Tucked amongst the vineyards of Western
Sicily and less than 10 minutes drive from the beach, Santa Rosalia is a
gloriously pink stuccoed country villa for families to drop and flop by a
lovely private pool or discover all the delicious and historic delights that
make Sicily so enthralling.
The enclosed garden is a Mediterranean
paradise for frazzled parents to unwind, dotted with shady palms and
jacarandas, as well as orange, pomegranate and fig trees for families to
plunder when the fruits are season. In the middle of it all is the safely
gated, 11x6 metre pool with Roman steps into the shallow end and surrounded by
smooth terracotta tiles set out with sun loungers and a parasol, while gnarly
olive trees provide more welcome shade for little ones. An inflatable paddling
pool, lilos and balls are provided by the owners and parents can keep an eye on
older children playing in the pool from the al fresco dining terrace and the
Santa Rosalia has been recently renovated, redecorated
and furnished in a relaxed, cool and comfortable style, with eclectic pictures
and ornaments picked up by owners on their travels. The large sunny living room
is equipped with Sky TV, a DVD player and CD system, with a wide choice of
movies and music, plus the villa has wi fi to keep digital natives happy. New appliances have been fitted in the
farmhouse-style kitchen, ensuring that parents have all the essential mod cons for
preparing family dinners including lots of inspiring cookery books and
all-important air conditioning. The kitchen has a breakfast table for 8 and
there is a separate dining room but the outdoor terrace is where most mealtimes
are sure to take place, in the cool dappled shade of a grapevine pergola and with
a portable barbecue for sizzling up freshly caught fish and Sicilian sausages
from the local market.
Up the switchback stairs, with a safety gate
across the top, all four bedrooms have pretty views over the garden, air
conditioning and mosquito nets on the windows. All three bathrooms are
very spacious and newly renovated, comprising one with a large tub and powerful
overhead shower, and two with walk in shower units. If required, perhaps for grandparents
or a nanny, the villa has a studio with a large, comfortable sofa bed and
adjacent bathroom adjoining the villa on the ground floor.
Santa Rosalia sleeps up to 8 people plus 2 babies in travel
cots provided and 2 additional guests on a sofa bed in the adjoining
studio. Two of the bedrooms have queen
sized beds and two have twin single beds. The main bathroom has a large bath
and powerful overhead shower and the villa has two other walk-in shower rooms.
Santa Rosalia has a peaceful, countryside
setting in Western Sicilian just 2 miles from the nearest beaches and
the fishing port of Mazara del Vallo.
Mazara boasts an elegant promenade and pretty piazzas, a
wide range of shops and excellent trattorias serving fantastic fresh caught
fish and seafood among the Sicilian specialities. In the past, local fisherman
also pulled out an incredible bronze statue from Ancient Greece of a dancing
satyr which is now the jewel in the town’s crown and proudly displayed in a
To the east of Mazara lies the long sandy beach of
Tonnarella with lidos, rows of sun loungers and beach umbrellas to provide much
needed shade from the midday rays. To the west, the shore is fringed with rocky
coves and smaller beaches where the water is a glittering turquoise and popular
for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Sicily is steeped in a turbulent history of foreign invaders
and conquerors that have left a fascinating cultural and archaeological legacy
to uncover all across the island. The largest Ancient Greek archaeological site
in Italy, Selinunte, is just a 30 minute drive from Santa Rosalia and after exploring
the temples, families will be ready for a cool dip in the beach below and
welcome refreshments in the bars and restaurants in the nearby village of
Perhaps the best legacy of all the foreign occupiers is the
delicious Sicilian cuisine that’s renowned as a mouth-watering melting pot of
influences from Italy, Greece, Spain, Arabia and beyond. Sicilian ice cream is
accepted to be among the best in the world and the refreshing flavoured granita
is a super lush slush puppy. Fantastic fresh pasta dishes come with every
taste-sensation sauce under the sun and Mazara specialises in aromatic fish
cous-cous. For those with a sweet tooth, Sicilian cakes and desserts are
dangerously irresistible such as sticky almond pastries and the elaborately
decorated cassata made with ricotta, marzipan, sponge cake and candied peel.
Western Sicily is also a major wine region. There are several wineries nearby while Florio and Pellegrino in neighbouring Marsala are
open for tours and tastings. Marsala, of
course, is world famous for its sweet dessert wines.
Getting there: British Airways, Ryanair, Airone and
Easyjet provide direct flights from the UK to Sicily. Both Trapani and Palermo
are international airports and are1 hrs drive to Santa Rosalia. British airways
provides flights to Catania airport, which is 3 ½ hrs drive.
Nearest Medical Services (GP & A&E): Mazara
del Vallo 4 kms away.