Positioned in the center of the small fascinating town of Palazzolo Acreide (incorporated in the list of The World Heritage since 2002), this antique Sicilian mansion is nonetheless characterized by a wide fenced luxuriant garden: over 250 square meters, with an antique well to collect rain water, fruit trees all over and a very nice (not fenced) pool with salt water, which guarantees tranquility and privacy even if the villa is located in the very beating heart of the historical center of the town.
Villa Marcì has been restored after a deep study of the original age, fully respecting its antique traditions.
The recreated atmosphere is warm, comfortable and domestic … in a word “cozy”. The idea behind the restoration was, indeed, to make guests feel at home even when home is so far away and even preserving its noble and antique hint. The deep love put by the current owner in the overall restoration project can be absolutely perceived in every single detail of the interior and exterior of the villa.
Staying at Villa Marcì means being at a walking distance from anything: the cozy local cafés, the characteristic and inviting restaurants, the peculiar food shops…
However, not only the palate will de delighted!
Thanks to the many fascinating buildings in Baroque style, indeed, Palazzolo Acreide has been incorporated in the list of The World Heritage since 2002 and because of its geographical position it can be a great starting point formany different trips and excursions (one of the "must do" trips, for example, is the visit of the valley of the stone water mills, all still perfectly working and immersed in the uncontaminated nature of creeks and small lakes). The truly strategic position of Palazzolo Acreide (equally distant from Syracuse, Noto, Ragusa, Modica and Caltagirone) goes together with a good offer of transfer services. This means that – should one fear to drive along the narrow Sicilian roads – it’s absolutely possible (at a reasonable cost) to relax and hire a driver who will lead you all around those beautiful places.
Whether you stay at Villa Marcì during Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter time, you’ll find lots of amazing experiences to live!
These are just few tips, the MUST DO if you find yourself in Palazzolo Acreide at that specific time:
• The religious celebrations of San Paolo (29th of June) and of San Sebastiano (10th of August) are strongly felt by the local people, therefore those days are full of historical processions, fireworks and celebrations of any kind… emotions guaranteed!
• At the end of July, there’s the food & wine event called “Vicoli e Sapori”, a path along the medieval alleys with tasting of typical “palazzolese” products offered by the local restaurants.
• The “Notte Rosa" (Pink Night) at the beginning of August: the town of Palazzolo Acreide is gorgeously decorated and all over the historic center there are music and theater events, always accompanied by wine and local products tasting.
• During autumn, in the central square of the town, there’s the most local famous fair called “Agrimontana”, where you can find all the typical autumn/winter local products, such as cold cuts, handmade cheese, mushrooms, truffles and the sausage of Palazzolo (Slowfood mention).
• During Xmas time (along December and January) the town is full of street markets and living nativity scenes; in the central square, there’s also an ice skating rink and various big tents where music parties take place
The property has 2 entrances: one is on the backyard, reachable with the car (directly from the main paved street) and leading to the kitchen area, where there’s only a low step to enter into the villa, through the French door of the kitchen; the other entrance is on the front of the villa, which is elevated from the main road, therefore there are at least 20 steps to reach the entrance door of the villa. We suggest to use the backyard entrance to leave the luggage and to anyone with walking difficulties.
The whole villa develops along the ground floor, which makes it suitable also for old people or anyone with walking difficulties.
The kitchen is fully equipped (oven, microwave, toaster, stove with 5 flames, dishwasher, Illy coffee machine, fridge) and in the living room there’s also the dining area with an extendible table for up to 12 people.
In the garden (near the pool) and in each private balcony/garden, there is the outdoor equipment (such as small tables, chairs, deck chairs). The tables can be joined together to create a large outdoor dining table.
Each of the 3 bedrooms is soundproof (new windows with the most recent technology), equipped with AC, desk, flat screen TV (with SAT), sitting area, Illy coffee machine, tea pot, fridge (with free bottles of water) and with en-suite bathroom.
All the bathrooms are en-suite and with a wide chromo-therapy and hydro-massage showers (shower size: 1,40 – 1,60mt), bathrobe, slipper, hair-dryer and courtesy set by Ferragamo.
The villa offer 3 bedrooms with 3 en-suite bathrooms:
THE CORNELIA SUITE (35 m²)
Quadruple loft bedroom with 1 double bed at the ground floor (French size, 140x200) and 1 double bed on the loft (queen size, 180x200). It’s equipped with its own terrace (around 15 sq.m) with table and chairs, with view on the inner court.
THE CLODIA SUITE (25 m²)
1 double bed (king size, 200x200). This suite (besides the shower) has also an antique scenic stone bath in the room, perfectly functioning. It’s equipped with its private winter garden (15 sqm) with table and chairs.
THE TURIA BEDROOM (20 m²)
1 double bed (Queen size, 180x200) and possibility to have a third single bed (sofa bed, 80x180).
No smoking villa
Not fenced Pool 7,5 x 2,5mt, depth 1,48mt – salt water
Garden 250 sq.m, with fruit trees and an antique well
TV sat in the bedrooms
Washing machine and iron and ironing board available inside the outdoor shed
Kitchen equipment (oven, microwave, toaster, stove with 5 flames, dishwasher, Illy coffee machine, fridge)
Pool towels included
Crib and high-chair available on request
Cook service, extra-maid service, driver, babysitting available on request at extra-cost
No security box
No bug screens on window (no need)
The nearest airport is Catania-Fontanarossa International Airport (distance of 90km, 1h and 10mins drive)
Villa Marcì – being in the very center of Palazzolo Acreide – is situated at an overall equal distance from some of the most interesting places to visit of the Southern East Sicily, such as:
Syracuse (40km, 40 mins drive)
In the words of UNESCO, “the group of monuments and archaeological sites situated in Syracuse… is the finest example of outstanding architectural creation encompassing several cultural influences (Greek, Roman and Baroque)”.
Syracuse became arguably the most influential city in Magna Graecia following its defeat of Athens in 413BC. Visitors today can wonder at the archaeological site (whose superb Greek theatre takes pride of place) and the island heart of the town, Ortigia, whose labyrinthine streets weave around ancient ruins, mythological sites and markets before spilling out into the glorious Piazza Duomo, home to a sublime Baroque cathedral built around he columns of a Hellenic Temple of Diana.
Syracuse offers evocative visions at every step, but when the sunset time arrives, it offers you the best of its panorama. Few suggestions:
• If you are in Ortigia during sunset time, you will have to find a comfortable place where to enjoy the splendid show that Nature will offer together with the beautiful Ortigia. There is no better place than a bench in the Piazzetta degli Innamorati, above the Fonte Aretusa. Of great romanticism, it is better to live this experience in two… the emotion of holding the hand of your beloved will remain forever engraved in your heart!
• The Greek Theatre has an own ancient language… During the sunset, this magic place becomes more amazing. The soft and intense light of the setting sun is reflected on the ancient rock and the most frequented theater in Europe becomes a surreal scenario where time seems no longer important.
• If you want to enjoy a sunset in total connection with nature and the spirit of the places, go to Plemmirio, at the height of the Gates 21, 22 and 23. A show of superhuman beauty will shine in front of you… You will see the wonder of the Plemmirio cliffs that stretch out in front of the coast. In the distance you will see the Arenella and its low roofs, its soft colors and its golden beaches… simply gorgeous!
The Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (40km, 55 mins drive)
Going to visit the reserve of Pantalica means hiking in the history, culture and nature of the south-east Sicily. Unesco World Heritage Site in 2005, it covers 3,712 hectares in the territories of Sortino, Ferla, Cassaro, Buscemi and Palazzolo Acreide.
It is a little paradises which give the visitor moments of absolute peace in contact with nature, besides one of the most important archaeological sites in Sicily, situated in a deep gorge in the Iblei Mountains. The first to tell about Pantalica was Thucydides, which fixes the birth in 792 BC. The first inhabitants of these rocks were the Sicilians (“the people of the bees”, so called because they live in the caves they had dug in the stone) who built the cemetery, the largest of Sicily with over 5000 tombs, in natural caves hollowed into the bare rock, dating back to between the 13th and 7th centuries BC. The necropolis offers a though-provoking insight into Sicily before the arrival of the first Greek colonists. For a long time it remained uninhabited, but had a second settlement in the Byzantine era when many to escape from the Arab invasions, found refuge there. Of this period is the rock village of San Micidiario, in the center of which there is the church by the same name, once adorned with Byzantine paintings.
Noto (30km, 35 mins drive)
World Heritage site since 2002 thanks to its beautiful baroque-style historic old town, Noto has become a much appreciated destination.
In 1693, a terrible earthquake devastated the southeast of Sicily, flattening towns and killing hundreds. The response to this disaster was Phoenixesque, a rising from the rubble that sparked the beginning of an inspiring, utterly beautiful late Baroque renaissance. In the words of UNESCO, “the Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto in southeastern Sicily provide outstanding testimony to the exuberant genius of late Baroque art and architecture… and represent the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe.”. The Cathedral is one of the most beautiful and famous expressions of Noto: it was built immediately after the earthquake, but the realization lasted until 1776; damaged by the earthquake of 1990, it suffered severe collapse in 1996 and the recent restoration work was finally completed in 2007 and gave back to the Cathedral its original charm and beauty, especially at night when the artificial lights reflect on the honey-colored stone… the effect is enchanting.
Should you decide to visit Sicily in the month of May, try not to miss the “Infiorata”, a tradition for the third weekend in May, when the streets of the city are transformed into a blaze of colorful flowers, an atmosphere that attracts many visitors every year. The event is one of the most spectacular events of the Sicilian Spring and boasts almost forty years of history. Via Carrado Nicolaci (122 meters long and 7 meters wide) will be transformed into a carpet of petals, scents and colors for about 6 meters. Either reproductions of famous paintings or original drawings, it doesn’t really matters…what matters is that they are all created by the genius of its own creator using flower petals. The visual impact will leave you breathless.
Ragusa and Modica (45km, 1h drive)
Since 2002, the city of Ragusa joined the UNESCO list and became in recent years an exceptional tourist destination, both thanks to its baroque charm nestled in the old part of the town and the beautiful beaches of the coast.
The descent towards Ragusa Ibla can be done on foot, thanks to the old road that connects the upper city: remember to wear comfortable shoes… there are “only” 340 steps to go… but it’s worthwhile!
Also Ragusa by night is worth a visit: there are many nice places where you can drink something, fine restaurants where you can delight your palate and craft shops that sell local products which, during summer, display their products until late in the evening, allowing for a little shopping even at unusual times.
The historical town of Modica is built at the foot of a rocky ridge where once two rivers flew (they are underground today). The town is worldwide famous for it’s superb chocolate (a true must!), but the elegancy of its buildings and its streets richly decorated with baroque motives are as well worthwhile. The dramatic earthquake in 1693 caused drastic changes also to Modica: the town, almost completely destroyed, lost its charisma and its political importance which it had enjoyed in the past. But the subsequent reconstruction gave to the town the baroque appearance by which it is distinguished nowadays in a way that it had been declared part of the world cultural heritage in 2002.
Caltagirone (60km, 1h drive)
It is one of the most interesting inland Sicilian destinations. Perched on three different hills, which boast of stunning views of the valley below, the town of Caltagirone became famous especially for the quality and sophistication of its ceramics. The main road of the town is the long via Roma, which cuts the city in two and leads to the famous “S. Maria del Monte stairway” (or simply “La Scalinata”, the Steps of Caltagirone) which is the most famous site of the city. The stairway was built in 1608 and forms the connection between the old town (the seat of religious power in the XVI° century) and the new part where the civil buildings were constructed. On the two sides of the stairway there are the two old quarters of S. Giorgio and S. Giacomo, whose intricate narrow streets contain beautiful religious buildings. Some of the most interesting buildings are to be found along via Roma, with many examples of majolica decorations. The centuries-old art of pottery-making has been part of the history of Caltagirone since ancient times and has made it famous all over the world. Generations of craftsmen and artists have followed on from one another each interpreting in their own original way the ability of the potter to create shape and colour. In 1953, the 142 steps that constitute the stairway were completely rebuilt in lava stone and were elaborately decorated with hand-painted works from local craftsmen (splendid polychrome majolica tiles with alternating geometric, floral, animal and decorative motifs). The visual effect is absolutely stunning!