|Minimum Stay||3 - 7 nights|
Villa Santa Maria is a historic 17th century Sicilian farmhouse with its own private swimming pool and tennis court. This unique castellated building is flanked by circular towers on each side. We rent out the beautifully decorated ground floor, which is extremely spacious and can sleep up to 8 people. Guests can relax in the pool for their exclusive use or enjoy the surrounding exotic Mediterranean garden from the shade of an ancient olive tree. The pool measures 12 x 6 metres, has steps into the shallow end and is lined with mosaic. When the temperature drops the tennis court flanked by formal gardens in front of the villa provides fun for all the family. Three acres of grounds bordered by cypress and Mediterranean pines also include olive groves and a 16th century watch tower.
The ground floor is completely private and comes with its own magical Sicilian walled citrus garden.
The accommodation is extremely spacious and includes a library and separate television room
Santa Maria: You enter Santa Maria through a beautiful driveway lined with date palms and bougainvillea. A massive door leads into a pretty courtyard with porticoes and statuary and a marble well in the centre. The whole villa is an oasis of peace and quiet, shaded by lofty palms, cypress trees and pines. The spacious ground floor, recently restored to a high standard of luxury, is completely private. the dining room with fireplace opens onto a walled garden with 100 citrus trees, a splashing fountain that attracts a wide variety of birds and a paved terrace where guests can dine under the orange and lemon trees. The private swimming pool is set in a Mediterranean garden lovingly planted by the present owners. Bougainvillea, oleander, frangipani, datura, jasmine, hibiscus and lavender are just some of the plants that flower through the summer months.
The co-owners of the property, (English speaking) who live on the top floor of the villa, are available for help and advice. The entrance to their apartment is from the main courtyard and separate from the ground floor.
If you would like to find out more about Santa Maria, you may read 'Casa Nostra, A Home in Sicily' by Caroline Seller Manzo. Published in the US by Harper Collins, it can be ordered online. Please email Caroline for further details.
Mazara del Vallo: Mazara,Italy’s major fishing port, has a charming promenade lined with palm trees and three piazzas in the historic centre graced with beautiful baroque churches and civic buildings - even the remains of a Norman castle. Don't miss the beautiful bronze statue of a dancing satyr, a masterpiece of Greek art housed in a dedicated museum.
Mazara offers a wide range of shops and excellent restaurants, where you can savour the freshest seafood and fish, not to mention the delights of Sicilian traditional fare from fish couscous to the mouth-watering delicacies of cassata and cannoli.
There is a long and beautiful coastline with both sandy beaches and rocky coves where the sea is exceptionally limpid. In July and August the beach of Tonnarella offers the facilities of bars with deckchairs and beach umbrellas to rent.
The famous nature reserve of the Zingaro is an added attraction. For more information and photos of the surroundings to the villa, do email us for our website address.
Sightseeing: The ancient Greek city of Selinunte overlooking the sea is a 30 minute drive away. After exploring the ruins go down to the nearby beach of Marinella, cool off in the sea and feast on delicious local fish at one of the seaside 'trattorie'. Half an hour in the other direction is the mysterious temple of Segesta high up on a hill overlooking the valley. Nearby is the ancient Greek theatre. In 20 minutes you can reach Marsala famous for wine, and don't miss the Punic Ship on display at the museum. Just beyond Marsala is the lagoon with its saltpans and windmills. Visit the fascinating island of Mozia, once a Phoenician colony, and see the Punic remains, the museum and the beautiful Greek statue of a young boy. The medieval hilltop town of Erice with its Norman castle, site of an ancient temple of Venus, is an hour's drive from Mazara. From Trapani or Marsala you can reach the lovely Egades islands. The exotic capital, Palermo, and the Vale of Temples, Agrigento are easy day trips.
Today we are very sorry that we have to leave this wonderful villa.
We have stayed here with our five joint children and feel like the royal family staying in their Italian castle. We really enjoyed the beautiful house and grounds with swimming pool and tennis, but above all the citrus garden, which smells so lovely especially during the evenings. We toured most of the interesting sites and towns in the west of Sicily and also made a day trip to Palermo.
We felt very welcome and enjoyed the friendliness and hospitality of Nanette, but also of Marcello and Caroline, who were staying in the other house this week. For us being away and together, the seven of us, is always very special, but the location and environment of this truly family house was the perfect setting. We hope to come back.
Our experience at Santa Maria was breathtaking.
Upon arrival we were in awe of the impressive stone building, we passed through the beautiful courtyard and into the Santa Maria villa itself - which was absolutely stunning in every way possible.
Nanette, our host was on hand to welcome us to the villa, she was most helpful throughout our stay.
We spent our days in the Italian sunshine lounging by the superb pool, surrounded by the heavenly gardens. We sampled the local delights; eating scrumptious gelato in the town and visited the neighbours (The Gazzerosse Vineyard).
Our time at Santa Maria was absolutely perfect - a dream come true.
We all loved staying in Santa Maria - the accommodation is part of a very special family house - completely private with sole use of a fabulous swimming pool and lovely tennis court (once the sun has gone down!). We saw some of the sites of Western Sicily including Selinunte, Segesta, Sciacca & Marsala, along with the odd very lovely restaurant - but on the whole we so enjoyed the return to Santa Maria and its peaceful surroundings - so beautiful and constantly gave us the feeling of getting away from it all. I hope one day we will return.
The villa was perfect for us , a family of seven - 3 young adults and partners and the older parents.The villa was beautiful , spacious airy rooms which kept cool in the heat of the day. We spent our rest days at home ( after very active ones seeing the amazing sights ).Long breakfasts in the garden with refreshing lemon juice made with lemons from the garden . Keeping cool in the pool and sitting under the trees beside it. In the evening when it was cool enough , there were tennis matches. The gardens, villa, pool were all lovingly looked after and very beautiful. The kitchen was very well equipped which meant we could have some amazing food at home. We were very welcomed by the owner's sister in law who lives on the top floor of the castle. She was always on hand to help. We had a fantastic week and this amazing place is highly recommended by all of us.
We were a family of 6 adults, mum & dad plus 4 in their twenties.
The property is large, secluded and with lots of facilities.
It allowed outdoors activity of tennis, swimming and running, as well as lots of opportunity to relax. There was plenty of space to get some independence yet large communal areas for games and dinner. The kitchen and utility areas are large and fully stocked.
Wi-fi worked well, and there was TV but also board games and books.
Location is outside of town, so make sure you have the full address and directions.
There are very helpful owners family members on hand if you need anything.
The property is well placed for all main west coast of Sicily attractions.
A car is a requirement.
Overall a great place for a family to relax and explore Sicily.
A wonderful stay in Santa Maria...
Fabulous villa, pool, tennis court and gardens. While there are family members living above we had complete privacy. The villa was presented as described and very clean and well maintained. Any problems were resolved quickly by the on site managers of the property living above. It is hard to leave the villa but great sightseeing to be had in Western Sicily ... For historical sightseeing Selinunte is a must with well preserved Greek ruins against a coastal backdrop. The north west coastline for breathtaking scenery and fabulous beaches and the national park...Castellamare was our particular favourite ancient coastal town and the nearby picturesque hamlet of Scopello with stunning views and great swimming. We would thoroughly recommend Santa Maria as the perfect relaxing retreat in an ideal spot for sightseeing.
Our stay in Santa Maria was everything that we had hoped for. It was so hot that we didn't venture out much and loved spending lazy days under the olive tree by the pool, with tennis once the temperature eased a little in the evenings.
When we did go out, there were many restaurants to choose from in nearby Mazara and we enjoyed day trips to Selinute and Erice.
The property is beautifully maintained and it was very reassuring having Nanette and Silvio on site to welcome us and to help if required.
We would happily recommend the property.
Santa Maria is in the heart of the country of western Sicily, so the only noise you will hear is birdsong, particularly the resident hoopoe bird. The landscape is one of vineyards and olive groves, which stretch out as far as the eye can see to gently rolling hills in the distance. However the villa is not isolated. There are neighbours within walking distance and the nearest town, Mazara del Vallo, is only three miles away. This country villa is also near lovely beaches such as Tonnarella and Marinella. Excellent for sightseeing, Santa maria is just a short drive away from some of the most fascinating sites in Sicily: the Greek temples of Selinunte and Segesta, the medieval hilltop town of Erice and the Punic island, Mozia, not to mention Palermo the maginifient capital of the island. Access to the motorway from Santa Maria is excellent and Palermo can be reached in just over an hour. Ryanair, Easyjet and Alitalia all run flights to Palermo or Trapani airports.
Other Activities: kite surf and windsurfing
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable damage deposit||$369|
The villa is ideal for 6 people but 2 more people can be accommodated on extra beds in the study or television room at the cost of £100 per person, per week. We can also supply 2 cots for infants without extra charge.
There is an extra charge if central heating is used. No charge for air conditioning.