One of the most historically important villas in all Sicily, Villa Tasca is marvellously positioned right in the beating heart of central Palermo but surrounded by a cocooning private park. Recently the owner, who is from one of Sicily’s aristocratic families (as well as being one of Bellini Travels great friends) agreed to rent out the beautiful suites as a very luxurious, up market bed and breakfast. As the Palermo hotel scene tends to be disappointing at best, Villa Tasca is an extraordinary gift to visitors to one of our favourite cities in all Italy.

Of the four suites, our favourite is Donna Franca followed swiftly by Majolica. The additional two suites don’t benefit from the soaring high frescoed ceilings and are located on the ground floor rather than the magnificent piano nobile. Service is enchanting; everyone from Giuseppe Tasca and his extended family who live on the estate to the butler who brings you freshly squeezed blood orange juice for breakfast want to extoll the beauty of the city and what you should see and do each day.

The 24-acre private park features winding paths, an enchanted pond (with swans of course), a neoclassical gazebo and a wide and highly respected variety of exotic plants. There is a swimming pool providing welcome relief after sightseeing amongst the hustle, bustle and noise of Palermo. Plus it’s important to bear in mind the hill town of Monreale with its magnificent cathedral is just a short drive away for an evening passeggiata and cannolo. Villa Tasca is a remarkable and unique blend of Sicilian history; she has played host to many famous visitors over the centuries including Wagner, who finished ‘Parsifal’ here and it has always been a meeting place of brilliant minds. A visit to Sicily would not be complete without staying here.