Sicily was a part of Bourbon Spain in those days, and the political situation meant that Bourbons made up Sicily's aristocracy. An important part of this ruling elite, the Valguarnera family, built for itself a villa by the same name in the 1700s for use as a summer house.
In the 1800s, Villa Valguarnera passed by inheritance to the Alliata family. Around this time, of course, European nobility was in decline, losing its power and wealth. Villa Valguarnera became increasingly difficult for the Alliata family to maintain.
The Alliatas still have Villa Valguarnera today. But the latest generation of the family has taken upon itself not only the maintenance of Villa Valguarnera, but undoing the past sins of renovation as well – as shown in the video above. Incidentally, the video has strong Sicilian roots: it was made by a native son of Bagheria, Oscar-winner Giuseppe Tornatore for the Sicilian fashion guru Domenico Dolce. The music was contributed by a Honorary Citizen of Bagheria: Ennio Morricone.
The new Alliatas have one important new idea: they intend to enact their improvements to Villa Valguarnera without the help of the taxpayer. A central part of this plan is having Villa Valguarnera open to those enjoying their holidays in Sicily in the name of sustainable tourism.
Villa Valguarnera is in the Sicilian resort town of Bagheria (red umbrella on the right).
It is one of the giant villas built by Sicilian aristocracy in the 17th and 18th centuries. With its park-like gardens, one could easily enjoy summer holidays here.
For more information about Bagheria, see these:
Villa Valguarnera is divided into six main parts:
Four holiday apartments at Villa Valguarnera are managed by Solemar Sicilia:
Bored by everyday holiday apartments?
Looking for something a bit more interesting?
Then you are looking in the right place:
Villa Valguarnera is an eclectic mix of aristocratic splendor from the past and holidays on the farm – all inside a middle-class city which was even once a stronghold of the Sicilian mafia.
How it all came to pass is something the young, welcoming heirs to Villa Valguarnera are more than happy to explain.
In the old days, every villa in Bagheria was surrounded by giant gardens and lemon groves. Today this is only true of Villa Valguarnera.
Because the Mediterranean doesn't lack for greenery, each holiday apartment has its own private garden-space.
This as well as the sheer size of the location and its hospitality makes Villa Valguarnera an ideal family-friendly destination. Children have a wonderful outlet.
The old nobility might have been known for its decadence, but the Alliata family in the 20th century was a source of great creativity:
Francesco Alliata grandfather of the present owners – was a pioneer in underwater film. His daughter Vittoria Alliata translated Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" into Italian – at only 15 years of age! Her cousin Dacia Maraini is one of the most famous Italian writers.
But have no fear – philistines are still welcome at Villa Valguarnera.
Sicilians are extremely welcoming. And Villa Valguarnera is no exception.
In addition, you can communicate in English, German, Spanish, and even Arabic. Arab civilization had a positive impact on Sicilian history a thousand years ago. The Alliata continue to build on this enlightened foundation.
Palermo is one of the most underrated cities in Europe, and definitely worth a visit during your holidays in Sicily. First and foremost, it is one of the safest vacation cities in Europe. Indeed, today one could call it an anti-mafia capital.
Palermo is also one of the liveliest places there is, and so the peaceful Villa Valguarnera is the perfect complement. Just as its builders intended three-hundred years ago.
The holiday apartments available at Villa Valguarnera are supervised by Solemar Sicilia. Solemar Sicilia is a Sicilian-German family-run operation that has offered excellent holiday apartments, Bed & Breakfast and hotel accommodation for thirty years.
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Holidays in Sicily are at their most wonderful when Solemar Sicilia helps you with their tourism and accommodation service.