Photo Courtesy of Villa VillinoVilla Villino in Southeastern Sicily was conceived out of some interesting circumstances. The story begins when a Russian Admiral by the name of Nicolaiev (later changed to Nicolaci) found himself shipwrecked on the Sicilian coast. Rather than being frightened and homesick for the blistering wasteland of Russia, he chose to make the location his permanent home.
As the years went by, his descendants became prominent Sicilian citizens and erected several palaces around Noto and Marzamemi, including Villa Villino in 1895. It was specifically created for Prince Corrado Nicolaci and his wife Cecchina Cannizzaro to use during the summer, where they could enjoy the cool breezes and panoramic views from the Baroque-style balconies. Today, the property is still known for providing those same vistas, with the added conveniences of air conditioning, satellite television, and high-speed Internet, of course.
Upon arrival, guests enter through the great room where they can immediately relax on the comfy couches, grab a drink at the bar, or lounge in peace in the reading room. If traveling with a large group or family, a welcome buffet dinner (for an additional charge) can be arranged to kick-start this Italian vacation with some good old fashion bonding. This offering, along with any other extras, including car rental, daily breakfast, laundry, and cooking services, can be organized when booking.
Villa Villino is surrounded by nearly 50,000 square feet of lush landscape that's dotted with olive, pine and palm trees, gardens, and a sprawling pool. There is also plenty of room for the grounds to play host to glamorous weddings or high-profile social events. In keeping with the royal theme of the architecture and history, the interior of the two-story home is decorated in blue and gold hues, accented by brass chandeliers, ceiling frescoes, colorful tiled floors, vibrant paintings and fully furnished with locally sourced pieces.
Sleeping up to ten, there are five queen bedrooms, all equipped with en-suite bathrooms. Four of the bedrooms are terrace suites with separate living rooms and kitchen areas, giving privacy to couples or families in need of extra space and quiet time together. Outside, the large pool is surrounded by numerous areas to lounge in the sun or cool off under an umbrella. For added convenience, the pool house is outfitted with a generous bar, living area, and two full bathrooms.
The villa puts guests in a great position to explore nearby cities and Sicily’s stunning countryside. It is highly suggested to rent a car during a stay at Villa Villino, due to its rural location. Just 10 minutes away is Noto, renowned for its extravagant Baroque monuments, excellent cuisine, and local, fresh produce. Daytrips can also be made to Syracuse and Catania, as well as to Cala Mosche, a charming beach with calm, crystal clear water, and caves to tour.
Depending on the time of year booked and services requested, the villa runs between $1,300 and $2,100 a night.