Accommodations in two adjoining medieval palazzi on a narrow lane above Piazza Duomo are reached by a gloriously primitive rock-hewn staircase, and the wonderful quirks continue from there, in poshly outfitted cave rooms and dramatic two-floor vaulted suites. For many guests the character-filled surroundings amply compensate for the lack of spa and other luxe amenities, even an elevator. Many come to enjoy dining in the locanda’s offsite restaurant (on Via Avvocato Giovanni Ottaviano, tel. 0932/248-778; Wed–Mon 1–2:30pm and 8–10:30pm; no lunch July–Aug), one of the finest in Sicily, serving memorable meals (entrees 30€–35€) in a maze of stone-vaulted rooms and caves at the edge of town. The food is innovative yet more traditional and down-to-earth than the striking decor might suggest, relying on a bounty of fresh local ingredients that come to the fore in such signature dishes as zuppa di pesce don Serafino (a rich fish soup).