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Press & News

The following section contains what the press has to say about soloSicily, listing international press coverage that mentions our exclusive Villas in Sicily. In addition, keep yourself up to date with all the latest news and press release from soloSicily, new entry Villas, holidays’ special offers as well as focus on special Villas, events and festivals in the island.

Press
Press
The Guardian
  • Villa Apolline. Pozzallo, Sicily, Italy

    Villa Apolline. Pozzallo, Sicily, Italy




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    THE GUARDIAN: This proper family holiday home sits in a stellar location on Sicily's south coast just a few steps from one of Pozzallo's buttery sand beaches. You are at the same latitude as Tunisia, so good weather is practically a given for much of the year. The garden is dotted with fat palms and fig trees, there's a fully-stocked outdoor kitchen and the owners are on hand to point out the best gelateria and bakery.

  • Where's hot now?: Badia Tower

    Where's hot now?: Badia Tower




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    THE GUARDIAN: February average high: 16C
    Avoid the crowds at one of SoloSicily's secluded properties. The Badia Tower, for example, is a 16th-century building near the medieval town of Erice.
    A three-night stay with SoloSicily (020-7193 0158, solosicily.com) in the Badia Tower over Valentine's Day costs from £310 for two. Ryanair (ryanair.com) flies to Trapani from £27.99 one way

    Article on The Guardian website

  • Sicily's secret south: Casa d' Eraclea

    Sicily's secret south: Casa d' Eraclea




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    THE GUARDIAN: Excuse me," says Gioacchino Sortino – who looks every sharp-suited inch the Sicilian businessman – reaching for his mobile. "It's my mama, she worries about me." And Gioacchino is worried about us. Wild, beautiful, unpredictable – and a little bit scary, Sicily has lived up to its tempestuous reputation by staging the most spectacular electrical storm. During the night, our villa – a glass hymn to modernism – felt as insubstantial as one of those plastic snow-storm domes as the elements raged about us. It's not hard to see why the ancient Greeks chose to settle in Sicily on this imposing cliff top facing Africa – or to imagine what portents they might have read into the furious display from the gods above. This morning, though, all – with the exception of Gioacchino's mama – is calm, the horizon as straight as the crease in his trousers.

    Gioacchino used to work as a sommelier at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, but came home to set up SoloSicily – with his brother, naturally – to prove to visitors that there's more to his country than the mafia. Compared with the manicured elegance of its most popular destinations, fashionable Taormina or charming Cefalu, southern Sicily is still undoubtedly the scruffy relation. It might not be as conventionally pretty as its neighbours, but the south coast has its own rugged beauty and plenty to recommend it that still seem to be something of an inside secret, remaining largely untouched by the tourist explosion that followed the arrival of cheap flights to Palermo and Catania around a decade ago.

    Casa d'Eraclea perches on the edge of Europe, its magnificent infinity pool dropping, apparently seamlessly, into the Mediterranean below. A modern architect-designed house, everything is clean lines, light and glass. Pool and sea dominate. It is like waking up to find oneself in the bright, deliquescent world of a David Hockney LA painting. Even the cactus-studded, hammock-slung garden is all symmetry and pleasing shapes. Its surroundings may be a little rough around the edges, but Casa d'Eraclea most certainly is not.

    Read full article on The Guardian website

  • The Poet's Corner, Enna, Sicily

    The Poet's Corner, Enna, Sicily




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    THE GUARDIAN: Set in Sicily's heartland, within walking distance of Lake Pergusa, from the outside the house looks every inch the 19th-century aristocratic retreat it once was, but inside it's another world. Strong, sober, contemporary design reigns, but the abiding influence is literature. One bedroom features acres of verse to browse through; there's even a blackboard wall for when inspiration strikes. A stunning pool in stirring surroundings makes for a fitting final chapter.

    • Solo Sicily (solosicily.com) has seven nights' rental only from €4,550 in May (the house sleeps 17). Book before 31 March for a €200 discount. Nearest airport: Catania.

    Article on the Guardian website

  • The tower of love: Badia Tower

    The tower of love: Badia Tower




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    THE GUARDIAN: The perfect spot to let down your hair, Badia Tower is a 16th-century tower for two that stands alone in the gardens of an estate in Sicily, within easy reach of the Greek sites at Selinunte and Segesta, and the beaches of San Vito lo Capo. The Rapunzel-esque crenellated tower is surrounded by palm-filled gardens and has traditional interiors with blue tiled floors, a kitchen, a double bed in an alcove and a large sun terrace. Beyond the grounds lies the Marsala district with its wineries, and you can take a day trip to the Aegadian archipelagos. It's totally romantic, and the good news is it's still available for Valentine's Day
    • solosicily.com. A three- night stay costs €321 for two people.

    Article on the Guardian website

The Independent
  • Stay at the Vineyard: Cantine Virzì

    Stay at the Vineyard: Cantine Virzì




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    THE INDEPENDENT: Staying on a working vineyard can be an excellent way to familiarise yourself with the winemaking process while getting to know the wines themselves in depth. SoloSicily is offering a three-night stay at the Cantine Virzi winery on the acclaimed Spadafora estate in western Sicily. A one-bedroom apartment with views of the vineyards starts at £345 for two people. Cellar and vineyard tours and wine tastings are available.

    Article on The Independent website

  • Sicily, Standing at a spectacular crossroads: Renèe

    Sicily, Standing at a spectacular crossroads: Renèe




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    Centuries of Arab rule helped forge the uniquely Sicilian way of life. It's a cultural influence that's still felt by visitors today, says Sarah Merson

    It was another scorching hot day in the seaside town of San Vito Lo Capo on Sicily's west coast, so I sought shade under one of the tented canopies belonging to Thàam, a charming little restaurant tucked away on a side street, with a menu centred around couscous dishes. The tables were decorated with ornate North African lanterns; scatter cushions shone with ethnic colour.

    In 1768 German polymath JW Goethe pronounced that "without Sicily, Italy cannot be fully understood". Yet Sicily – and certainly San Vito Lo Capo, which occupies the tip of a north-western promontory jutting out into the Mediterranean – cannot be understood without understanding the influence of North Africa. Geographically, it is closer to Tunisia than the Italian mainland. And from a culinary point of view, such is the reverence felt for the couscous specialities in San Vito Lo Capo – they are found in almost every restaurant in town – that this week marks a six-day festival dedicated to the dish. Among the highlights of "Couscous Fest", which runs every September, is a couscous cook-off, where local chefs compete with their African counterparts, who arrive from as far away as the Ivory Coast and Cape Verde.

    Multiculturalism in action? It's certainly a contrast to Sicily's ancient history, which is a tapestry of invasions, intrigues and internecine battles. The Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans and the Spanish have all fought for and dominated the island in turn over the centuries. The result is a complex heritage – yet a significant part is still based around Arabic culture.

    At the tip of the headland, San Vito Lo Capo has been developed as a seaside resort, with sun seekers flocking to make the most of the sugary-white sand of the crescent-shaped beach and glittering waters. Patrolling among them are Tunisian beach vendors proferring fresh coconuts sourced from Tunis. Earlier in the day, I'd sipped the deliciously sweet milk, sand between my toes, with my back to the Mediterranean. The view beyond the orange-coloured buildings was dotted with giant carobs and windswept palm trees in a scene reminiscent of the North African landscape.[...]

    I was staying at Renèe, a white-washed villa close to the village of Scopello, which lies to the south of San Vito Lo Capo. Inside, the terracotta floor tiles keep it cool, while the kitchen is festooned with 19th-century ceramics. The owner, Renata Plaja, was keen to stress Sicily's unique character:

    "I'm Sicilian," said Renata, "but like most Sicilians, I've adopted a social attitude which is inherent in the Arabs: we don't like to live life in a hurry, and we enjoy lengthy siestas... We are welcoming and hospitable, openly accepting of people from other countries and cultures, and over time those people have come to identify themselves as Sicilians too."

    As I reclined on my sun-lounger by Renèe's swimming pool, the Mediterranean shimmering in the distance, it seemed a reasonable moment to indulge in a lengthy Sicilian siesta of my own. Whether a snooze in the afternoon is profoundly North African or Italian, there's little doubt that Sicily's epic history has shaped the island and its people in myriad ways. And the couscous, you can be assured, is always excellent.

    Travel essentials

    Getting there

    easyJet (0843 104 5000; www.easyJet.com) flies to Palermo from Gatwick. One-way prices start at £29.99. Palermo is also served by Ryanair (0871 246 0000; www.ryanair.com) from Stansted.


    Staying there

    Solo Sicily (www.soloSicily.com) offers a week's rental of Renée, which sleeps six, from £1,650.

    Read full article on The Independent website

Junior
  • Peace in Sicily: The Poets' Corner

    Peace in Sicily: The Poets' Corner




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    JUNIOR: To truly experience peace on Earth this Christmas, head to Enna in central Sicily and stay at the tranquil Poet's Corner – the seven-bedroom, four-bathroom former holiday home of the aristocratic Grimaldi family. It sleeps 12 and was designed as a literary escape, so the white-washed walls feature the odd blackboard for moments of self-expression, while you can also enjoy wintery walks around Pergusa Lake or visit the snow-capped Madonie Mountains. If the countryside adventures sound like too much effort, relax in the Reading Room (left). One week in December from £3,950. including breakfast and maid service. www.solosicily.com

Daily Express
  • Family warms to Sicilian escape: Mariuccia

    Family warms to Sicilian escape: Mariuccia




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    DAILY EXPRESS: A break from their usual summer haunts led SARAH MERSON and her clan to discover the island's delights

    IT MUST have made an unusual sight. Myself and our three young children hanging around outside the grocery shop in the heat of the afternoon, waiting for it to open.
    Ostensibly we were there to replenish stocks of bread and milk for our nearby villa but who were we kidding? What we really craved was more of the shop's delicious Sicilian gelato.
    My husband Josh and I along with our brood, Louis, eight, Olivia, six and three-year-old Jude, arrived at the island's capital Palermo two days earlier. Picking up our hire car, we'd driven the two hours direct to our villa, Mariuccia, through the mountainous interior.
    Set just inland from Sicily's Mediterranean coast, our plan was to use it as a base to explore the island's beautiful western expanse.
    It was late into the evening as we drove through the grand gates of the three-acre estate containing Mariuccia, so we were pleasantly surprised to find the owners waiting for us with a warm welcome.
    Any apprehension we had about taking a break away from the standard family-friendly Med destinations quickly evaporated: the children were instantly adored. In Sicily, family is the bedrock of day-to-day life.
    A few hours later, the sun was up and Jude insisted that we all were, too. We spent the day familiarising ourselves with the villa, which had a slightly incongruous Californian feel, inside and out.
    The three terraces were decked out with BBQ and wood-burning pizza oven and various sitting and dining areas surrounded by colourful flower beds. Beyond that, the oak and olive trees offered privacy and shade. Inside, children delighted at the snooker room, table tennis table and PlayStation.
    With five double bedrooms, it was a toss up who got the one with a balcony overlooking the wonderfully inviting pool. That evening a catering team organised by soloSicily, the villa letting agency, prepared us a tailored three-course dinner. Expecting the children not to deviate far from the pasta main course, I was amazed to see them tucking in to the freshly caught king prawns wrapped in deep-fried spaghetti.
    Their liking for dessert was far more predictable: Sicily's beloved cannoli – tubes of fried pasta dough filled with ricotta, candied fruit and chocolate.
    Sicily's sense of history was tangible every direction we went. A 10-minute drive took us to Burgio, a small farming settlement (with the gelato-stocked grocery shop).
    Developed around the remains of a Norman castle, it is a beguiling warren of narrow streets and uneven rooftops with a defiantly laid-back air.
    The focal point, the Mother Church, is intricately detailed with frescoes and mosaics but the pride and joy of the town is the Museum of Mummies.
    Forget figures wrapped in bandage-like material; these are ancient corpses embalmed in oil and placed strategically in coffins.
    The children were enthralled rather than unnerved at this bizarre spectacle and the stories surrounding them.
    Later at Valley of the Temples, close to the city of Agrigento, we walked among the ruins of an ancient Greek city.
    The area is dotted with gnarled olive and almond trees and the three temples, dating from 430BC, were extraordinarily beautiful against a brilliant blue sky.
    One, the Concordia, looked strangely familiar. It was only later that I realised it is the model for Unesco's logo.
    Returning for a day in Palermo, we shopped in the bustling street market, sampling “cucina povera” (cooking of the poor), effectively traditional Sicilian dishes. None of the children tried the snails, despite the stallholder gushingly insisting that the “bambini” must take one each, gratis.
    The architecture of Palermo is enchanting, the car-choked streets and erratic driving less so. So we headed for the beautiful coastal resorts of Scopello and nearby San Vito lo Capo, perched on the tip of the north-west peninsula.
    The former won us over with its white houses and smooth-stone streets, while the shimmering beach at San Vito lo Capo was in a league of its own. Here you are closer to Africa than the Italian mainland and the arid landscape and ubiquitous seafood couscous seemed to reflect that.
    Back at our villa, the days took on a relaxed rhythm. Olivia overcame her fear of the pool's deep end, Louis kept a vigil for geckoes and Jude took delight in watching the wild Tibetan goats on the nearby hillside.
    Come evening, the routine would always be the same. As we opened a bottle of red from the local Planeta Estate, the children would tuck in, once more, to the gelato. No wonder we were always running out.

    THE KNOWLEDGE
    soloSicily (www.solosicily.com) offers seven nights at Mariuccia from £2650 (sleeps six), selfcatering.
    easyJet (0843 104 5000/www.easyjet.com) offers return flights from Gatwick to Palermo from £60. Italian State Tourist Board: 0207 408 1254/www.italiantouristboard.co.uk

Elle
  • Villa Elena, Sicily

    Villa Elena, Sicily




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    THE SPACE
    ELLE: If you want head off on a relaxed yet luxurious holiday with friends, Villa Elena in the southeast of Sicily is the perfect choice. Sleeping up to 12 people in extreme comfort - all colour-themed double rooms with en-suite bathrooms and flat-screen TVs - the attention to detail here rivals the best five-star hotels. There are iPod docks in every room, a cabinet full of the latest DVDs, hair straighteners in the bathroom and basketball and volleyball nets by the pool. We loved the huge kitchen (and the fact that someone came in every morning to clean it), which had a glass wall where we sat looking out at the sunset, drinking local wine and playing high-stakes Monopoly. The sourrounding towns are small, but you'll find street markets almost every day, as well as grocery stores with fresh produce and well-priced wine. Our final tip? Forget the diet and try ricotta-filled delicacies from the local bakeries.

    THE AREA
    The closest major city to Villa Elena is Agrigento, worth a visit for its ancient temples and boutique shops. Near by Camastra provides daily essentials and you'll often find the town's menfolk lining the pavements watching the world go by. If you like sand and surf, head to San Leone, a 20-minute drive away - the sandy beaches stretch for miles along western and eastern coastlines.

    THE FOOD
    This place is a foodie's paradise. There's an option to have chefs come in and cook for you, but you can also take cookery classes in the villa or visit the local vineyards. Our tip for dinner is La Borghesiana in Naro (335 574 9503), where we ate the best meal we've ever tasted.

    THE EXTRAS
    It's the non-essentials that really take this place to the next level. There's a games room, Powerplate and running machines, an outdoor area with a huge table, pizza oven, barbecue and herb garden. And you can even arrange for a beauty therapist to drop by to give you a treatment.

    GETTING THERE...
    A one-week stay at Villa Elena starts from £3,400 in June, enq(020) 7193 0158;solosicily.com. Reduced prices are available for smaller parties. Villa Elena is a 90-minute to two-hour drive from each of Sicily's airports (Catania and Palermo) and its hillside location means you'll need to drive to most places. Car hire can be arranged with solosicily.com.

The Times
  • 50 Best Holidays in Italy: Hibiscus

    50 Best Holidays in Italy: Hibiscus




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    THE TIMES: Sicily's annual Greek Theatre Festival in Syracuse takes place in an auditorium dating from the 3rd century BC. It is Italy's most important classical theatre event, and 2014 is its centenary year. To celebrate, it is putting on Aeschylus's Agamemnon, Choephori and The Eumenides, and Aristophanes's The Wasps between May 9 and June 22. For performance dates and tickets see the official website indafondazione.org. Villa specialist soloSicily has a variety of properties around Syracuse that are available during the festival.
    Details: One week at Hibiscus, a four-bedroom property for eight overlooking the sea and with a pivate path that leads directly to a rocky beach, costs £2,025 in June. Fly to Catania or Comiso.

  • Villa Apolline, Sicily

    Villa Apolline, Sicily




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    THE TIMES: You could stay on Sicily's southernmost point at Pozzallo, a fishing town on the same latitude as Tunisia, for the best chance of good weather. White sandy beaches and the nature reserves at Vendicari and Cassibile are big attractions. There's excellent diving at Marzamemi, about 40 minutes from Pozzallo. SoloSicily (020- 7097 1413, solosicily.com) has several properties in the area including Apolline, a three-bedroom villa sleeping up to seven, a few steps from the beach. A cook is an optional extra. A week in April starts at £1,520 and you could fly to Catania with British Airways or Comiso with Ryanair.

  • School's out where to go: Le Dimore dell'Etna

    School's out where to go: Le Dimore dell'Etna




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    THE TIMES: House party in Sicily
    Stay on Le Dimore dell'Etna country estate, on the slopes of Mount Etna. There's a main house (£1,580 for six for a week) and five smaller chalet-style cottages (£2,943 for the estate, sleeping 17). Climb Etna or hike through the Alcantara Gorge. Book on 020-70971413, solosicily.com. Flights cost extra.

  • Saddle up in Sicily: Il Poggio

    Saddle up in Sicily: Il Poggio




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    THE TIMES: October half-term is a great time for activities that are too hot to handle in high summer. Book Il Poggio, a villa sleeping six in Monreale, near Palermo, and you can go horse-riding free whenever you want. For non-riders, a gorgeous pool overlooks the hills around Palermo and it's a great base for sightseeing (Monreale has the last Norman church built in Sicily) and beach trips to Mondello.
    Details A week starts at £2,905. Flights to Palermo with Ryanair (ryanair.com) are about £190. Book with soloSicily (solosicily.com)

  • 20 Med beach villas: Casa d'Eraclea

    20 Med beach villas: Casa d'Eraclea




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    THE TIMES: Spend mornings on the long, sandy untouristy beach, a ten-minute walk from this modern villa on the brow of a hill.
    While away the afternoon by the infinity pool surrounded by decking with panoramic sea views. It's the perfect spot for cocktails because the sunsets are stunning. If you feel like venturing farther afield, the Valley of the Temples and the Greek ruins of Selinunte are near by. The four-bedroom villa has contemporary, unfussy decor – white with splashes of colour – giving it a light, bright ambience.
    Details From £1,825 for six, from SoloSicily (020-71930158, solosicily.com).

  • Villas in moderation: Sirena

    Villas in moderation: Sirena




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    THE TIMES: Italy is probably the most expensive country in southern Europe for self-catering in summer. Within that context, however, Sicily stands out – in particular, if you are after some sandy toes, the west cost of the Island. A stunning and secluded designer property, sleeping four, with a private pool and a hilltop vista to the coast, would set you back much more than £974 a week in Tuscany, but in May, June and September (Sicily's best months), that's what soloSicily (020 7193 0158, solosicily.com) is charging for Villa Sirena, near Scopello. (...) New flights from Luton to the western airport of Trapani with Ryanair (0871 246 0000 ryanair.com) might ease the pain still further, if you book far enough in advance (service starts in late March; we found seven-day return flights in May for about £115). It also flies from Stansted and Dublin. Europcar (0871 384 9847, europcar.co.uk) a week's car hire from £125.

  • Last-minute escapes to the sun...: Badia Tower

    Last-minute escapes to the sun...: Badia Tower




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    THE TIMES: Marsala, Sicily – £499
    Best for a romantic getaway
    Badia Tower is a lovely 16th-century tower tucked away on an estate just outside Marsala in western Sicily. The building has a bedroom in an alcove and a terrace with mini day-beds. Sandy beaches are close by. The price includes flights and car hire. Details SoloSicily (solosicily.com) has a week at Badia tower from £499pp with car hire and flights from Luton. Peak season price: £580.

  • 20 best villas by the sea: Casa d'Eraclea

    20 best villas by the sea: Casa d'Eraclea




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    THE TIMES: Designer chic Italy Positioned on the brow of a hill on Sicily’s southwest coast, Casa d’Eraclea is a four-bedroom, architect-designed house (sleeping up to nine) that bags the title for having the most spectacular terrace: an infinity pool, surrounded by hammocks and panoramic sea views. Inside, the style is modern and bold — white and orange walls, yellow and blue furnishings — and there’s a spacious sitting room and (though most wouldn’t dream of it on a beach holiday) a gym. Stroll down to the sandy beach, a few minutes’ walk away, visit the Valley of the Temples archaeological site, or just relax by the pool and enjoy the views.

    Details From € 3,450 a week based on six sharing (additional charge for extra persons); solosicily.com

    Read full article on The Times website

Sunday Times Travel Magazine
  • The Nutty Flower Festival: Elena

    The Nutty Flower Festival: Elena




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    Flower power hits Agrigento, Sicily, this month, as the first blush on the trees heralds the start of the Sagra del Mandorlo, the Almond Blossom Festival (Feb 1-10; www.sagradelmandorlo.net). Locals get in the festive spirit with concerts and fireworks, but the setting is the star: the ruins of the dusty Valley of the Temples (www.parcodeitempli.net £8 entry). Italy's most under-visited ruins provide a magical, mythical backdrop to the candyfloss blooms. Catch the bus from Agrigento train station: numbers 1, 2 and 3 drop you at the temple entrance. Solo Sicily (www.solosicily.com) has a week at the plush sixbedroom Villa Elena in Agrigento from £2,810.

  • The Easter celebration: Villas in Sicily

    The Easter celebration: Villas in Sicily




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    SUNDAY TIMES TRAVEL MAGAZINE: Join the war between good and evil with the Dance of the Devils in the remote village of Prizzi (April 17-24). Wearing demonic costumes and enormous masks, locals put on plays and processions throughout Easter week – until Sunday, when devils momentarily win the day, before being slain by angels. After all that effort beating Satan, boost your energy with a (freely distributed) sweet cannateddi rice cake. Solo Sicily (www.solosicily.com) has villa breaks from £250pp for a week. EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) flies to Palermo from Gatwick.

Daily Mail
  • New don for Sicily: Fattoria Corleonese

    New don for Sicily: Fattoria Corleonese




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    DAILY MAIL: The Mafia are going. Bring on the tourists! 
    PIZZAS poured from the wood-fired oven but the chef still had time to hiss under his breath as he deftly swept them into cardboard boxes for takeaway: 'Turisti. Inglese.' Fascinated locals spun round for a look at the 'English tourists.' Well, we were Scottish but we let it slide. Here we were in Corleone and it was nice to be something of a novelty attraction, nodding as the locals wished us 'Buona sera' as they left the restaurant.

    So why were we such a star turn in a town with a name recognised the world over thanks to Mario Puzo's fictional Godfather? For a start, the real Corleone is also intertwined with the very real Mafia - the Corleonesi clan having taken control of organised crime in Sicily and America.

    So tourists come to Corleone, many of them Americans fancying that their forefathers left here because of blood feuds and not just poverty. But most hop off the coach, pause long enough to buy a Godfather coppola - a kind of hat - as a souvenir and move on.

    We were different, in town in the evening because we were staying nearby. But surely the heart of Mafia country in the hills 40 or so miles south of Palermo is an odd choice for a family holiday? Not if you want a real sense of being in a foreign country. It's possible to sit in any of the northern cities, or even in Rome, sip a G&T and hear more Home Counties accents than in Kensington.

    Not so Sicily. The landscape is both spectacular and unique. Great peaks soar from fertile plains and all around Corleone rock pinnacles jut out from the soil like the bones of some long-dead great beast.

    The roads wind and sweep through the hills offering tantalising vistas one minute and hemming you in with great rockfaces the next. Little villages cling to the top of great mounds of jagged rock.

    You're close to Africa here and that shows up in unusual ways. There are lots of chillies on the menu and you're likely to get a handful of sultanas thrown over your pizza - sounds crazy but it's an unlikely stroke of genius.

    Corleone is close to bustling Palermo - well worth a visit but expect a white-knuckle ride if you're driving; its traffic is seriously daunting - and within striking distance of the gorgeous beaches where many tourists spend their entire stay.

    But they are missing out. We stayed at the flawless Fattoria Corleonese, in the heart of a bustling working estate producing cheese and olive oil. Our beautifully furnished and equipped apartment was part of a building that's still a family home, built around a dramatic and ancient courtyard yet with all mod cons - if we could just drag ourselves off the sun-drenched patio...

    Our elegant hosts had provided us with a table groaning with local fruit, bread and their own magnificent pecorino cheese, made from sheep's milk and with a glistening, salted crust. There was also a bottle of a luscious Tancredi wine from the Donnafugata estates just a few miles away towards Marsala.

    The draw of the swimming pool, set in an olive grove and just a short stroll out of the main courtyard and through delightful gardens, was strong.

    But there was exploring to be done and so we took our Ford from Avis - public transport is problematic, so renting a car is advisable - into Corleone.

    There are outlying parts of the town that look pretty unattractive - much of western Sicily got knocked about a bit during the war. The centre of town, though, is different. The streets are an exciting jumble in the way that only medieval towns, never designed with the car in mind, can be.

    The whole place is a mass of hills but it's great fun to wander, getting lost up little stairways and marvelling at the higgledy-piggle way the town has grown.

    As well as plenty of tourist-trap shops selling Godfather tat, there are supermarkets, chic designer outlets and no end of churches. For all its Mafia links, Corleone is known as 'the town of 100 churches' - all old and mostly with amazing architecture.

    Hungry travellers can find everything from a quick bowl of linguini and a beer to formal dining. Choice is a little limited but you do feel you're getting authentic local fare.

    And part of that is cracking Sicilian wine. The whites are refreshing on days when the sun is blazing while the reds, often using the Nero D'Avola grape native to Sicily, are a complex taste treat.

    The Donnafugata estates have blended modern know-how with ancient techniques and a real feel for Sicilian ground and grapes to craft delightfully drinkable wines.

    Prices? Expect to be shocked both by how little you'll pay here and how much more you pay for inferior rubbish back home.

    For a change from the pool, we headed south to the coast.

    We took our first dip in the sea on a sandy beach on the edge of Selinunte and then dined on fish at a restaurant right on the sand, the catch of the day having arrived just moments before us.

    We then struck out for Agrigento and another spectacular sandy beach - we had it all to ourselves - before making for the area's big draw, the Valley of the Temples.

    The sheer scale of these Greek ruins is astonishing. Even the children, who - let's be honest - don't do history, were dumbstruck.

    Let the Yanks pretend they are the scions of Mafia dynasties. Here you can become part of Sicily's aristocracy, lovers of art and fine food, wine and conversation.

    All of which is now within much easier reach thanks to Ryanair, who fly in to Trapani on the west coast.

    If you're looking for a holiday within Europe that makes you feel like you're in a different world, sizzling Sicily ought to be high on your list.

    PATRICIA KANE TRAVEL FACTS Part of soloSicily's new collection of budget villas with pools, Fattoria Corleonese (sleeps 6) starts at [pounds sterling]1,158 per week, rising to [pounds sterling]1,990 in August). www.soloSicily.com.

    Fly with Ryanair to Trapani from London Stansted, from [pounds sterling]12.99 one way. New route from London Luton starts March 29, from [pounds sterling]14.99 one way. See www.ryanair.com For Avis, see www.avis.com

Condé Nast Traveller
  • The hottest new rentals in Europe: Corisia

    The hottest new rentals in Europe: Corisia




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    CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER: The city of Palermo is completely empty on Sundays, most of the year round. Everyone is at Mondello Beach - a lovely bay of golden sand, with sparkling blue water, a marina at one end and a hill topped with a church at the other.

    A 20-minute drive from Palermo, Mondello is a 19th-century seaside resort, built for Queen Beatrice in affluent times: big, Baroque houses along the seafront are half-hidden by palms and bougainvillea plants; and there are stylish beach bars and restaurants and, set back from the bustling seafront in quiet suburbs, there are some modern, newly-built villas. Villa Corisia is one of them; it has three bedrooms, its own pool, and spacious indoor and outdoor living-lounging-dining areas.

    From €2,075 a week. For more details or to book, contact Solo Sicily (www.solosicily.com)

    Article on the Condé Nast Traveller website

  • The hottest new rentals in Europe: Lilla & Viola

    The hottest new rentals in Europe: Lilla & Viola




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    CONDÉ NAST TRAVELLER: What to say about Taormina that hasn't already been said? It's the medieval Sicilian town that has inspired artists and poets and musicians for centuries. It's got the best view of Etna on the island, and a Greek amphitheatre, and lifts down the cliffs to its little beaches. It's one of the most romantic, beautiful places on earth.

    Overlooking Taormina beach, 50 metres away, are two apartments: Lilla and Viola. They are set in a private residence, up a flight of terracotta steps scented with pots of rosemary. Viola has two bedrooms, Lilla has one; both have big living rooms and dining areas with picture-window views from the table, and terraces that look out over the beach and the Ionian Sea (the view from Lilla's balcony is pictured here). Viola comes with a cook, if you want one.

    Lilla from €1,732 a week; Viola from €1,998. For more information, or to book contact Solo Sicily (www.solosicily.com) 

    Article on the Condé Nast Traveller website

Marie Claire
  • Hot Stuff: Elena

    Hot Stuff: Elena




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    MARIE CLAIRE: (...) Driving across the interior of the island towards the south coast and Agrigento is equally dramatic. A bridge that seems to go on forever lifts up the road as if we're flying through the arid valley. We pass small shabby farms and the sheep that make all that pecorino cheese, plus thousands upon thousands of olive trees. Then, just as I spot the sea in the distance, the landscape becomes gentler, greener and more open.
    Our next home is a palatial, six-bedroom porperty with grand modern arches. Villa Elena's pool is ridiculously huge, there are stylish black hammocks rocking under artfully planted palms, enormous comfy beds, a five star kitchen and an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven, It's like arriving at a slick boutique hotel minus the sniffy guests and overly trendy staff. Instead we get the rabble that is all our friends, hot from their long journeys from the UK and claiming they've already bought up all the booze in our local alimentari. Better still, they all love cooking and every evening the kitchen buzzes with masterchefs whipping up a feast. Suddenly, I realise – despite all the chaos and wrangling when you're trying to organise it – holidaying with a big group is just brilliant. (...)

Prima
  • Sizzle in Sicily: Sirena

    Sizzle in Sicily: Sirena




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    PRIMA: Sicily has a wilder, more rugged beauty than mainland Italy. The Sicilian sea is clean and warm and you can rent a beach lounger and watch the Sicilians at play.

    There is much to explore in the Scopello area on the unspoilt western side of the island. Take a trip to Segesta, where high on a mountain stands the majestic and amazingly intact ruins of an Ancient Greek Doric temple, one of the many treats for archaeology fans. Or try a nail-biting drive up to the medieval mountaintop town of Erice, with hairpin bends all the way. You'll be glad you made the journey when you enter this ancient town, all cobbles, winding lanes and more churches than people.
    Nature-lovers can visit the Zingaro Nature Reserve for a hike among rare plants and wildlife. And don't miss a day in Palermo, the elegant but shabby capital where, astonishingly, you'll see whole ghost squares bombed out in World War ? still in ruins. Restaurants dish up the Italian favourites of pizza, pasta and grilled meat and fish, as well as the Sicilian specialities of arancini (rice balls) and caponata (vegetable stew). Dinner generally costs around £ 15 per head.


    BOOK IT

    • soloSicily offers villas and boutique hotel accommodation with properties ranging from budget family villas with pools, to large country estates.
    • The Villa Sirena is a neat little house perched on a mountain just outside Scopello with breathtaking views across the valley of farms, mountains and the sea below.
    • One week at Villa Sirena starts at around £830 (sleeps four). Prima readers will get ten per cent off during June 2012. Visit www.solosicily.com and quote ref PR1.
    • Fly to Sicily with easyjet from £ 120 return. Visit www.easyjet.com
The Sunday Times
  • The Ultimate 100 Holidays: Giada

    The Ultimate 100 Holidays: Giada




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    THE SUNDAY TIMES: The best part of Sicily has, appropriately, always been the hardest part to reach. It lies in the island's bottom right-hand corner, embracing golden beaches, unspoiled baroque hill towns and the fascinating city of Syracuse. Then there's the food (seafood with an Arabic twist) and the local wine, negro d'Avola ('nuff said). This year, getting there won't be so hard: Ryanair has announced new flights into Comiso, from £65 return. SoloSicily (020 7097 1413, solosicily.com) has a week at the three-bedroom Giada, in Pozzallo, which has a beach at the end of the garden, from £245pp/£425pp.

Olive
  • Calamari and Marsala in Sicily: Badia Tower

    Calamari and Marsala in Sicily: Badia Tower




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    OLIVE: Head to pretty 16th-century Badia Tower, Marsala to get away from it all - it stands alone in the magnificent gardens of the large Badia estate. There's one double bedroom, kitchen, living/dining area and a large private terrace with barbecue outside. One week costs from € 750 (soloSicily.com). Just 1Km away is local restaurant Bacco's, in a 19th-century villa with views over the Egadi Islands. Book a table on the outdoor terrace and enjoy stunning sunsets and fresh calamari or Sicilian pasta with sardines and fennel (baccos.it).
    Close by are the sandy beaches of San Vito lo Capo and Marsala producing vineyards such as Cantine Florio (cantineflorio.it) and Carlo Pellegrino (carlopellegrino.it). Try real Sicilian sweets at Pasticceria De Gaetano in Piazza Mameli, 9, Marsala, where the most popular pastries and sweets include cassata (iced sponge cake with candied fruit), and cannoli (tube-shaped pastry filled with ricotta combined with vanilla, chocolate or pistacchio). Ryanair flights to Palermo from London Stansted (ryanair.com)

The Daily Telegraph
  • Sicily flower festival: Villas in Sicily

    Sicily flower festival: Villas in Sicily




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    THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: The Baroque town of Noto in southern Sicily will become even more splendid than usual next month during the Infiorata di Noto flower festival (May 13 to 15), when artists transform the main street with mosaic-style pictures filled with petals.

    The most convenient airport is Catania Fontanarossa, to which British Airways flies from London Gatwick. A budget alternative is to take a direct flight to Milan, then connect to Sicily using the Italian low-cost airline Wind Jet (www.volawindjet.it).

    The luxury villa specialist Solo Sicily (www.solosicily.com), has a property overlooking Noto (sleeping 10) from £3,620 for a week in May. For more information on the area read the recent article “Sicily’s New Dawn” by Telegraph Travel ’s Italy expert Lee Marshall.

    Article on The Daily Telegraph website

Sunday Mirror
  • Top 10 Easter Breaks: Amaltea

    Top 10 Easter Breaks: Amaltea




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    SUNDAY MIRROR: ...And there’s more chocolate on this sunny Italian island. With the seaside village of Pozzallo as your base, you can visit the nearby town of Modica, famous for its extraordinary spicy chocolate and colourful Easter processions. Sample the chocolate – made to an ancient Aztec recipe introduced here by the Spanish back in the 16th Century – at Antica Dolceria Bonajuto. On Easter Sunday itself, the spectacular Maronna Vasa Vasa double procession travels along two routes, culminating in a “meet and greet” for statues of the Virgin Mary and Christ, amid pealing bells and soaring doves.

    Week’s rental at Amaltea cottage in April from £895 (sleeps five) via Solo Sicily.

You and Your Wedding
  • Romance, Sicilian style: Apolline

    Romance, Sicilian style: Apolline




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    YOU AND YOUR WEDDING: And what a home it is! The Apolline is a spacious, stylish gem just steps from the Med that we found through luxury-villa specialists soloSicily. It’s a family-owned corner of paradise, and on arrival we’re welcomed with a basket of local goodies (jars of seafood delicacies and pasta sauces; Nutella-like pistachio cream spread) from proprietors Franco and Mariella – who also help us out with recommendations on restaurants, gelaterias and bakeries in the area.

    Article on You and Your Wedding website

The Observer
  • April highs 18C; sunshine hours 7: Badia Tower

    April highs 18C; sunshine hours 7: Badia Tower




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    THE OBSERVER: Turn up the heat on a romantic break at the 16th-century Badia Tower, on Sicily's west coast. Set in the lush gardens and grounds of an aristocratic estate, this self-catering tower is straight out of a fairy tale. Take an evening stroll around the nearby medieval town of Erice but remember: once the sun goes down you might need a cardigan.
    Getting there A three-night stay, with EasyJet flights from Gatwick to Palermo departing 18 April, costs £320pp, based on two sharing (solosicily.com, 020 7097 1413)

Irish Daily Mail
  • Time to join the flash Mob: Fattoria Corleonese

    Time to join the flash Mob: Fattoria Corleonese




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    IRISH DAILY MAIL: Time to join the flash Mob
    With the Mafia in full retreat, suddenly Sicily is in demand - by Patricia Kane 
    PIZZAS poured from the wood-fired oven but the chef still had time to hiss under his breath as he deftly swept them into cardboard boxes for take-away: ‘Turisti. Inglese.’
    Fascinated locals spun round for a look at the ‘English tourists’. Well, we were English-speaking, if not English, but we let it slide. Here we were in Corleone and it was nice to be a novelty attraction, nodding as the locals wished us ‘Buona sera’ as they left the restaurant.
    So why were we such a star turn in a town with a name recognised the world over thanks to Mario Puzo’s fictional God-father, who hailed from here and ended up with the town name as his surname through an Ellis Island mix-up?
    For a start, the real Corleone is also intertwined with the very real Mafia, the Corleonesi clan controlling crime in Sicily and the U.S. in a brutal war master-minded by Toto Riina, Boss of Bosses.
    So tourists come to Corleone, many of them Americans fancying that their fore¬fathers left here generations ago because of blood feuds and not just poverty. But most hop off the coach, pause long enough to buy a Godfather coppola – a kind of hat – as a souvenir and move on.
    We were different. We were staying nearby. But surely the heart of Mafia country in the hills 40 or so miles south of Palermo is an odd choice for a family holiday?
    Not if you want a real sense that you are in a foreign country. Sicily feels very different, even from the rest of Italy. The landscape is spec¬tacular and unique. Great peaks soar from fertile plains and all around Corleone rock pinnacles jut out from the soil like the bones of some long-dead beast. The ef¬fect is not unlike Monument Val¬ley, the backdrop for so many cow¬boy films.
    The roads wind and sweep through the hills offering tantalis¬ing vistas one minute and hem¬ming you in with great rockfaces the next. Villages cling to the top on great mounds of jagged rock.

    YOU’RE close to Africa here and that shows up in unusual ways. There are lots of chillies in the food and you’re likely to get a handful of sultanas thrown over your pizza – sounds crazy but it’s a stroke of genius.
    Corleone is handily situated close to bustling Palermo – well worth a visit but be prepared for a white-knuckle ride if you’re driving; its traffic is seriously daunting – and within striking distance of the seashore.
    Sicily’s western fringes boast some gorgeous beaches but the interior has much to offer. We stayed at the Fattoria Corleo¬nese, at the heart of a bustling working estate producing cheese and olive oil.
    Our apartment was part of a building that is still a family home built around a dramatic court¬yard. We had all mod cons – if we could just drag ourselves in off the sun-drenched patio...
    Our elegant hosts had provided us with a table groaning with local fruit, bread and their own magnificent pecorino cheese, made from sheep’s milk and with a glistening, salted crust. There was also a bottle of a luscious Tancredi wine from the Donna-fugata estates a few miles away.
    One of our apartment’s more unusual features was a corridor with gorgeous old artworks, each lit as if in a gallery.
    I strolled down for a look, wine in one hand and in the other, bread dripping olive oil and cheese so fresh I swear it bleated. Here was the taste of real Sicily.
    The draw of the swimming pool, set in an olive grove, was strong but there was exploring to be done so we took our Ford from Avis into Corleone, a few minutes away. The streets in the centre are an exciting jumble in the way only medieval towns can be. It’s great fun to wander, getting lost up little stairways and marvelling at the higgledy-piggledy way the town has grown. It feels like the invading Moors only just left.
    For all its Mafia links, Corleone is known as ‘the town of 100 churches’. It feels like there are that many, all old, most with amazing architecture and graphic statues of Christ on the cross.
    The hungry traveller can find everything from pizza and a beer to formal dining with tremendous local wines. The whites are refreshing on sunny days while the reds, often using the Nero D’Avola grape native to Sicily, are a complex taste treat.
    Prices? Expect to be shocked both by how little you’ll pay here and how much more you pay for inferior rubbish back home.
    We jumped in the car and headed south to the coast. We took our first dip in the sea on a sandy beach on the edge of Selinunte – just one of many Sicil¬ian towns that boast amazing Greek ruins – then dined on fish at a restaurant right on the sand, the catch of the day having arrived moments before us. And we struck out for Agrigento, mak¬ing for the area’s big draw, the Valley of the Temples. The sheer scale of these Greek ruins is astonishing. Even the children, who – let’s be honest – don’t do history, were dumbstruck.

    THERE are great pillars dashed to the ground as though by a giant, but other temples, notably the Temple of Concord, built around 430BC, are intact and picture-perfect.
    Let the Yanks pretend they are the scions of Mafia dynasties. Here you can become part of Sici¬ly’s aristocracy, lovers of art and fine food, wine and conversation.
    The postcard-perfect proper¬ties of SoloSicily, all classy and quirky, are all within much easier reach thanks to Ryanair, which flies in to Palermo. Suddenly Sicily, even the Sicily of luxury such as Santa Maria del Bosco and the flawless, effortless charm of Fattoria Corleonese, is much closer at hand.
    If you’re looking for a holiday within Europe that makes you feel you’re in a different world, sensational Sicily ought to be high on your list.

    TRAVEL FACTS  Part of soloSicily’s new collection of budget villas with pools, Fattoria Corleonese (sleeps six) starts at €1,358 per week, rising to €1,990 in August with soloSicily (www.soloSicily.com). Ryanair flies from Dublin to Palermo from March 27, with prices from ¤31.99 (www.ryanair.com). Avis has rental locations across Sicily (www.avis.com).

Ryanair
  • Zest of the West: Cantine Virzì

    Zest of the West: Cantine Virzì




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    The Trapani province in western Sicily is rich in scenic landscapes
    When Giuseppe Garibaldi landed in the port of Marsala, western Sicily, in 1860, he was in a hurry.
    Coming ashore with just 1,000 men, the revolutionary leader fought his way across country to unite Italy as a new nation state.
    Yet had he chosen to stay in this corner of the island a while longer he could have enjoyed some of its fine food and wine, beautiful rugged coastline and abundance of ancient sights. Of course, if he had then modern Italy would not be celebrating its 150th birthday this year.
    Once king and country had been established, Garibaldi did return to Marsala, paying a visit to the town’s famous Florio winery in 1862 – as a plaque on the wall testifies. “Some people say this place is like a museum, I say it’s more like a cathedral,” says Florio tour guide Marcelo, as he gestures towards its lofty ceilings. Giant 100-year-old casks tower above us, giving off a mellow aroma of oak and ageing wine.
    Marsala made its way onto the world stage in the 18th-century thanks to the ingenuity of British merchant John Woodhouse. A fortified wine similar to Port, its ability to withstand long ocean voyages made it ideal for export, and Marsala was soon being stocked on the ships of Nelson’s navy.[...]

    TRAPANI AND BEYOND
    Back in the city, Trapani offers a compact old town, with baroque facades and ancient churches to discover. It’s a town steeped in traditions, one of which can be observed at the Chiesa del Purgatorio. This church is filled with huge religious figures that are carried on the shoulders of the faithful during the city’s fervent Easter processions.
    Once you’ve seen Trapani, investigate the nearby countryside. The landscapes here are ethereal, with mountains capped by whisps of cloud framing sweeping valleys of fertile farmland. It’s not normally advisable on any trip to leave the highway and attempt to get lost, but in western Sicily it’s well worth going off the beaten track – and you won’t find a car or soul in sight.
    Various farmstays and villas offer a great way to wake up to this kind of vista each morning. Just off the main road between Trapani and Palermo we drop in at Cantine Virzì, a winery and boutique hotel run by the Spadafora family. Their former sharecroppers’ apartments overlook fields of vines, harvested each summer by hand. With space for just 14 guests and a location literally in the middle of nowhere, it’s a peaceful escape for a few days swimming in the pool and drinking the wines – they even leave a free bottle in your fridge!

    Where to stay
    CANTINE VIRZÌ
    This working winery is one of several unique accommodation options from soloSicily, a company that off ers tailor-made holidays and expert local advice on Sicily. Cantine Virzì has a pool, on-site chef and wonderful remote location on sprawling farmland near Segesta. Among soloSicily’s other properties are a villa with a pool in Scopello and a period aristocratic residence in Marsala.
    WWW.SOLOSICILY.COM

    Read full article on the Ryanair Magazine website

  • A Tower for two in Sicily: Badia Tower

    A Tower for two in Sicily: Badia Tower




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    RYANAIR MAGAZINE: Forget lavish hotel suites – this hideaway home is a dinky 16th- century turreted tower in the gardens of the Badia Estate near Marsala in western Sicily. Close to the sandy beaches of San Vito lo Capo and the Greek sites at Selinunte and Segesta, this makes for a relaxed weekend of romantic wandering. Featuring an alcoved bedroom, open-plan kitchen (for self-catering) and large private terrace, you also have the bars and enoteche of Marsala just 2km down the road.

    THREE-NIGHT STAY FROM £320 (€375), WWW.SOLOSICILY.COM

    Article on the Ryanair Magazine website

Cult
  • Il gusto etnico di Renata Plaja: Renèe

    Il gusto etnico di Renata Plaja: Renèe




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    C'è un dato di fatto: la casa di Renata assomiglia a Renata. C'è un gusto tutto personale che sbuca fuori da ogni tavolino in vimini, da ogni candela, dalle sedie in ferro e dalla cucina con le mattonelle antiche siciliane.
    Renata Plaja adora le isole siciliane. E si vede: la terrazza affacciata sul golfo, a Fraginesi, la dice lunga sull'affetto per i patii eoliani, bianchi di calce viva, con la bouganvillae che colora i muri, un banano che sbircia da una grata che chiude una delle finestre e i gerani dai colori accesi che accompagnano fino all'ingresso. Renata Plaja si è innamorata dell'Africa del Nord, Marocco per la precisione: ed allora ecco le lampade in ferro e i tagine in cotto, le ceramiche e i cuscini. Dalla finestra che illumina il soggiorno, entra il sole calante del tramonto: e colora tutto di una luce morbida e serena che si annida sui divani dalla base in muratura, sul camino che corre verso il soffitto, sui due sottobalconi che son diventati uno sparecchiatavola, tra le travi a vista che non servono a nulla ma sono belle.
    Renata, che vive con Francesco, il figlio di undici anni, fa l'arredatrice e fino a poco tempo fa guidava anche un negozio palermitano specializzato in arredi etnici: l'esperienza accumulata è tutta in questa casa di Fraginesi.
    Poco lontano, le case delle sorelle, una mano di Renata è arrivata anche lì, di fronte il prato con le sdraio: un'oasi leggera di tranquilla precarietà, tutto quello spazio che in città si può solo sognare.
    La casa non è grandissima, 130 mq su livelli sfalsati, Renata la affitta anche per brevi periodi, accompagnando i turisti in giro alla scoperta della zona, da Custonaci allo Zingaro, magari cucinando per loro una cena marocchina.
    Dalla zona soggiorno si passa alla cucina: quattro fuochi all'antica, con i cerchi in lega che restringono la fiamma, foderati di mattonelle siciliane recuperate nei mercatini (come alcune delle porte), il resto è moderno, ma non disturba. Dietro un piccolo patio per una cena in famiglia, e la cameretta di Francesco. Quattro giardini e si sale nelle stanze: due bagni decorati a stencil, due camere da letto che sanno di nonna, alla testiera del letto una tavola antica in legno dipinto. Insomma, una cuccia leggera, disegnata e arredata con cura, nata su un pezzo di terreno delle zie, impossibile da coltivare.
    Renata sta acquistando anche una casa più piccola a Scopello, da affittare per l'estate, il suo gusto è pronto a rimettersi in gioco.

I Love Sicilia
  • Le Ville e una notte: La Sicilia in affitto

    Le Ville e una notte: La Sicilia in affitto




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    I LOVE SICILIA: Dal mare alla montagna. Dalle città d’arte all’enogastronomia, la Sicilia per le proprie vacanze. E I love Sicilia vi propone le più belle ville da affittare nelle varie provincie.

    Chi, giunti in questo periodo dell’anno, non sogna di andare in vacanza e abbandonare agende, appuntamenti e scadenze? Bene, allora, seguiteci in questo viaggio virtuale (che starà a voi rendere reale) attraverso le più belle ville in affitto in Sicilia. Dal mare alla montagna, dalle città d’arte all’enogastronomia, ciascuna proposta, neanche a dirlo, porta con sé le bellezze di un’Isola dai mille volti. E dai mille profumi. Come quelli che avvolgono Villa d’Eraclea, ad Eraclea Minoa, nell’Agrigentino, inserita l’anno scorso dal Times tra le 20 ville più belle d’Europa. All’ombra di una lussureggiante vegetazione, poggiata delicatamente sulla cima di una collina che dà su una spiaggia privata, in un angolo pacifico della Sicilia sud-occidentale, Villa d’Eraclea apre il nostro tour all’insegna dello charme: design moderno, caratterizzato dalle tonalità vivaci dell’arancio, del giallo e del blu. Quindi, la chicca, rappresentata dalla piscina asimmetrica che sembra estendersi all’orizzonte diventando tutt’uno col mare. E sempre nella campagna agrigentina sono immerse le Ville Elena e Mariuccia, la prima col suo giardino mediterraneo, e la seconda immersa nelle campagne di Burgio. Ed è proprio questa parte di Sicilia che custodisce un tesoro unico al mondo, tappa obbligata per che scegliesse l’Agrigentino per le proprie vacanze. Tra le campagne dei mandorli è , infatti, immersa la Valle dei Templi, splendida testimonianza della civiltà greca.[…]

    The villas mentioned in the article are:
    Tanguera
    , Perla Nera, Farm Campagna, Elena, Casa d’Eraclea, Mariuccia

  • Due Ville Siciliane nella top 20 del Times: Casa D'Eraclea

    Due Ville Siciliane nella top 20 del Times: Casa D'Eraclea




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    I LOVE SICILIA: Stile moderno e colori mediterranei per strutture che si affacciano su paesaggi da cartolina. Sono queste le caratteristiche che hanno permesso a due ville siciliane di sbaragliare ogni concorrenza ed essere inserite dal Times tra le venti strutture più belle d'Europa.
    Profumo di zagare e gelsomini avvolge la villa "Il Gabbiano", a Cefalù, incastonata su un costone roccioso, con l'accesso privato al mare. Posizione che garantisce a questa villa una serie di incredibili viste panoramiche: il Mar Tirreno si estende in tutte le direzioni, il profilo della costa serpeggia languido a est, mentre a ovest si trova il porto di Cefalù e il monolitico promontorio calcareo che domina il paese. All'ombra di una lussureggiante vegetazione, invece, si nasconde "Villa Eraclea" ad Eraclea Minoa (nelle foto), poggiata delicatamente sulla cima di una collina che dà su una spiaggia privata, in un angolo pacifico della Sicilia sud-occidentale. Il design della casa è deliziosamente moderno, con angoli simmetrici che caratterizzano l'esterno e vivaci tonalità dell'arancio, del giallo e del blu che danno un tono deciso all'interno. Pareti bianche e arancio fanno da sfondo a poltrone blu e luminosi scaffali in legno. La cucina dipinta con i toni del giallo è dolcemente celata dietro una parete diagonale e il tavolo si trova di fronte. Lo stesso tema vivace e colorato viene riproposto nelle quattro camere da letto, sapientemente distribuite fra i due piani della casa. Incantevoli le cascate d'acqua della piscina asimmetrica che sembra estendersi all'orizzonte diventando tutt'uno con il blu del mare. Due angoli di paradiso per vacanze da sogno.

Piscineoggi
  • Piscina con Vista: Renèe

    Piscina con Vista: Renèe




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    PISCINEOGGI: Una piscina che gareggia con lo splendore naturale del Golfo di Castellamare; una realizzazione che mette in mostra sobrietà ed eleganza, risultato di una accurata scelta progettuale di forme, colori e materiali.

    Una villa che sorge su una lieve altura , dalla quale lo sguardo è libero di spaziare su uno degli scenari più rappresentativi dell'Italia del Sud: il golfo di Castellamare, in Sicilia. L'azzurro luminoso della piscina si rivela proprio a ridosso dell'abitazione, della quale sono state riprese le linee essenziali e la raffinatezza, grazie ad alcune scelte architettoniche calibrate sin dalla fase progettuale. Concepita affinché assumesse una foggia regolare, non invasiva, la piscina è stata concretizzata in uno specchio d'acqua di forma rettangolare di 55 mq e 70 mc di capacità. La vasca è realizzata tramite una tecnologia mista, con sfondo in calcestruzzo e pareti in acciaio zincato di altezza 1,25 m, con una squadra in lamiere montata sul pannello che permette il montaggio del canale del bordo a sfioro, anch'esso in acciaio zincato. In riferimento a quest'ultimo, elemento distintivo è il controllo automatico del livello, con sonde elettroniche e sistema di reintegro automatico, completato con dispositivo “troppo pieno” dedito allo smaltimento di eventuale acqua in eccesso.
    La profondità è costante – 1,25 m – con scala laterale realizzata sul lato lungo, ideale per agevolare discesa e risalita in acqua e concedersi momenti di completo relax. Il rivestimento, in liner pvc armato con fibre Trevira (spessore 1,5 mm) e termosaldato in opera, è contraddistinto da un effetto mosaico, le cui diverse tonalità donano particolare luminosità all'impianto. L'insieme è reso ancora più suggestivo del bianco candore della residenza, che contrasta con l'azzurro dell'acqua e il verde intenso del prato, lasciato volutamente spontaneo. La vegetazione presente è infatti caratterizzata da piante tipiche dell'area mediterranea, affiancate da piante ornamentali: yucche, draceni, palme, alloro e soprattutto fiori di stagione, che contribuiscono con i loro cromatismi a evidenziare la dinamicità infusa al giardino dal trascorrere delle stagioni.

    La scelta del bordo a sfioro su tutti e quattro i lati crea l'illusione di uno specchio d'acqua da sempre inserito nell'ambiente.

    La scalinata di accesso e la pavimentazione in cotto siciliano contribuiscono ad accentuare l'eleganza della piscina.

News
News

Our beachfront collection keeps getting better! Introducing Villa Giada



We love adding new villas to our collection, especially when they are as incredible as villa Giada. The perfect property for families villa Giada offers a beautiful large garden equipped with an outdoor kitchen, pizza oven, bbq, dining area and an unforgettable sea view to boot. The highlight of the property is its direct access to a secluded beach, perfect for lazy sunny days.

Enjoy the privacy of villa Giada whilst taking advantage of its proximity to the stunning baroque towns of Noto, Ragusa, Modica, Syracuse and the beautiful Vendicari Nature Reserve.

Click here to learn more about villa Giada

soloSicily Meets High Tech with New Villa Hydra



Hydra is the perfect union of beauty, efficiency and luxury.

This large villa, just a 10-minute drive from the wonderful San Gregorio Beach, boasts incredible views and an unmatchable pool. Enjoying the sunset from Hydra's infinity pool is magical, the panorama is truly astounding; and in addition, the chromatic lights of the pool and adjoining jacuzzi are enchanting.

Not only does Hydra feature some incredible amenities such as a fitness centre and a whirlpool bathtub in the master bedroom, it is also super energy efficient. Hydra has actually won the KNX award for energy efficiency.

Click here to learn more about Hydra.

Capinera: A New Taormina Villa Joins the soloSicily Collection!



SoloSicily couldn't be more excited to have another Taormina villa available. Capinera has the perfect Taormina location. It is in walking distance from restaurants, coffee bars and pubs as well as a 2-minute walk from both the beach and the cable car.

Not only does Capinera have a great location right in the centre of Taormina, it also has a marvellous sea view. The patio, equipped with comfortable couches and chairs, is the perfect place to sit back and enjoy the majestic Mediterranean. With 2 double rooms and a kids room with bunk beds, Capinera is also great for families.

Click here to take a tour of Capinera.

New Villa Entry 2013: Welcome Villa Nabila!



soloSicily was lucky enough to discover this fantastic villa just in time for summer! Why is it a perfect summer villa? Easy, because of its location and its splendid pool!

Nabila is located in the heart the province of Catania in the charming, un-touristic town of Milo. Nabila is great for people who want to get to know the amazing Etna wine region. In fact, Nabila was once a winery. It has since been refurbished and today is an elegant villa. But this villa is not just for wine lovers. It is perfect for anyone who wants to visit some of Sicily's best destinations like Mt. Etna, Taormina and Syracuse with a peaceful getaway to escape to at the end of every day.

Click here to take a tour of Nabila.

New Villa Announcement: Presenting the fabulous Viola & Lilla!



soloSicily is pleased to announce two new holiday homes. Viola & Lilla are sister properties, both overlooking the gorgeous Isola Bella in Taormina.

These two holiday homes, which can also be rented in tandem, are perfect for couples or small families. Their location could not be more ideal. In just 1-minute you can arrive on foot to the beach where you will find everything you need for a flawless holiday: beach chair/umbrella rentals, Aeolian Island boat excursions and seaside restaurants with fantastic local dishes. Also, Viola & Lilla are just a 5-minute walk away from the cable car that takes you right to the Taormina city centre.

Click here to take a tour of Viola and here for Lilla.

New soloSicily Promotion May to July 2013



There is so much to do in Sicily from May to July! soloSicily has just announced a new promotion that is sure to have you considering Sicily for your holiday from May to June.

When you book a 2-week holiday stay, between May 4 to July 27, in one of soloSicily's specially selected villas, receive 10% off your entire stay.

Bookings must be made before June 1st.

For further details, click here

Exotic garden and sandy beach on your doorstep: introducing Amaltea



We are delighted to present Amaltea, our new entry villa situated in the Southeastern part of Sicily. With direct access to a secluded white sandy beach and surrounded by a manicured lawned garden dotted with exotic palm trees, Amaltea makes for the ideal beach gateway and offers the perfect romantic backdrop to relax and recharge your batteries.

An outdoor covered kitchen & barbecue deck provide room and every facility for outdoor cocktails, al fresco dining, reading or simply a quiet snooze.

Amaltea is located in Pozzallo, a seaside village popular for long stretches of white sandy beach, very close to pristine Nature Reserves and fabulous baroque towns such as Modica, Noto, Ragusa and Scicli.

For further information and reservations, click here.

Easter Savings and Spring Sunshine in Sicily



Get a real flavour of Sicily this Easter and enjoy pleasant spring sunshine all over the island. soloSicily offers savings up to 10% on a selection of villas throughout March and April.

With warm spring sunshine, Easter treats and spectacular processions in almost every village and town, March and April are perfect months to visit Sicily.

Book between March 16 & April 27 2013 and you'll benefit from inspiring savings on several properties situated throughout the island.

For further details, click here

Celebrating Something Special in 2013?



Looking for somewhere special for a big group celebration but reluctant to commit to a full week? soloSicily has a selection of properties that are ideal for large parties and available for flexible short stays.

- Between the city and the sea: The 8-bedroom villa Olivetana is in a great location for a short break, less than half-an-hour from Palermo airport, a short drive to Palermo city centre and just a five minute drive to the lively Mondello beach resort. The villa is located in an elegant residential area less than one kilometre from the bars, night clubs and restaurants at Sferracavallo and Mondello, tailor made for anyone in the group looking to party the night away.

Perfect for celebration breaks, the villa has a large table indoors and out for entertaining and offers a personal chef service. 

Vineyard stay: Stay on a working winery in western Sicily and enjoy a wine holiday with a group of friends (enough space to accommodate 14), with independent accommodation and without the restriction of daily organised tours and excursions. Find out about wine-making during a stay at Cantine Virzì, a working winery on the Spadafora estate which is situated on the famous 'Strade del Vino'. Enjoy visiting some of Sicily’s greatest treasures including the Greek ruins at Selinunte and Segesta and the magnificent Norman cathedral at Monreale. Alternatively, continue the wine-making theme with a trip to Marsala and specifically the Cantine Florio.

Stay in a one-bedroom apartment, with views over the vineyards and shared use of a large pool and dine together in the restaurant. 

Aristocratic estate: Villa Barresa is the archetypical old-style aristocratic villa, set in the midst of a vast citrus plantation in the province of Syracuse in eastern Sicily. Indoors, there are several living and sitting-rooms but it is ultimately the magnificent tropical plant and palm tree-filled garden that differentiates this villa. Additional services on offer include daily cleaning and an optional chef service which allow you to sit by the pool or under the cool of the covered gazebo or terrace and drink in the atmosphere while someone else sees tidies up and whips up gourmet meals for you.

HOT VILLAS FOR 2013: Book early for the best choice in Sicily



Looking for the perfect villa break next summer? Book early and get the best choice of beach or rural villas from soloSicily’s 2013 collection.

Countryside hideaway: Close to the forested Nebrodi Mountains and with unrivalled views over seemingly endless olive and orange groves and beyond, the Aeolian Islands, Il Vignale combines the very best of elegance and sophistication with rural life. The large garden is dotted with several shady terraces furnished with benches, armchairs and sofas and a scattering of huge terracotta and glass jars; and a stunning pool and unexpected displays of arty mosaics introduce a vivid splash of colour. The interior of the four-bedroom villa has a warm rustic feel, with wonderful arched stone walls and terracotta tiling.

The villa is close to several picturesque seafront villages, including Santo Stefano di Camastra, renowned for its hand-painted ceramics. 

The best of beach and city life: The newest addition to soloSicily’s programme is in the exclusive Mondello beach resort in western Sicily, a great location for families who want to combine sightseeing with a beach holiday. This lively resort is the perfect spot for people-watching over a morning cappuccino, a plate of the freshest of seafood or an early evening ‘gelato’ and a firm favourite with Palermitans thanks to its long curving sandy beaches.

Corisa is a three-bedroom villa with floor-to-ceiling glass doors leading out to a garden with a large pool and well-placed for trips to the beach or into Palermo city centre. The Norman Cathedral at Monreale is also close by or, a little further afield, the medieval hilltop town of Erice and the Greek ruins at Segesta and Selinunte.  

Best for large groups: If you need somewhere for several families or a big group of friends, the earlier you book the better. With eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a large well-equipped kitchen, one of the high spots of Casalnuovo is the huge amount of indoor and outdoor space. In addition to a massive open-plan living-room with several seating areas, there is a games room, with pool table, table tennis and table football. Situated at Tindari, north west Sicily, the villa is surrounded by a 15-acre estate, with marked tracks and trails, and is close to the fascinating Graeco-Roman Santuario di Tindari settlement and amphitheatre.

New entry villa with pool in Mondello: introducing Corisia



Experience a superb holiday at Corisia, our new chic villa situated in the most exclusive area of Mondello, close to a glorious sandy beach. Live like a celebrity in a magical context; you can choose to dine by the pool after a refreshing dip or to spend long hours of relaxing on the furnished terrace. Corisia offers a peaceful context, yet close to the vibrant heart of Palermo. Our new property is at very short distance from the sandy beach in Mondello and from an excellent selection of sea front fish restaurants, bars pizzerias and shops.

For further information and reservations, click here.

SICILIAN TREATS: Festive house-party holidays in Sicily



Swap mince pies and Christmas pudding for 'panettone' and other Sicilian Christmas delicacies and enjoy mild temperatures and a house-party style atmosphere on a Christmas or New Year break in Sicily. Villa specialist soloSicily has availability at several large villas, some with games rooms, private chefs and maid service, throughout coastal and inland Sicily.

Bookings for holidays (minimum one-week) taken between 15 December and 12 January will receive a free food and wine hamper.

Take time out to explore the real Sicily: visit the magnificent ‘presepi’ (nativity scenes), feast on Sicilian Christmas delicacies such as 'torrone' (nougat), 'buccellati', large round biscuits filled with almonds, pistachios, figs and other dried fruits, and 'cobaita', a sort of nougat made with honey and sesame seeds, and take time out to explore the real Sicily, away from the coast.

Available villas include:
Casalnuovo is the ultimate house-party villa, with eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms and a large well-equipped kitchen. There is a huge open plan living-room with several seating areas and an open fire, and, in the basement, a games room, with pool table, table tennis and table football. Make your own pizza in the wood-burning pizza oven or take advantage of the many excellent local trattorie in the un-touristy neighbouring medieval villages of Montalbano Elicona and Basicò. The fascinating Graeco-Roman Santuario di Tindari settlement and amphitheatre is nearby or simply enjoy walks, along marked tracks and trails, through the 15-acre estate that surrounds the villa.

Ai Mulini is an 18th century farmhouse close to the village of Polizzi Generosa and the Madonie mountains nature reserve. Visit Isnello where the Night of the Luminari is celebrated with the traditional lighting of large bonfires on 24 December to keep the baby Jesus warm.

Do you like stunning sea views & pool? Take a look at Palummara



Brand new to our portfolio, Palummara sits in peaceful silence on top of a panoramic hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the charming coast of southern Sicily. Beautifully fitted and furnished, Palummara won't fail to impress you with its panoramic sea front terraces, a gazebo-covered meditation zone, a Zen-like Mediterranean garden and plenty of shady nooks to relax in.

Torre Salsa Nature Reserve is just a short drive away from the villa and boasts some of the wildest and most pristine beaches in all Sicily.

For further information and reservations, click here.

New soloSicily villa with stunning sea views



We are so glad to welcome La Benvoluta, the latest addition to our portfolio. Our new villa has amazing views from Taormina across the sea, Isola Bella and round to Mt. Etna. The property has a panoramic terrace furnished with comfortable sun-loungers, a dining table with chairs, sunshades and offers stunning views of Taormina bay, stretching as far as eye can see.

The property sleeps up to 11 guests and is at walking distance from the beautiful beach of Isola Bella and a cable car which connects Taormina with its coastal area.

For further information and reservations, click here

A villa with three pools: Cecilia Estate has the wow factor!



We are delighted to introduce a new, magnificent luxury villa to our portfolio: Cecilia Estate. Set in Trabia, a picturesque coastal town with a good selection of fine bars and restaurants, Cecilia Estate is surrounded by magnificent palm-filled gardens, has a shady gazebo and a beautiful covered outdoor kitchen. There are three separate pools, each on different levels, and direct beach access from the property. Blending elegantly modern and traditional style, Cecilia Estates includes a Main House and two charming independent cottages looking out onto an impeccably maintained botanic garden bursting with lush palm trees, bushes and giant pines.

For further information and reservations, click here

A pool with view: introducing Casalnuovo



soloSicily welcomes Casalnuovo, a new entry villa situated on a 15-acre organic estate with olive groves, fruit and almond trees and magnificent views of rolling Sicilian countryside. Casalnuovo is an eco-friendly 8-bedroom house (sleeps 15) with panoramic views of the countryside rolling down to the sea, encompassing the landscapes from Tindari on one side, to the Laghetti di Marinello, the spectacular Tyrrhenian sea and as far as Aeolian Islands. The villa has a stunning pool, an outdoor wood-burning pizza oven and a games room complete with pool table, table football and table tennis.

For more information and reservations, click here.

soloSicily gives nights free at stunning Sicily Villas



Villa specialist soloSicily launches a new sensational promotion. Stay in a private Sicily villa between May 19 & July 14 and benefit from an extra night free. The promotion includes a welcome pack with wine and champagne, can you imagine a more perfect way to start your wonderful holidays in Sicily?

So what are you waiting for? Your amazing summer holidays are just one click away.

For all offer details, click here.

New stunning entry villa with pool close to Mt. Etna



The latest addition to soloSicily's portfolio is Le Dimore dell'Etna, a stunning property sleeping up to twenty in the village of Trecastagni, between Mt.Etna and Taormina.

The property consists of a three-bedroom main house and six independent chalet-style cottages, all gathered around a wonderful pool and extensive garden.

The pool area is equipped with a four-seat Finnish sauna and outside shower while a gym facility, with a range of quality exercise equipment, is available between the main house and the cottages.

Part of the extensive land behind the property is used to grow fruit and vegetable while, further afield, a small chicken coop provides plenty of delicious fresh eggs every day.

For further information and to check availability, click here.

Large pool and stunning views over Monreale's hills: introducing Il Poggio, soloSicily's new property



We are delighted to introduce to you Il Poggio, our new entry villa set amidst the Conca D'Oro (Palermo's Golden Shell) and a glorious Tyrrhenian Sea. This elegantly furnished and fitted Villa has a stunning private pool, a covered barbecue area and fully-equipped stables with eight purebred horses. Enjoy a ride on horseback and explore Monreale's woods all around the property. Horseback riding services are available at no additional cost. For further information and to check availability, click here.

New restyled Sicilian recipes web page



We have brought a fresh look to our Sicilian dishes and recipes web page with new helpful interactive features! Now you can easily print or email your favorite recipes to a friend with one simple click. Check it out now and pick a traditional Sicilian recipe for today's lunch or dinner, click here.

Introducing Villa Lory: the latest addition to soloSicily's portfolio



We are proud to introduce to you Villa Lory, a seafront property with private spa area and direct access to the beach. This stunning six-bedroom property boasts sea views from every bedroom (all en-suite and two of them with private balconies) and a garden gate leading directly on to a fantastic sandy beach. The spa area includes a small gym, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. What are you waiting for? Check availability and prices today, click here

SoloSicily launches Travel Agents Area



SoloSicily launches Travel Agents Area, a new website section dedicated to soloSicily Travel Trade Partners. Once registered, you may login the service using your personal Username and Password, download our pdf portfolio and email it to your client. This service aims at facilitating Travel Agents' job allowing them to decide autonomously the best rate for their client.

For further information, click here.

Easter Holiday Savings 2012



Experience Easter the sicilian way! soloSicily offers a 10% discount for all NEW bookings before 31 March 2012. Book one of our high quality villas and feel the fascination of sicilian Easter traditions!

Click here for further information

soloSicily launches Early Booking Discounts on holiday villas



Browse our list of hand-picked holiday villas in Sicily and enjoy soloSicily Early Booking Discounts. Are you planning to stay one week only? Stay a bit longer and save money! With our special offers, you would get big discounts for two-week long stays at our amazing holiday villas in Sicily.

To read all terms and conditions and to see the villas and apartments included in the offer, click here.

Bianca - New entry villa in Scopello



We are very excited to introduce to you a fabulous new villa in our portfolio.

Bianca is a wonderful seafront property set in Cala Bianca (white cove), the most evocative among Scopello's districts – with private pool and lush Mediterranean garden. The outdoor waterfront patio, fully-furnished, is perfect to dine outside. A path leads down to a paradise: striking beaches, white coves, inlets and crystalline blue waters. Bianca boasts a panoramic position that just couldn't be any better.

New entry villa with pool in Scopello - Margherita



We are proud to expand our portfolio to offer you only the finest villas in Sicily.

Margherita is a panoramic seafront villa with pool standing on the crest of a hill overlooking the gulf, with striking views of rocky stacks, pristine bays and beaches. The property has two covered patios, an equipped barbecue area and a panoramic pool area fully furnished with comfortable sun-loungers. Located at walking distance from the medieval village of Scopello, Villa Margherita boasts an excellent location to discover all specialties this area is blessed with.

New entry villa in Avola with stunning infinity pool



We are glad to welcome villa Elisa on our portfolio, a wonderful 3-bedroom property set in Avola at walking distance from a sandy beach. Close to Nature Reserves and baroque-style towns such as Noto, Modica and Ragusa, villa Elisa boasts an enormous pool, lush grounds and a gorgeous games room with billiards and ping pong tables. Perfect for families and groups, this villa has what it takes to spend wonderful holidays in Sicily.

Cous Cous Fest 2011: New soloSicily video on youtube



Not just food at the Cous Cous Fest, the main Sicilian culinary event held annually in San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily. The Festival focuses on a competitive cook-off with chefs coming from all over the world preparing delicious couscous recipes. The festival features a rich entertaining program including multicultural workshops, music, belly dancing, food and wine samples and the gastronomic village where visitors can taste delicious couscous from countries like Senegal, Brazil, Turkey, Ivory Coast, Palestine etc.

France is the country winning the 14th edition of Cous Cous Fest 2011.

soloSicily attended this year's festival and summed up the most exciting happenings in a very inspiring video-clip.
Visit soloSicily youtube channel to watch Cous Cous Fest video, click here. 

New stylish entry villa on Mount Etna



Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, offers unique landscapes and exciting excursions along its active craters. Traditional lava-stone mountain villages perched all over its flanks are so unique and special you certainly will enjoy visiting all of them.

Casa Vittoria is our new entry villa set in Pedara, one of the most fascinating villages set at the foot of Mount Etna. Casa Vittoria has stylish interiors and decors, a striking pool area and sleeps large groups up to 11 guests. The property is an ideal gateway to explore Mt. Etna and – at the same time – is also very close to spectacular sandy beaches.

New seafront entry villa with striking pool



Oro Blu is our new marvelous entry villa in Sicily suitable for all those looking for relaxing holidays in Sicily in a peaceful place close to sandy beaches. This fabulous property rises on a panoramic coastal hilly area with never-ending sea views of the bay surrounding Trabia, a charming seaside village close to Cefalù. The pool area is equipped with an outdoor chromatic shower while the pool has a relaxing hydro-massage system. Dare to ask for more?

10/07/2011

Broader portfolio



soloSicily broadens its portfolio with a new stunning villa with pool set in Milazzo.
Vittoriana, an elegant two level villa with vaulted ceilings and four bedrooms, has an indoor gym with training equipment and sauna.
You’ll fall in love with the spectacular Jacuzzi bathtub upstairs…
The pool area is great to swim and sunbath in total privacy. Villa Vittoriana stands between Sicily mainland and the Aeolian Islands, a spectacular archipelago of seven amazing islands all to discover.

To find out more about Villa Vittoriana, click here.

soloSicily su I Love Sicilia



Gentili Proprietari,
Il mensile I Love Sicilia dedica ampio spazio alle vacanze presso ville di lusso in Sicilia, scegliendo quelle che - a loro esclusivo avviso - meritano particolare attenzione per location, rifiniture e cura nei dettagli.
In particolare, I Love Sicilia sceglie ben sei tra le ville di lusso di soloSicily, accompagnando con foto suggestive una descrizione esauriente di ogni singola proprietà e dedicando la copertina frontale a una di esse (Casa d'Eraclea).
Le sei ville scelte da I Love Sicilia per l'articolo in questione sono state: Casa d'Eraclea, Elena, Farm Campagna, Mariuccia, Perla Nera e Tanguera.
L'articolo su I Love Sicilia porterà una conseguente maggiore visibilità al sito web di soloSicily così come a tutte le ville in portfolio.
Teniamo a ricordare che - a turno - tutte le ville in catalogo vengono periodicamente proposte attraverso i nostri canali promozionali (Newsletter, articoli sulla stampa estera, comunicati stampa, social network ecc...)
Con l'augurio di continuare a darvi sempre il massimo della visibilità sia in Italia che all'estero, Vi ringraziamo porgendoVi i nostri più sinceri saluti.
Il Team soloSicily

New stunning pool at Sea Gate



A new stunning pool is available at Sea Gate. Take a look at the latest pictures we took at this seafront villa and see how even more charming it looks like now. Lounge by the pool enjoying the most extraordinary views of Eraclea Minoa sandy beach standing just in front of your eyes!

soloSicily... in German



We are delighted to announce the launch of soloSicily German language website which has been many months in the planning in order to acknowledge the growing number of customers from both Germany and Austria. Modelled on soloSicily.com site, our German website includes all features and tools German-speaking users need, in order to choose and book our luxury villas in Sicily.

To visit soloSicily German website now, click here 

soloSicily has the best deal!



Take advantage of 10% discount applied randomly on different villas selected every month, an excellent opportunity for you to book our luxury Sicily villas at unbeatable rates. Check this amazing deal and save up to €495 with our special savings.
Take a look at the incredible villas selected this month:

Villa Mariuccia, a heaven of peace with stylish interiors and ample outdoor settings with views across green valleys.

Villa Olga, our seafront gem dipped in splendid vineyards and boasting incredible panoramic views over the southern coast.

Villa Costanza, a wonderful luxury villa in Cefalù close to the beach, shops and restaurants, nestled on a hill for full privacy and silence.

Villa Musa, our handpicked seafront luxury jewel finely furnished with unique antiques and precious 18th century paintings.

To view our special deal catalogue, click here.

Previous Issues of soloSicily monthly Newsletter



soloSicily monthly Newsletter is the most resourceful tool to get inspired for your amazing holidays in Sicily. Missed a copy? soloSicily created a page where you can find all of the editions we have published previously so all you have to do is just click on the date of the issue you would like to read in order to display it.
To view soloSicily Newsletter Archive, click here.
To sign up for soloSicily monthly Newsletter, click here

soloSicily new website section dedicated to Sicilian recipes



Food is a fundamental way to discover Sicily great traditions and customs, as Sicilian cuisine shows plenty of traces of all cultures which settled down in the island over the last centuries. That is why, soloSicily chose to gather only the most traditional Sicilian recipes – some of them even passed on to us by celebrity Chefs – and make them available through its website pages. All recipes we selected, are easy to prepare and will surely add a fresh touch of Sicily to your meals.
To view our new Sicilian recipes section, click here.

International film director Emanuele Crialese at soloSicily Villa Tanguera



International screenwriter and film director Emanuele Crialese spent an early spring holiday in Sicily at villa Tanguera, a tasty modern-style heaven of peace located in Mondello, Palermo’s most popular sandy beach. Truly enthusiastic about Tanguera’s outer and inside spaces as well as its ultra modern facilities, Crialese says:

“…The intimacy of Villa Tanguera, with striking views of wonderful Monte Pellegrino – St Rosalia’s mountain (Palermo’s Patron Saint), facilitates concentration and creativity.
The villa owner set up two amazing hi-fi systems to listen to music, similar to those of a recording studio. Villa Tanguera is a place I strongly recommend to anyone looking for silence and privacy.
Emanuele Crialese.”


Here at soloSicily, we truly hope that – during his stay in Tanguera – Crialese found the right inspiration for his next successful movie.

New stunning entry villa at walking distance from the sea.



soloSicily is proud to present Apolline, a wonderful seafront new entry villa set a few quick steps from one of Porto Palo di Capo Passero’s most beautiful sandy beaches.
Apolline boasts a tasty modern-style design, a large covered patio for relaxing al fresco meals and an extensive barbecue area.
Apolline is located close to three amazing bogs hosting migrating flamingos and ducks, ideal for bird-watching. Porto Palo di Capo Passero is also close to unique Baroque towns like Noto, Syracuse, Modica and Scicli.

Leticia: New entry seafront villa in Scopello



Leticia is our new seafront villa in Scopello, featuring two furnished covered terraces, an amazing pool/Jacuzzi area with solarium, barbecue area, outdoor kitchen with wood-fired oven. Enjoy panoramic views of the sea while sipping a cold aperitif under a shady patio. Take a closer look at this extraordinary villa. It has what it takes to be your next holiday villa in Sicily! 

New entry seafront Villas in Sicily



soloSicily continues to expand its portfolio with addition of three new exceptional seafront villas in Sicily.

Casa Chiara is a beautiful Mediterranean house set in Favignana, the largest of the Aegadian Islands. Casa Chiara boasts an amazing garden and a stunning pool area. The pool has something in store for you: you can change pool light colours through a remote control and create different amazing atmospheres every time. Imagine swimming in a red, yellow, purple or blue pool while staring at Favignana scenic landscapes.

With its elegant rooms, indoor touches of nature and stunning features, Nilla will surely give you strong and intense emotions. Enjoy outdoor meals under a covered terrace or relax reading a book in the garden amid rose bushes and palm trees. Nilla is located in Seccagrande, close to wonderful sandy beaches. Agrigento Valley of the Temples is just at 40 minutes drive while Sciacca, one of the most visited among Sicily southern towns, is at just 20 minutes drive.

Fall head over heels watching the most striking sea view ever from Sea Gate’s pink broad arches! The full-length window of the downstairs double bedroom overlooks the sea and is screened by lush shrubs. Sea Gate is surrounded by beautiful orange and olive groves and grants full privacy as well as peace and silence. Its wow-factor panoramic terrace, ideal for soaking up the sun and relax, boasts spectacular sea views on the background.

New entry villa in Santo Stefano di Camastra



New entry charming villa on soloSicily portfolio: Il Vignale, a stunning villa with an amazing pool dipped in lush olive and orange groves, evokes magic atmospheres and is the ideal setting to unwind and relax in full peace and privacy. From Il Vignale, you can easily reach the Aeolian Islands, Cefalù and many other places on interest in Sicily. The closest beach is at just 10 minutes drive.

New Wide Range of Stunning Villas in Sicily



soloSicily broadens its portfolio with three new stunning villas set within strategic areas all over Sicily.

Ai Mulini – an eighteenth century farmhouse rising on the picturesque rolling foothills of the Madonie Mountains National Park – is a great place to walk and relax admiring breathtaking views over Sicilian Apennines. Enjoy alfresco meals under a panoramic sheltered veranda overlooking the amazing pool surrounded by an explosion of colorful flowers mesmerizing your senses with their delicate scent.

Leave everyday stress behind and abandon yourself to the charming jasmine fragrances of Borgo degli Aranci. This amazing seafront farmhouse dipped in a vast balmy orange grove in Fiumefreddo di Sicilia overlooks superb Taormina sea and hills on a side and a colossal smoke puffing Mount Etna on the other for out-of-the-ordinary views. Fiumefreddo is a picturesque Etnean town with suggestive black lava-stone buildings close to the beach and located at just 10 Km from Taormina.

Sicily’s Southern coast treasures flamboyant Baroque-style churches and palaces as well as a wonderful turquoise Mediterranean Sea and sandy beaches. Coralli’s exotic style – influence by the close North African coast – certainly doesn’t go unnoticed with its spires and domes delineating its harmonious outline. Tear yourself away from Sampieri close sandy beach and visit the evocative Unesco world heritage Noto Valley with its several Baroque art gems.

Visiting Sicily in February



Enjoy Sicily charm in February and take advantage of several benefits a winter holidays in the island has to offers. Cool sunny days allow pleasant tours of archaeological and historical sites, fewer crowds and better service at restaurants, open ski resorts at Mount Etna and Madonie Mountains. February is also a month full of remarkable events and festivals all over Sicily.
Ten-day lasting Almond Blossom Festival in Agrigento – an annual Folklore major event starting with a suggestive torchlight procession at the Temple of Concorde – features several world-known folk groups challenging in Agrigento public squares and streets. Saint Agatha's Feast Day in February is celebrated in Catania with one of the largest religious processions all over the world. At dawn, Saint Agatha’s statue housing her relics, is placed in a silver carriage and pulled up Monte San Giuliano by 5,000 men. Saint Agatha’s two-day lasting celebrations include plenty of eating and drinking and a huge fireworks display at the end.
 

soloSicily attends WTM 8 -11 November 2010



SoloSicily awaits you at the World Travel Market - the premier global event for the travel industry taking place in London Excell from 8th to 11th November 2010 - at the Italian Tourist Board (ENIT) stand.

Our Staff will be happy to present you our new “Blue Edition” brochure which includes a stunning collection of self-catering villas in Sicily, a selection of unique apartments and hand-picked Sicily boutique hotels.

Don’t miss the appointment to collect your own copy and be the first to book your unique dream villa in Sicily!

Click here to visit the Website Event

Swap Your Pies for Panettone



Escape from the UK this Christmas and enjoy traditional Italian Christmas or New Year celebrations in a rural idyll in Sicily.

Instead of mince pies and Christmas pudding, feast on Sicilian Christmas delicacies such as 'torrone' (nougat), 'buccellati', large round biscuits filled with almonds, pistachios, figs and other dried fruits, and 'cobaita', a sort of nougat made with honey and seeds of sesame and take time out to explore the real Sicily, away from the coast.

Many local towns boast magnificent ‘presepi’ (nativity scenes) in churches and in many homes and in some small towns, large bonfires are lit on 24 December, the Night of the Luminari, traditionally to keep the baby Jesus warm.

Stay in Case Sgadari, a former farm estate perched high above sea level near the ancient town of Petralia Soprana. The villa offers an excellent base to explore the superb Madonie mountains nature reserve with its fascinating towns and villages such at Polizzi Generosa and Isnello where the Night of the Luminari is celebrated. Walking excursions, guided tours and mountain biking can all be organised locally.

Perfect for big family gatherings, the estate accommodates up to 20 people in four self-contained suites, each with lounge and cooking facilities. Enjoy magnificent Italian evening meals in the dining-room or venture out for a multi-course traditional 'cenone' (huge feast) at a local restaurant. One week at Case Sgadari over Christmas or New Year costs from £4825 for a party of 20.

soloSicily features apartment, villa and boutique hotel accommodation throughout the island. Properties sleep from two to 38, including several magnificently-restored villas on vast aristocratic-owned estates. Additional services featured include maid service, catering, cookery classes, wine-tastings, local excursions and guided mountain bike tours.

Romantic Retreats in Sicily



Forget lavish hotel suites and sky-high prices on Valentine’s Day: escape to a hideaway home for two in Sicily to experience the ultimate romantic break.

Turreted tower: Spend Valentine's Day holed up in a romantic 16th century picture-book tower for two, in the magnificent gardens of the Badia estate near Marsala in western Sicily.  Close to the sandy beaches of San Vito lo Capo and the fascinating Greek sites at Selinunte and Segesta, the Badia Tower has an alcoved bedroom, open-plan kitchen and large private terrace. Wander through the narrow streets of Marsala and visit the various bars and ‘enoteche’ to sample the superb local wine.

Prices: A three-night stay in February costs from £320 (sleeps 2). Low-cost flights available to Palermo or Trapani.

Moonlit bathingTanguera is an ultra-modern villa for two with, outdoors, a large private terrace with sunken bath and indoors, a huge living-area and a large double bedroom dominated by a jacuzzi with colour-changing chromatic lighting.

The villa is in a superb position, within walking distance of the beach and lively seaside resort of Mondello, and a short drive from the centre of Palermo where you can stock up on the freshest of local produce at one of Palermo’s historic food markets – Il Capo, La Vucciria and Ballarò.

Prices: A three-night stay at Tanguera in February costs from £338 (sleeps 2). Low-cost flights available to Palermo or Trapani.

New Entry Villas: Orca & Ginestra



soloSicily is proud to present two new entry sensational Villas in Scopello.
Get the most out of your holiday in Sicily staying in Orca, a marvellous seafront Sicily Villa on the mountain just ten minutes drive from the sea. Surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation, it is ideal to enjoy calm and repose. Relax sunbathing poolside in full privacy, enjoying breathtaking sea-mountain views.
Ginestra is in a dream position, just a few quick steps distant from Scopello’s beautiful stony beach.Spend relaxing days in the shady covered patio or sunbathing in Ginestra’s outdoor Jacuzzi pool.
Both Villas are very close to Zingaro Nature Reserve, Segesta’s archaeological site, the picturesque town of Castellammare del Golfo and the incomparable Erice.

Dare to be different ... or stay in a villa that does



New for 2011 from villa specialist, soloSicily, is a range of extraordinary villas that really do dare to be different, either in terms of unusual internal or external appearances or features. All villas listed are new to the 2011 programme:

Moonlight bathing: For the ultimate romantic experience, stay in Tanguera, a one-bedroom ultra-modern villa with an outdoor sunken bath on a private terrace and a large double bedroom dominated by a jacuzzi with colour-changing chromatic lighting.

The villa is in a superb position, within walking distance of the beach and lively seaside resort of Mondello, and a short drive from the centre of Palermo. Visit Palermo's magnificent Norman cathedral and Palazzo Reale and stock up on the freshest of local produce at one of Palermo’s historic food markets – Il Capo, La Vucciria and Ballarò. A one-week stay at Tanguera costs from €890 (sleeps 2).

Authentic Sicily – with a modern twist: Mariuccia’s bold white structure stands amidst olive and oak trees on the Sicani Hills in the south of Sicily. The villa is close to Burgio, famous for its yellow and green-coloured ceramic tiles. But whilst a stay provides an insight into the best of authentic Sicily, once you step inside the villa, your surroundings are anything but traditional. Featuring two large blindingly-white patios for outdoor dining and an architecturally dramatic and stark white exterior, the interiors are awash with strong primary colours. Additional facilities include a billiard room and table tennis. A one-week stay starts at €2600 (sleeps 10).

Seaside special: Boasting spectacular panoramic sea-views across Sicily’s southern coast, Olga couldn’t be further removed from the traditional idea of a seaside villa. Splashes of colour from contemporary furniture contrast sharply with the white walls in this ultra-modern one-storey villa which is close to the seaside village of Menfi and the magnificent Portopalo beach, reputedly one of Sicily’s finest. Recent guests include celebrity chef Giorgio Locatelli who has declared it ‘the most relaxing and beautiful place that I have stayed in so far’ in Sicily. One week starts at €3420 (sleeps 10).

TEN of the Italian BEST



Villa Perla Nera included among 10 of the UK’s top Italian operators in the ABTOI Newsletter for September 2010:

“A flavour of Sicily at its finest - a luxurious villa, dating back to the 1500's, surrounded by magnificent gardens and fabulous pool created from black lava stone. Visit nearby Taormina and Etna.”

SAVE 20% ON A HALF-TERM HOLIDAY IN SICILY



Villa specialist soloSicily is offering a 20% discount on selected villas during October half-term.

Set high in the hills above Palermo and surrounded by a maze of olive, citrus and palm trees, Villa Borbone is a great option for families who want to combine beach life with some culture. Just 10 minutes from the historical centre of Palermo, the villa is also close to the lovely seaside towns and beaches of Mondello and Sferracavallo.

The 5-bedroom villa has a superb 18m pool and stunning views over Mondello Bay. One week in October half-term starts at £2500 (after discount) for a party of 10 or £2000 for a reduced occupancy rate for 6 people. The discount is valid on holidays of a minimum one-week duration that include car rental (extra).

Culture vultures should head for Palermo's magnificent Norman cathedral and Palazzo Reale or the equally remarkable cathedral at Monreale, a short bus ride from the centre of Palermo. Get a real flavour of Sicily at the Vucciria market where you can buy fresh fish, local produce, stock up on spices and grab a coffee at one of the bars. Children will also enjoy the Museo delle Marionette, a puppet museum. Halloween isn't really celebrated in Italy, but if you're desperate for a ghoulish experience, you'll certainly find it at the catacombs at Palermo's Convento dei Cappucini.

soloSicily offers villa and boutique hotel accommodation throughout the island. Properties range from a small romantic tower for two to a castle that sleeps up to 32 with its own private beach. Visit www.soloSicily.com or tel. 020 7193 0158. Return flights available to Palermo or Trapani from £154 per person.

New stunning entry villa with pool & billiard room: Mariuccia



We are delighted to welcome villa Mariuccia on our portfolio, a splendid newly restored villa with pool set on the Sicani hills a few minutes away from Sciacca and the sandy beach of Eraclea Minoa.

Also available on site a beautiful billiard room, BBQ and wood burning owen. Part of the estate is fenced off with some lovely Tibetan sheep in wild state.

New entry Sicily villa for honeymooners & romantic breaks: Tanguera



Tanguera is our new lovely entry villa in Sicily for those looking for a romantic break or an unforgettable honeymoon in Sicily. This gorgeus villa is also equipped with a huge Jacuzzi with chromatic lights. The intimacy of this Sicily villa is emphasised by its position, in the sea side borough of Partanna Mondello (Palermo), distant from the noises of the city and close to the Mediterranean Sea.

New Entry Villas in Scopello



Scopello Villas: We are delighted to present our new entry charming villas with pool in Scopello: Lo Zingaro, Sirena & Gabbiano, all of those enjoy a stunning panoramic position over the intense blue color of the sea in Scopello and the Zingaro Nature Reserve!

Flexible Stay in Sicily: Il Gorgo



Flexible Stay in Sicily. Book Il Gorgo from Monday 9th to Sunday 15th August allows you to take full advantage of lower-cost, mid-week flights and avoid travelling at busy weekends.

Unmissable Offer! Villa Matal - SAVE 20% in July 2010



Villas in Sicily: Book villa Matal from Saturday 10th to 24th July 2010 and SAVE 20% on total rental cost. Original price was € 6.390- p/w; price is now only € 5.112- p/w (2.556- OFF ).
 

Easter Savings - Casale Santa Ida



Book Casale Santa Ida for your Easter holiday in Sicily and save up to 10% where villa and car rental are booked before 27 February 2010. Offer is applicable for departures between 27th March & 24th April 2010, subject to a minimum of 2 passengers and 7 nights stay.

soloSicily is now a member of ASTA



soloSicily - Sicily Villa specialist is now a member of ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents. For further info please visit http://www.travelsense.org/agents/agntdetail.cfm?i=900194130

soloSicily's Darling Villas in Sicily



soloSicily presents the new "Darling Villas in Sicily Collection".
When choosing the place for your holiday, what you secretly hope is to be surprised, to find something really surpassing your expectations, the "Wow factor" leaving you gaping at your discovery. Well, trust us, this selection of villas in Sicily will leave you breathless. Our former customers simply adored them, and it was love a first sight for us as well. Our "darlings" are the greatest hits of soloSicily catalogue, they can boast the best of everything, most of all that special, unique atmosphere you are craving for.

Pets Welcome Villas in Sicily Collection



New from soloSicily, the "Pets Welcome Villas in Sicily Collection": Your pets are part of the family, so you wish you could take them with you even on your next Sicily holidays. You get our thumbs up for that, so we handpicked a generous collection of "Pets Welcome" Villas in Sicily. Your little friends will have room to idle, explore, run free and sleep comfortably, exactly as you desire. They'll feel at home as well as yourself, and you won't feel guilty for leaving them back. We want you to enjoy your holidays in Sicily to the full, so leave your worries, not your pets, home!
 

soloSicily is now a member of ABTOI



soloSicily - Sicily Villa specialist is now a member of ABTOI, the Association of British Travel Organisers to Italy. For further info please visit http://www.loveitaly.co.uk/associate/solosicily

New Entry Apartments for Honeymooners: Sea Breeze & Case Florio



Apartments in Sicily, Sea Breeze consists in the ground floor of a two-storey building within a nice and peaceful residential area. Entering the house from the furnished front terrace – from where you may enjoy a gorgeous view of Mondello Bay, Mount Pellegrino and the whole of Palermo, up to the mountains to the north – you will soon imagine cool evenings spent in quiet conversations or just relaxing with a cool drink in your hand. Thanks to its high position, this corner of Mondello is actually very quiet, and you can hardly hear any noise coming from the centre and the beach, though you can reach both of them in just 5 minutes drive. Entering the house, you will find a nice and bright veranda, where you can comfortably sit for a good reading or just listen to your favourite music and admire the sight. On the left, a door introduces you to a spacious, shining living room, with essential modern furniture. Suddenly a white, cool, summer atmosphere wraps you in its refreshing charm. It’s so homely and cute here! In this room you can find air conditioning, satellite TV, Dvd, stereo radio and internet connection.From the left door of the living room, you can enter the modern fully-fitted kitchen and the back veranda, which is also equipped as laundry area, while the right door introduces you to the bedrooms: a nice twin - with a bathroom with shower next door - and a double with en-suite bathroom with tub. Both the rooms have modern light-coloured furniture and are very quiet, so you can sleep until late without being disturbed, if you wish.

Sicily Apartments, Case Florio develop on 2 levels, on the 2nd and 3rd floor of an ancient palace close to Santa Maria La Nova and San Domenico churches, a stone's throw from Vucciria street market. On the 2nd floor you'll find a bright living/dining room with comfortable double sofa bed, a double bedroom, a bathroom with shower and a fully equipped kitchen. The apartment also comes with a spacious terrace overlooking the characteristic town roofs and a furnished gazebo, where you can have your meals in the beautiful spring or fall sunny days, or in warm summer nights. On the 3rd floor you'll find an elegant living/dining room with small balcony, a study with queen size sofa bed, a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom with shower, and a large double bedroom, with mezzanine hosting a sofa and a cosy reading corner. Both the apartments are equipped with air conditioning and heating, internet connection, LCD satellite TV and stereo CD/DVD player.

Romantic Villas in Sicily for Couples & Honeymooners: Casa Blu in Scopello



Honeymoon Villas in Sicily: Where would the world be if it weren’t for romance? Some time out for just the two of you, nightly pillow talks, getting to know each other all over again. That magical place for a newlyweds on their honeymoon. We’re all hopelessly romantic here at soloSicily, so we sat down and put together this collection of villas in Sicily that we think are perfect hideaways for couples.

New entry Romantic Villa on soloSicily portfolio: Casa Blu, Imagine to be a couple looking for an intimate spot. Maybe you need to recover the intimacy you forgot to cultivate, or wish to spend some time together to get to know each other... Or you could be a small family, with one or two kids you like to take around and see the world. You would maybe like to find a nice little house, easy to tidy up, so you can dedicate all your time to fun and talks, relax and contemplation, joyful trips or card games, reading or listening to music, cooking a nice pasta or barbecueing while singing softly. Imagine your neighrbour is a farmer growing pigs and sheep you see roving about at a short distance, while a funny donkey craning its neck to steal carobs from the big old tree in your garden, imagine to live among sunny green hills with the azurest sea you can imagine just in front of your house, to breathe pure healthy air and soak up the beneficial effects of Mediterranean climate all the year round, to have a lot of pretty, shady, cool corners to find relief from the summer heat and a large curvy jacuzzi to cuddle you and return you the indulgence towards your fellow men and women you seemed to have lost in a whole year of tension, weariness and impatience of the ordinary routine. Is this the perfect picture of your longed-for vacation? Then choose Casa Blu. Do you think it's too good to be true? Try and see!

2010 holidays at 2009 prices & new properties include exclusive villa with private spa



Sicily Villas. soloSicily, has launched its 2010 programme with an upgraded website, a selection of new properties and a price freeze promotion that offers 2010 holidays booked before 28th November at 2009 prices.

New properties for 2010 include Casale Santa Ida, a stunning six-bedroom property (sleeps 13) that has its own separate spa area with sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and wine therapy treatments; and Villa Costanza (sleeps 8), a country house set in the hills above the seaside resort of Cefalù, perfectly placed for the beach, sight-seeing in Palermo and exploring the rugged beauty of the Madonie Mountains.
Comments soloSicily director, Gioacchino Sortino: ‘Visitors to our upgraded website now have even more search options available to them, including a geographical search facility, in addition to a wider choice of properties. Whilst we traditionally specialise in large, unique villas on vast aristocratic estates, we have introduced, new for 2010, a selection of properties that are more suitable for smaller parties.
Prices start at €850 for a week at the romantic, hideaway Badia Tower (sleeps 2) near Marsala; or €1390 for the Fattoria Corleonese(sleeps 6) a 19th century Sicilian manor house with an internal courtyard, set amidst acres of fields of poplar, walnut and cherry trees.
For visitors looking for catered accommodation options, soloSicily features a collection of boutique hotels, including the 11-bedroom Musciara, with its own private beach, at Syracuse. Bed and breakfast accommodation is also available at unusual properties such as Olio Verde, a working olive oil mill in western Sicily, where guests can participate in olive oil tastings and gastronomic workshops.

soloSicily’s property portfolio comprises a collection of apartments, villas and boutique hotels throughout the island. Self-catering properties range in size from the Badia Tower (sleeps 2), a pretty tower in the grounds of an aristocratic estate, to the Castello Falconara (sleeps 32), a stunning castle set on a rocky promontory, crammed with antiques and family heirlooms and with its own private beach.

September Sun in Corleone, Sicily



Sicily Villas: On almost the same latitude as Tunis, Sicily is a great late getaway destination for sun-seekers – days are still warm and sunny but not too hot to get out and explore. Villa specialist soloSicily has added several new properties to its portfolio, all with good availability in September.

Corleone: Get a real flavour of Sicily at the Fattoria Corleonese, an old manor house on a farm in typical Sicilian countryside, just five minutes from the world-famous village of Corleone and the magnificent Ficuzza forest with its impressive Bourbon hunting palace. Milk, cheese, olive oil and fruit - including walnuts, cherries and apples - are still produced on the farm.
A one-week stay at the Fattoria Corleonese in September starts at €1780 (sleeps 6) with solosicily.com (tel. 020 7193 0158).

Roman treasures at Piazza Armerina: Get a glimpse of Sicily’s history with a stay at Casale Santa Ida, situated in central Sicily close to Piazza Armerina, home to Europe's finest Roman villa, the renowned Villa Romana del Casale. The 3rd-century, 50-room Imperial hunting lodge was buried by a landslip in the 12th century, resulting in the perfect preservation of some magnificent floor mosaics that were subsequently uncovered between 1929 and 1960.

Dating back to the 1780’s, the newly-restored spacious stone Casale Santa Ida overlooks fields, fruit trees, woods and meadows. Special features include a games room; use of quad bikes; horses, available for experienced riders to explore the surrounding countryside; and a designated spa area, with sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, that overlooks the swimming pool.
One week at Casale Santa Ida in September starts at €5900 per week (sleeps 13), including a housekeeper and maid service. Visit solosicily.com or tel. 020 7193 0158.

soloSicily features apartment, villa and boutique hotel accommodation throughout the island. Properties sleep from two to 38, including several magnificently-restored villas on vast aristocratic-owned estates. Additional services featured include maid service, catering, cookery classes, wine-tastings, local excursions and guided mountain bike tours.

Peak Season Sicily - Save up to 2000 euro with soloSicily



Big savings of up to 2000 EURO are available between now and the end of August with Sicily villas specialist soloSicily.

Villa Borbone is a large self-catering villa (sleeps 10) with private pool, set amidst olive, citrus and palm trees, with sea views and close to the seaside resorts of Mondello and Sferracavallo, just outside Palermo. One week between now and the end of August has been reduced from €5950 to €3950 (around £3400), inclusive of daily cleaning, with an additional €100 saving available on selected holidays if you book car rental.
Other villas with huge peak season discounts include:

Parmina, a stunning villa with pool within walking distance of the seaside town of Taormina, where one week has been reduced by over €1100 to €5990 (sleeps 10);

Perla Nera (sleeps 10), a magnificent 15th century aristocratic Sicilian estate, has been reduced from €8190 to €6930 for a party of 10, or €4340 for a party of six.

Honeymoon Hideaways in Sicily



Sicily Villas: Sicily specialist soloSicily has introduced a selection of boutique hideaway hotels in Sicily to complement its existing range of villa holidays. Temperatures on the island stay high well into October and low-cost airfares remain low, making it an ideal destination for an affordable Autumn or Spring honeymoon.

Castles in the sun: Torri Pepoli is a stunning castle with incredible views of the sea and the Aegadian islands, in the medieval hill-top town of Erice in western Sicily. For a special treat, book the ‘Elisabetta’ suite, set high in the castle turrets. Enjoy candle-lit dinners in the ancient stone-walled dining-room and laze in the lush gardens, bordered by tall crenellated walls.
A three-night stay starts at £263 per person, rising to £577 per person in the Elisabetta suite, with http://www.solosicily.com. Low-cost flights to nearby Trapani from around £70 per person.

Island paradise: Combine a visit to Sicily with a stay on one of the neighbouring Aeolian Islands. Capofaro Malvasia is a boutique hotel in Salina, the greenest of the Aeolian Islands and the film location for ‘Il Postino’. Rooms are situated in Aeolian-style cottages with white stucco floors and shaded terraces, with views across vineyards to the sea. The hotel has a pool and excellent poolside restaurant with wonderful views over the neighbouring islands of Panarea and Stromboli.
A three-night stay starts at £290 per person with http://www.solosicily.com. Travel to Palermo, followed by hydrofoil to Salina.

A tower for two: If you’re looking for a truly romantic retreat, the pretty 16th century Badia Tower stands alone in the magnificent gardens of the large Badia estate. The property has an alcoved double bedroom, kitchen and dining/living area and large private terrace with barbecue. Nearby attractions include the fascinating Greek sites at Selinunte and Segesta and the sandy beaches of San Vito lo Capo.
A one week stay in October starts at £746 (sleeps 2) with http://www.solosicily.com. Travel to Palermo or Trapani with Ryanair.

Grand Design and Sicilian Sunshine



Grand a design experience this autumn at one of the properties in soloSicily’s new range of ‘design’ villas. Visit in October when the crowds have dispersed and the temperature is perfect for exploring this fascinating island.

Stay in a room designed by an internationally-renowned artist and swim in one of only three red swimming-pools in the world at Farm Campagna; find your inner literary self in one of the reading and ‘writing’ rooms at The Poets’ Corner; and find a room to match your mood at Villa Elena with its individually-designed rooms in yellow, orange, purple and green, colours that have been selected to reflect Sicily’s natural elements.
Farm Campagna, Butera, southern Sicily: set amidst a 200-hectare estate awash with vineyards, olive and almond trees, the pool isn’t the only unusual feature – the stunningly restored 18th century villa also boasts a home theatre, spa, small gym, art gallery (exhibits available for purchase) and ten bedrooms that have been inspired by and feature works by various artists.

A four night soloSicily break at Farm Campagna in October starts at €136 per person based on 22 sharing with www.solosicily.com or tel. 020 7193 0158.

The Poets’ Corner, Enna: once the illustrious Grimaldi family’s summer holiday villa, the house is typical in style of Sicilian summer houses with high ceilings and large spacious rooms. The villa has seven bedrooms, a ‘reading room’ crammed full of a remarkable collection of literature and outside, a stunning pool. Dine in the ultra-modern sleek dining-room or on the outdoor terrace, surrounded by centuries-old cypress trees and the glorious countryside of central Sicily.
One week at The Poet’s Corner in October starts at €203 per person, based on 17 sharing with www.solosicily.com or tel. 020 7193 0158.

Villa Elena, Camastra, near Agrigento, is a striking, contemporary villa (sleeps 12) with a stunning orange and chrome kitchen leading out to a huge veranda and garden, a bright spacious lounge and six bedrooms, each designed in bold colours.
One week at Villa Elena in October starts at €292 per person, based on 12 sharing, with www.solosicily.com or tel. 020 7193 0158.

Seafront Sicily - New Range Of Seafront & Beachside Properties



If a summer holiday without the sound and sight of the sea is just unthinkable, take a look at soloSicily’s new collection of seafront properties: all have sea views and many are just a few steps from the beach.

Seafront villas: Casa d'Eraclea is positioned on the brow of a hill, overlooking the sea at Eraclea Minoa in south west Sicily and just a 10-minute walk to the beach.   An infinity pool has views out to sea, surrounded by large areas of decking and overlooked by a spacious covered eating area; inside, the interior is very modern with sharp, clean lines and bold colours - white and orange walls, with splashes of yellow and blue from soft furnishings.  Tear yourself away from the pool and beach and visit the fascinating Valley of the Temples.

Save €1000: One week in July has been reduced by €1000 to €3250, based on six sharing, with www.solosicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158. Book by 31st May for an additional €200 discount.

Seafront boutique hotels: Musciara, an 11-bedroom boutique hotel situated right on the seafront in Syracuse and with views over the nearby island of Ortigia, is the latest addition to the soloSicily portfolio. Step out of the hotel directly on to the hotel’s own private sandy beach, enjoy your morning cappuccino on a beachside terrace and have a shellfish and champagne dinner served to you with the sand between your toes.

A three-night stay in July starts at €510 per person based on two sharing with www.solosicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158.

Other soloSicily properties with direct access to a beach include:
Hibiscus (sleeps 8), near Syracuse, has a huge panoramic terrace overlooking the sea. Access to the sea is via the lawned garden. One week in July has been reduced by €800 to €2700.

Under-Occupancy Discounts at Large Properties



Get a bargain in Sicily this summer and stay in a large villa with private pool for a fraction of the cost. Villa specialist soloSicily has introduced under-occupancy discounts at several of their larger villas.

Enjoy the benefits of a villa for twelve and pay according to the size of your party. Villa Elena, the latest addition to the soloSicily portfolio, is a stunning contemporary villa situated on a hill-top near Agrigento in southern Sicily, with six ensuite bedrooms.

The villa is available at Whitsun from just €2650 per week, based on six sharing, reduced from €3770 per week for a party of twelve. The price rises to €3150 for one week in August, based on six sharing, if booked before 31st May.

Highlights of the villa include the large outdoor pool and a games room with American pool table, football table and children’s toys. All six ensuite bedrooms are bright and modern; there’s a vast split-level living room and a stunning kitchen with sliding doors that lead on to a huge veranda with an outdoor dining area, wood-burning oven and barbeque area.

The villa is in the small town of Camastra, a short drive from Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples in southern Sicily. soloSicily features apartment, villa and boutique hotel accommodation throughout the island. Additional services include maid service, catering, cookery classes, wine-tastings, local excursions and guided mountain bike tours. Visit http://www.solosicily.com/villas-in-sicily.aspx or tel. 0044 (0)20 7193 0158.

Family Holidays - Head for Sicily for Sunshine and Value



If the mere thought of a summer without a week’s continental sunshine makes you shiver and you know that staying in the UK might involve some costly rainy day outings, there are ways of heading abroad for less.

Head for a destination such as Sicily which tends to be cheaper than increasingly-overcrowded Tuscany; then either book a villa with shared facilities or rope in a couple of other families to share one huge property: with the sea and pool, all you’ll need to spend your euros on is delicious local food and the odd cappuccino.

Take a private villa with shared pool: Head for soloSicily’s The Queen’s Jewels, a cluster of five attractive cottages (sleep 4-8), each with a patio and private garden and a lovely shared pool, set amidst the estate’s lemon groves. The estate is close to the lively seaside town of Taormina and excursions are available to nearby Etna. Citrus fruits, olive oil, wine and jam, all originating from the estate, are available for purchase. A one-week stay during July starts at 750 Euro (sleeps 4) or, if you can find enough friends, 5450 Euro for all five properties (sleep 26) with www.solosicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158.

Book a large villa: soloSicily has an excellent selection of big luxurious villas, including Nespola, a modern villa superbly-located between Palermo and Cefalu, with sea views and a stunning pool. The property sleeps 14 in six bedrooms and has a private garden with outdoor barbecue area and pizza oven. One week in July costs 3750 (save 800 Euro per week) – around ¤1200 per family. Visit www.solosicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158.

06/04/2009

Down On The Beach



Head for Sicily in May when the World Festival on the Beach (16-24 May) takes place at Mondello Beach, just outside Palermo. Events include top-level displays by windsurf and sailing world champions, beach volleyball, sky diving, paragliding, kite surfing and jazz concerts.

soloSicily is offering discounts of up to 20% on selected properties in May and June. Villa Borbone is a 5-bedroom villa in the hills above Palermo, with views over Mondello Bay, and just ten minutes from the historical centre of Palermo and from Mondello Beach. One week in May has been reduced by €1000 to €3990 (sleeps 10) or €399 per person. Low-cost flights available to Palermo.

Book A Cook In Sicily - New Collection Of 'Food And Wine' Villas



New from villa specialist, soloSicily, is a collection of ‘food and wine’ villas offering a variety of ‘foodie’ add-ons that include in-house cook services, cookery courses and the option of staying on a working winery.

Book a cook for one night or more at a selection of 25 villas. At The Poet’s Corner, once the illustrious Grimaldi family’s summer holiday villa, you can book a personal chef or organise a private cookery class on a daily basis. Dine in the ultra-modern sleek dining-room or on the outdoor terrace, surrounded by centuries-old cypress trees and the glorious countryside of central Sicily. One week at The Poet’s Corner in June starts at €285 per person (based on 17 sharing) per week with www.soloSicily.com.

Learn the art of Sicilian cooking at Villa Elena, the latest addition to the soloSicily portfolio. Situated in the small town of Camastra, near Agrigento, Elena is a striking, contemporary villa (sleeps 12) with a stunning orange and chrome kitchen that leads out to a huge veranda and garden, with herb garden, wood-burning oven and barbecue area. One week at Villa Elena in June starts at €314 per person (based on 12 sharing) per week with www.soloSicily.com.

Stay on a working winery and get a real flavour of Sicily. Cantine Virzì comprises 180 hectares of vineyards on the popular wine route, the ‘Strade del Vino’ in western Sicily. In addition to wine-tastings, guided tours of the wine cellar and cookery classes, there’s an on-site restaurant and large pool. A 3-night short-break in one of the six independent apartments (sleep 2) costs €210 per person (based on 2 sharing) with www.soloSicily.com.

Sicily’s fascinating history is evident in so many aspects of Sicilian life and culture and particularly in its cuisine - including grapes and olives from the Greeks; the fava beans and lentils from the Romans; and almonds, artichokes, oranges and the sweet and sour combination of raisins and pine nuts with vegetables and fish from the Arabs.

soloSicily Launches Weddings in Sicily



New from soloSicily is a "Weddings in Sicily" collection, a selection of properties that offer a complete wedding package in spectacular surroundings. In addition to providing impressive properties, SoloSicily undertakes all additional planning from photography and flowers to the wedding menu and arrangements for the service.

CASTELLO FALCONARA: Situated on the south coast of Sicily, at Licata, the 16-bedroom Castello Falconara has its own chapel, two private beaches and a huge panoramic terrace that overlooks the sea. Surrounded by palm groves and stuffed full of antiques, family heirlooms and hunting trophies, the castle is on four levels with the bottom floor leading to the garden and one of the private beaches via an internal staircase.  The castle dates back to the 14th century, the oldest part being the large square tower, originally used to breed falcons for hawking. 

Prices start at €9900 per night to rent the whole castle (sleeps 30) with accommodation on a half-board basis. Additional accommodation is available in a nearby boutique hotel.

PRINCELY HOUSES: A vast aristocratic estate with huge lawns, fruit-filled gardens and two swimming pools, Princely Houses is an ideal venue for weddings and special events. Accommodation is in separate villas, each with a private terrace area, that together sleep up to 38. For the ultimate in romantic ceremonies, say your vows under a covered gazebo with views out to sea and the backdrop of Mount Etna.

Prices stat at €1650 per night for all six villas (sleep 38), including breakfast. A half-board option is available.

Get Off Th Beaten Track - Spring City Breaks In Sicily



soloSicily has launched a selection of apartment and city breaks, with accommodation in palaces and historical buildings in the heart of Palermo, Taormina and Syracuse. Enjoy the best of Sicilian culture and beach life in warm Spring temperatures.

Palermo: Visit the city’s ancient palaces and popular street markets.  Drive out to the beach resort of Mondello for a morning 'cappuccino' at one of the many 'pasticcerie', explore the magnificent cathedral and cloisters at Monreale to the south of Palermo or get a culture fix at the Greek temple at Segesta.

Stay in the 12th century Palazzo Federico where vast double-height salons drip with chandeliers and gold-framed portraits and floors are adorned with intricate Oriental rugs.  The magnificent Federico Suite within the ‘palazzo’ is available for €390 per night (sleeps 2) or stay in one of the new mini-apartments, created from the ancient stables in the inner courtyard, which start at €190 per night (sleep 2) with www.solosicily.com (tel. 020 7193 0158).

Taormina provides the ideal combination of beach life, retail therapy and some high-brow culture. Explore beyond the town's main Corso Umberto and you'll find restored mediaeval buildings and a network of winding streets lined with boutiques, bars and restaurants. Head for the beaches of Mazzaro, just below Taormina, or, a few miles further south, the long, sandy beaches at Giardini-Naxos. Don’t miss Taormina's spectacular open-air Greek amphitheatre - the heart of the action during Taormina's film festival in mid-June.
 
Stay in Solena, a town-centre apartment just a short walk from the amphitheatre. A 3-night break in April starts at €204 per person (based on 2 sharing) with soloSicily www.soloSicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158).

Syracuse: Explore the art and architecture of Syracuse, one of Sicily’s most fascinating cities and home to one of the world’s largest ancient Greek amphitheatres. A 3-night break in Archimedes, a stylish apartment in an ancient palace in Ortygia, the historical core of the city, costs from €84 per person, based on 6 sharing, with soloSicily (www.soloSicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158).

New Look Website & Broader Portfolio



Sicily villa specialist, soloSicily, has broadened its portfolio and launched a new look website that groups properties into a range of categories making it easier for visitors to the site to identify a shortlist of appropriate properties.

New categories within the special interest section include seafront villas, design villas and villas of historical and classic interest. Other sub-divisions include villas that have sporting facilities, villas located in or close to the mountains and apartments that are suitable for flexible short stays and city breaks. Examples of properties include:

Seafront villas: Casa d'Eraclea is positioned on the brow of a hill, overlooking the sea to the south west of the island and just a 10-minute walk to the beach.   Outside, an infinity pool is surrounded by large areas of decking and overlooked by a spacious covered eating area; inside, the interior is very modern with sharp, clean lines and bold colours - white and orange walls, with splashes of yellow and blue from soft furnishings.  If you can tear yourself away from the pool and beach, the villa is close to the fascinating Valley of the Temples and Selinunte.  One week in June starts at £368 per person, based on 6 sharing, with www.solosicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158.

Design villas: The Poet’s Corner: Discover your literary self with a stay at a 19th century summer house once owned by the Grimaldi family. Hide away in the reading room to discover literature and poetry you never knew existed, escape to the adjacent ‘writing house’ to express yourself on black and white boards … or lie by the pool and contemplate life. A one-week stay in June costs £254 per person based on 17 sharing, including daily maid service and breakfast with www.solosicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158

Historical and classic villas: Perla Nera: Stay on an aristocratic estate dating back to the early 1500’s and swim in the intense dark blue waters of a pool that has been built from lava stone from nearby Mount Etna. Garden-lovers will love the stunning private garden, crammed with orange groves, roses, jasmine and camellias and overlooked by the conservatory, home to several lemon and mandarin trees. The living-room features the estate’s original olive press. The villa is located in Viagrande, a characteristic Sicilian village close to Mount Etna and the ancient Greek settlements of Syracuse and Taormina. A one-week stay in June costs £594, based on 10 sharing, with www.solosicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158.

Villa Savings In Sicily



Sicily villa specialist, soloSicily, is offering savings of up to €200 on one-week bookings made before 31 March at a wide range of their larger luxury villa collection.

A discount of €150 is available on selected villa holidays (with a minimum value of €1500) taken before the end of November 2009 with an additional €50 off July and August bookings. Bookings are for a minimum of two people and are inclusive of car rental.

Sample properties include:

Il Gattopardo: Just a short drive from the charming town and beaches of Taormina, Il Gattopardo is a 19th century old manor house with stunning lavender and hibiscus-filled gardens that are surrounded by a lemon plantation and private vineyard. A private pool is overlooked by a vine-draped gazebo and the interior of the house filled with antique furnishings, with the master bedroom accessed via an antique spiral staircase.

A one-week stay in June has been reduced by €150 to €5,050 (sleeps 10, accommodation only) with www.soloSicily.com or tel. 020 7193 0158.

Parmina: The latest addition to soloSicily’s portfolio, Parmina is in a superb location, just a 10-minute walk from the shops and restaurants in Taormina’s lively town centre. Get the best of all worlds with views across the Ionian Sea from the poolside during the day and then wandering into town in the evening for the obligatory ‘passeggiata’ and ice-cream. A one-week stay in May has been reduced by €150 to €4350 (sleeps 10, accommodation only) with www.soloSicily.com or tel. 020 7193 0158.

Easter Events In Sicily



Get a real flavour of Sicily this Easter when the pleasant Spring temperatures are around 20°C and every village and town hosts a spectacular procession or celebration. soloSicily has a selection of villas in the Palermo area, home to several extraordinary Easter events.

If you’re looking for drama, visit the remote village of Prizzi in the hills south of Palermo, where events include the Dance of the Devils, performed by villagers wearing large and terrifying iron masks, who, on Easter Sunday, rampage through the village in a traditional struggle between good and evil.

For an altogether more soothing experience, head for the small village of San Martino delle Scale, west of Palermo, where the Benedictine monks celebrate Easter and the coming of Spring by freeing the birds they’ve saved from the harsh mountain winter. The release takes place on Easter Monday, along with concerts and Gregorian chants.

soloSicily accommodation in Palermo includes Villa Borbone, a 5-bedroom villa with pool set amidst olive, citrus and palm trees in the hills above Palermo and with views over Mondello Bay. The villa is a short-drive to the centre of Palermo and to Mondello beach. One week in April costs €4550 (sleeps 10) with www.soloSicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158. Low-cost flights available to Palermo with Ryanair and Easyjet.

11/12/2008

My Villa Has A...



If you’re going to splash out on a couple of weeks in a luxury villa, you may as well aim high and get the most for your money. Sicily specialists, soloSicily, have some exceptional large properties, ideal for groups of friends and families to share.

PRIVATE BEACH … Castello Falconara (sleeps 14-32), a stunning castle set on a rocky promontory and crammed with antiques and family heirlooms, has no fewer than two private beaches. Built on four levels, the bottom floor of the castle leads, via an internal staircase, through to the garden and then directly onto one of the private beaches. All rooms overlook the sea. One week at the Castello Falconara in May starts at €27,000 (sleeps 32) or €88 per person per night on a half-board basis.

HOME CINEMA … Although superficially Farm Campagna appears to be a traditional 18th century restored ‘baglio’, once you walk under the arch to the internal courtyard, you realise that this villa is anything but ordinary. In addition to a spectacular home cinema, with over 400 films in English, Italian and German, the property has an indoor spa with small heated pool, bedrooms furnished by international contemporary artists and outside, a jaw-dropping red swimming-pool (the colour of the water dictated by the pool’s red walls). One week in June costs from €5850 (sleeps 22).

FOOTBALL PITCH … Il Gorgo is a magnificent 7-bedroom villa in western Sicily with its own floodlit football pitch and tennis court. The villa is accessed via a huge open internal courtyard with several outdoor seating areas, a games room, gym and flanked on one side by the sleeping quarters. The pool overlooks the surrounding hills. A week at Il Gorgo (sleeps 14) in April costs €5690 (short-breaks available), including daily breakfast and cleaning.

OLIVE PRESS … Situated on a 16th century aristocratic estate, Perla Nera still houses the original olive press in one of its two living-rooms. Enjoy the scent of the lemon and mandarin trees which fill the two conservatories, or wander through the extraordinary private garden, a mass of orange groves and jasmine and home to a swimming-pool built out of a dark lava stone which gives the water an inky-blue colour. One week at Perla Nera in June is €6650 (sleeps 10).

04/12/2008

Spring Into Sicily



Get a real flavour for Sicily by visiting the island in February when two of the island’s most popular events – Agrigento’s Almond Blossom Festival and the Carnival of Sciacca - take place. Casa d’Eraclea, the stunning new addition to soloSicily’s portfolio, is situated half-way between the two towns on Sicily’s south coast.

Agrigento’s Almond Blossom Festival takes place during the first half of February in the breathtaking Valley of the Temples. The celebrations, which include costumed parades, shows and concerts, are attended by folklore groups from around the world.

The Carnival of Sciacca is the most popular carnival in Sicily, renowned for its procession which takes place every day from Saturday to Tuesday. Join the throng clamouring for the distribution by ‘Peppe Nappa", the King of the Carnival, of sweets, wine, and salami and then watch him go up in smoke at the end of the Carnival.

Casa d’Eraclea is located about 30 kms from Agrigento and a short drive from Sciacca and the Valley of the Temples. Positioned on the brow of a hill, the house overlooks the sea to the south west of the island and is just a 10-minute walk to the beach. Outside, an infinity pool is surrounded by large areas of decking and overlooked by a covered eating area; inside, the modern interior is bright and spacious with sharp, clean lines and bold colours - white and orange walls, with splashes of yellow and blue from soft furnishings. 

24/09/2008

Carnival Capers



If you’ve ‘done’ Venice and Rio and are looking for a new colourful Carnival experience, head for Acireale on Sicily’s east coast.

The Carnival (7-24 February) is best known for its spectacular floral displays and floats portraying celebrities, politicians and fantasy creations. Celebrations date back to the 16th century but fortunately the former throwing of eggs and oranges has been replaced by street parades and entertainers that include marching bands, dancers and masked performers.

Acireale is a seaside city at the foot of Mount Etna in eastern Sicily, renowned for its Baroque architecture and just a few miles from the charming town of Taormina. Stay in the heart of the action at soloSicily’s Melaverde apartment (sleeps 7), a stunning 4-bedroom apartment in the centre of town. A 3-night break costs from €xxx in February with solo Sicily. Flights available to Catania with British Airways and Air Malta.

Autumn Sunshine Guaranteed



Grab an October break to Sicily and enjoy soaking up the last rays of sunshine and exploring this fascinating island without the summer crowds.

Families: Head for soloSicily’s The Queen’s Jewels, a cluster of five cottages (sleep 4-8), each with a patio and private garden and a spectacular shared pool, set amidst the estate’s lemon groves. The estate is close to the charming seaside town of Taormina and excursions are available to nearby Etna. Citrus fruits, olive oil, wine and jam, all originating from the estate, are available for purchase. A one-week stay during October starts at €800 (sleeps 4) with www.solosicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158.

Couples: Live like an Italian and stay in the apartment Solena, just a few steps from the shops of Corso Umberto in the centre of Taormina and moments from your first cappuccino of the day. The town is well placed to visit the Agrò Valley and the Gorges of Alcantara, in addition to the towns of Syracuse and Noto. A one-week stay during October costs €730 (sleeps 2) with www.solosicily.com, tel. 020 7193 0158.

Flights to nearby Catania are available during October from Gatwick and Manchester.