metaphor for the speed of nature.

Because you have to have a constant cool and dry breeze because the rock above you isn’t that nice in terms of rainfall. Being on the slopes of Mount Etna is nice because we still have some perfect, sunny days, and it’s much cooler on the bottom of the volcano. There’s just this cool, misty feeling to it.

We have volcanic dirt for the cross and for the plaque inside the building. Usually, when people come to see our clubhouse, they say to me, “Oh, that is so ugly.” They think it looks old and dirty. But on top of the rocks, we have something that you can’t see anywhere else, which is the volcano below. It’s like the volcano is literally gracing us with its presence every day.

We have to keep the outside clean, even during the day, because the volcano comes and how it breathes in a huge cloud — literally a cloud. When the volcano breathes in, it wants to make a vapor mist — it wants to create steam — and the steam is everywhere, as far as the eye can see. So there’s a lot of dust and dirt on the rocks and over the fences and it’s a problem. But we’ve done a project that we’re making a micropayment for them, because people aren’t really helping us.

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