Built in 1840 by the aristocratic ancestor of the owner, La Favorita has a long history of hospitality. Indeed, it was originally conceived as a country lodge to accommodate the Count and his friends during their hunting trips in the Marsala area.
The property’s function as a men-only residence is clear in some of its architectural features, perhaps most evidently in the staircase, whose relatively narrow gauge was fine for chaps in their riding boots, but certainly not practicable for ladies in voluminous, crinoline-rustling bustles.
As might befit a Count’s hunting lodge, however, La Favorita is generous in its overall proportions, with a succession of high-ceilinged rooms, a library, a panoramic sea-view terrace and extensive grounds. Of particular interest is the Scirocco terrace, an internal courtyard that allowed guests to sit outside but remain completely sheltered (and relatively cool) when the hot North African wind blew.
Originally of Catalan noblility, the family arrived in Sicily at the end of the 14th century, when King Martin the Younger of Aragon added the island to his already extensive list of territories. The living and dining room walls of La Favorita showcase the family’s long history, with two elaborate, floor-to-ceiling family trees and numerous oil paintings of the present owner’s many illustrious forebears. One beautiful portrait is of her American great-grandmother, Amalia Rixner Von Trottler, granddaughter of the governor of Louisiana.
La Favorita’s venerable age may also be noted outside in the grounds, where towering Mediterranean pines dapple the gardens with shade, monumental palm trees reach for the skies and mature shrubs and plants of all kinds create a verdant cocoon in which to relax.
Today, the Count's great granddaughter continues La Favorita’s long tradition of hospitality, opening up her beloved family home exclusively to guests of The Thinking Traveller.
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