Living La Dolce Vita at Villa Tasca
The gates open to reveal a long tree-lined avenue. Sky-high palms stand to attention in a guard of honour, welcoming you to your extraordinary home away from home. As the facade of Villa Tasca comes into sight, you realise that you are about to embark on an unforgettable holiday.
Your hosts are there to greet you and introduce their staff, whose brief is simple: to make sure you never lift a finger! Your exploration of Villa Tasca’s magnificence begins with an aperitif on the large majolica-tiled terrace overlooking the stunning gardens and pool
No matter how many photos you’ve seen, you’ll never be quite prepared for what you see once you move indoors! The beauty, the opulence, the comfort and the artistry will take your breath away... even as your stay comes to an end you will still be marvelling at your surroundings.
Once settled in to your spacious, welcoming rooms, a stroll around the landscaped gardens is in order, followed quickly by your first swim in the inviting pool. As the sun begins to set, it’s time to prepare for aperitifs and dinner on the terrace... The magic of your surroundings, the cook’s delicious creations and the discreet, efficient service transform your evening into a veritable soirée!
On awaking at Villa Tasca after your first night’s sleep you might well need a couple of minutes to remember where you are! Breakfast has already been prepared, and the smell of coffee and warm croissants lures you out of bed. Your companions are already up and busy discussing their plans for the week...
Though you wouldn’t quite believe it from where you’re sitting, you are in Palermo, one of Italy’s largest, oldest and most historic cities. Full of art, and with a plethora of architectonic treasures (Andrew Graham-Dixon, the art historian, rated Palermo as his favourite city in the world in his BBC series Sicily Unpacked), Palermo deserves and rewards exploration. We recommend you put yourself in the hands of one of our expert guides for a tour or two. They will show you what you really shouldn’t miss (not just the major sights but also the hidden gems) and help you make sense of a city whose history is more various and multi-layered than most.
After a half-day tour of Palermo, why not request a driver to take you over to Palermo’s seaside resort: Mondello. Either spend a little time on the glorious sandy beach or make use of your honorary membership (as guests at Villa Tasca) of La Vela, Mondello’s most exclusive beach club.. After soaking up the sun, swimming and taking a laser out, head back home for showers, drinks and another excellent dinner. Or , if you're visiting between October and May, why not consider a night at the opera at Teatro Massimo, the third largest opera house in Europe! We've recently seen excellent production of Tosca and La Damnation de Faust, this latter directed by Terry Gilliam, no less!
If you’ve been enjoying your food and wondering how to cook alla Siciliana, why not let us organise a cooking experience with a member of the Tasca family! The Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School has been running for over 24 years. After shopping for ingredients in Palermo’s historic markets, you’ll learn how to create some Sicilian specialities, have a tour of this fascinating home and lunch on the fruits of your labours!
In the afternoon you might like to head up to Via Liberta' and Via Ruggero Settimo for a little shopping therapy! Numerous big-name boutiques (Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, CK Jeans, Rolex, Chanel, etc.) and local specialists selling ceramics and other objéts d'arts line these two streets, offering rich pickings for those with a penchant for fine things. Or if you're keen on learning more about Palermo's incredibly various history, why not book one of our special interest itineraries?
You now deserve a day relaxing in the salubrious surroundings of Villa Tasca, lying by the pool, strolling around the bewitching gardens and communing with Tristan and Isolde, the swans named in honour of the house’s most famous guest, Richard Wagner. We would also be happy to arrange for a masseuse to pop in, making your day of pampering complete! In the evening, why not go out for dinner in one of Palermo’s many excellent restaurants: we know the very best and would be delighted to recommend one!
The Tasca family are wine producers par excellence! Their family has been cultivating the land and producing some of Sicily’s finest wines for generations. This being the case, why not spend day number four visiting one of their wineries in the centre of Sicily for a guided tour, tasting and lunch. We’ll arrange for one our drivers to take you so that everyone can participate fully! This trip is also a good excuse to see some of the island’s most stunning countryside, the Madonie Mountains. You’ll discover a totally different Sicily, a far cry to life in the big city or down by the coast, and taste lots of things you’ll wish you could take home with you!
After your day out in Sicily’s hinterland, you’ve already reached day 5! Some of your group might be hankering for Mondello beach or the exclusive environment of the Telimar Club. Others might still have a desire to explore the island’s immense treasures. If you’re part of the latter group, we suggest a day out visiting the twin sites of Segesta and Erice: the former is the site of an immaculate Elymian-Greek temple and a stunningly positioned theatre, while the second is a mediaeval hill-top town whose history dates back to Phoenician times and whose views take in over half of Sicily!
As you join up with the other half of your group for another congenial dinner in the fabulous surroundings of Villa Tasca, talk turns to your last day. Something special is needed to bring your holiday to a fitting end! So why not charter a speedboat to whizz you out to the Aeolian Islands or the island of Ustica (a little closer). You can stop off for snorkelling whenever you fancy, nip into port for a fish lunch and admire the immense beauty of these unspoilt islands... Once back at Villa Tasca, feeling sunbaked and salty-skinned, it’s time to prepare for one final dinner on your favourite terrace... under your favourite stars... looking out over what has become your favourite garden!
Don’t be sad at saying goodbye to Villa Tasca, though: it’s been there for hundreds of years and will still be there next year, its doors always open to you! This is not goodbye but arriverderci!