About the property
- Villa3229 sq. ft.
- Half Baths1
- Minimum Stay4 - 7 nights
Ground floor 3 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms, sleeps 6 to 8 plus pool and tennis court
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.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within a few hours
- english, spanish, portuguese, italian
- Calendar last updated:
- May 18, 2018
Marcello and Caroline are the proud owners of the ground floor of Santa Maria, a seventeenth century castle in western Sicily. Having met in London at a Halloween party, we have been together for over 40 years. Thanks to Marcello's career in an international pharmaceutical company, we have lived in various countries in South America and the Far East whilst bringing up our two daughters. While Santa Maria has been in Marcello’s family for over a century, it was at first the base of the family wine business. Then it became his parents’ home, which we and our two daughters would visit every year while we were based abroad. Twenty years ago Marcello inherited a part of the estate and we decided to convert the ground floor as our own holiday home. Respecting the villa’s three hundred years of history, we carried out a complete restoration, even discovering a seventeenth century archway in the process. Caroline’s interest in decorating is reflected in the attention to colour evident throughout. The property is now furnished with items inherited from our family and gathered from our travels around the world. Having completed the interior, we turned our attention to the grounds. We revived the walled orange garden, restored the old tennis court, planted an olive grove and added a beautiful swimming pool set within a Mediterranean garden. Meanwhile Caroline was writing her book about the villa, Casa Nostra, A Home in Sicily, based on her experience of family life in Sicily and the local culture and traditions. The book was published by Harper Collins in 2007. Santa Maria is so beautiful and so special to us that we now come here several times a year, sometimes with our children and grandchildren, but also for the olive harvest. Both our daughters chose to celebrate their weddings here. Since we now spend much of our time in London, we are happy to share our holiday home with other guests.
Caroline purchased this Villa in 1910
Why Caroline chose Mazara del Vallo
Santa Maria has a special place in our lives. Having lived in different countries about the world, we have always been back to the villa in Sicily, regarding it as a cornerstone in our lives. Marcello has an extended family based locally and many friends dating back to his childhood. Caroline has got to know the town and its history very well for the purpose of research for her book and is fascinated by many aspects of Sicilian culture. It is an amazing experience to live or stay in a villa so steeped in history. Although records go back as far as the 18th century, the building itself is at least 100 years older. The watchtower in the grounds bears an inscription with the name of the architect and the date:1584. Most probably the building once belonged to the Church and may have been a commanderie for the Knights of Malta. Anyone with an interest in history and Mediterranean culture cannot resist the fascination of this Sicilan castle surrounded by lush gardens, olive groves and vineyards, now with its own swimming pool and renovated tennis court.
Pool / Spa
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
ReviewsThis property doesn't have any reviews yet.
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
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
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.