MOTTA SANT’ANASTASIA, Italy — A small step into the Masseria del Cavaliere restaurant in Motta Sant’Anastasia on Sicily is like a giant stride back in time.

The restaurant, at the foot of the ancient hilltop town, is in a converted farmhouse and stable with a 130-year history — and counting — manager Salvo Fichera said.

Masseria del Cavaliere, or “knight’s farm,” at one time also served as a winery where employees of a former baron would stomp out the finest wines the nearby vineyards would yield, Fichera said.

“Today, it’s a rustic-style restaurant and pizzeria that offers great food,” he said of the establishment, which has both indoor and outdoor seating.

Eclectic furnishings and wall decor capture and maintain an ambience that one might easily imagine was similar to that of a regal knight’s lair.

From shields and spears affixed to the stone walls, to colorful banners draped from the wooden vaulted ceilings and rustic circular chandeliers, the indoor dining area resembles an inner chamber of a castle.

When the weather permits, outside seating is set up on a stone patio enclosed in greenery, making diners feel as though they are in the middle of nowhere.

The cuisine is traditional Sicilian and Italian dishes that capitalize on the bounty of fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses and wines available from the Sicilian region, the largest agricultural producer in Italy.

Masseria del Cavaliere is open from 5:30 p.m. until the last customer leaves daily except Tuesdays, when it’s closed to give staff a day off.

Motta Sant’Anastasia is about eight miles from U.S. Naval Air Station Sigonella.

To see previous After Hours reviews, go to

Masseria del Cavaliere

Drinks: Assortment of wines and beers. Cost depends on the vintage.

Food: Traditional Italian, consisting of pizza or appetizers, pastas, meats, fish and side dishes. Prices range from roughly 4 euros to 9 euros per dish.

Cover: None

Dress: Casual

Location: Via Terrenere No. 141

Phone: (+39) 095-307-693

Hours: 5 p.m. until last customer leaves

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now