While on holiday, Sicilian nobles took their concept of grand-style living to the country and seaside, and the splendid Villa Tasca, about six miles from Palermo, is a prime example of this taste for rural luxe. While the villa was home to a number of families, the Tascas, counts of Almerita, came to own it in the 19th century.

One of the largest palazzi in the Palermo area, where everyone from Giuseppe Verdi to Jacqueline Kennedy came to visit, it offers enormous reception rooms and lavish bedrooms with intricate stucco work and frescoes. Terraces with majolica tiles overlook the 20-acre park and enormous swimming pool set in the Mediterranean garden.

Starting rate: $20,550 to $27,588 per week.

Contact:, 39.091.6574305; Huw Beaugié,, 44.020.7377.8518,

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