Santa Rosalia is a family villa in the country with a large pool and garden. A lush Mediterranean garden is offset by a large pool 12 x 6 metres, surrounded by olive trees. You can relax on a sunbed by the pool under a beach umbrella or enjoy the view of the pool and garden from the vine-covered pergola in front of the villa. The main door takes you into a bright and airy sitting room leading into the dining room and then the kitchen. All three rooms look onto the front garden and the pool, while doors open onto a patio behind the house. Upstairs a long corridor accesses 4 double bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. There is a third bathroom downstairs. (An adjacent ground floor study with sofa bed may be rented as an optional fifth bedroom, particularly suitable for older guests.) The house is very spacious and has been recently refurbished to a high standard of comfort.
Close to the villa next door but completely secluded by a high wall and tall cypress trees, it has its own access road.
Mazara and beaches: Mazara, Italy’s major fishing port, has a charming promenade 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 rescued from the sea by a local fisherman and now housed in a dedicated museum. Away from the main squares is the kasbah, a maze of winding streets and miniscule piazzas dating from the Arab occupation of the island in the 9th and 10th centuries. Recently renovated this area is now dotted with attractive bars and restaurants open in the evening.
Beyond the town 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. Further afield is the famous white sandy beach of San Vito Lo Capo and the nature reserve of Lo Zingaro, which can be reached in just over an hour.
Sightseeing: The ancient Greek city of Selinunte by 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 open air theatre, where performances of plays and concerts are held every summer.
In 20 minutes you can reach Marsala, famous for wine, where top quality wines can be savoured at various prestigious wineries. The Punic Ship salvaged from the sea nearby is on display at the Baglio Anselmi museum. The province of Trapani has been famous for salt production since Roman times and just beyond Marsala is a lagoon where salt is still produced. The picturesque windmills that once serviced the saltpans were built during the Spanish occupation of Sicily.
Take the ferry boat to the fascinating island of Mozia, once a Phoenician colony, with the Punic remains of the walls and city razed to the ground in the 4th century BC. Visit the Whitaker Museum with its star attraction of the Ragazzo di Mozia, a classical Greek marble statue of a young boy, which was found lying in the lagoon.
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 Egadi islands. Palermo, Sicily's exotic capital, and the Vale of Temples at Agrigento are easy day trips.
Mazara is a Mecca for people who like to eat - not the place to come if you are on a diet! It offers a wide range of excellent trattorias and restaurants, where you can savour the freshest seafood and fish, not to mention the delights of Sicilian traditional fare from fish couscous to melanzane alla parmigiana - aubergines baked with cheese, basil and tomato sauce In the manual you will find in the house, we recommend the very best of local restaurants, all of them dedicated to offering excellent Sicilian cuisine and at very reasonable prices. For families there are many low cost, child-friendly pizzerias on the lovely promenade beyond the city centre. They offer not only pizzas, but a very wide range of pasta, vegetable, meat, seafood and fish dishes. Those of you with a sweet tooth won't resist the pasticcerie - pastry shops - where you can buy mouth-watering delicacies, such as cassata, cannoli or almond pastries. or delicious ice cream. Remember Sicilian ice cream is the best!