Once in a lifetime

Exploring Ispica and Corleone on Sicily

When you're dreaming of endless warm days, far, far removed from the chill of winter, one place that should pop into your mind for your next holiday is the lovely Italian island of Sicily. As the largest of all the islands in the Mediterranean, with some of the richest history and a slew of beautiful beaches to laze on, it is no wonder that villas to rent in Sicily are some of the most sought after in Europe.
You can choose villas to rent in Sicily on the waterfront, or, if you prefer the elegance and beauty of the interior of the island, the villages and towns dotted around are ideal as a base to explore the wider region. One of the most appealing things about the island is the warm, engaging nature of the local people - you will feel like you exploring a true history, no matter where you turn. Two lesser-known places to visit are Ispica and Corleone.


While it is always interesting to see the larger cities of the island, sometimes it is more fun to choose villas to rent in Sicily outside the more populated areas - like Ispica. Located on a hill in the southern part of the island, Ispica is only six kilometres away from the seaside. It is home to some of the most splendid examples of Sicilian Baroque architecture in existence. First mentioned in history in a church document in 1093, the history of the town goes way beyond that, however. It was almost entirely destroyed in a great earthquake of 1693, and many of the architectural touches of the city are owed to Vincenzo Sinatra, who rebuilt the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

Nearby, the Cave of Ispica, from which the town gets its name, is a series of houses carved into the rocks that have been there since before the Greek colonisation of the island. If you are lucky enough to holiday there during Easter, you are in for a treat, as the town is well known for its impressive Easter celebrations.


When you are looking for villas to rent in Sicily, you may also wish to consider somewhere in the northwest of the island, near Corleone. If the name sounds familiar, you may recognise a suggestion of links to the modern incarnations of the mafia - and there is an element of truth to that. But the history of the town goes back much further and is far more complex. The 11th-12th century watch tower, Saracena, still stands guard over the town, but the impressive defensive walls have long since crumbled. You should also take the time to visit the Mother Church, which was begun in the 1300s and is a beautiful testament to the changes that architecture can bring to a region over the ages.

Looking for your perfect home away from home in Italy? Mark Slaviero is a Director of Holiday Homes in Italy, a company specialising in finding the holiday home, villa or apartment of your dreams. For the ideal villas in Sicily and accommodation in Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, the Italian Lakes, ski resorts and more, we offer the best in every region.