Select Sicily Villa. Photo by Select Sicily

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With its sublime natural beauty, extraordinary examples of Baroque architecture, and countless UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Italian island of Sicily is a treasure waiting to be discovered and should top your wanderlust list for 2023.

At 9,830 square miles, though, this sunny, tri-cornered island at the very south of boot-shaped Italy is far too large to explore in one trip. The Ionian coast with the ancient coastal city of Syracuse – not to be confused with Syracuse, N.Y. – is an ideal start.

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Nearly as prestigious as Athens, Carthage, and Corinth when it was a Magna Graecia colony, Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian) is a melting pot of history and architecture on the southeast coast of Sicily.

The little adjoining urban island of Ortygia, the oldest part of the city, is where most of the historical sites are located, including sumptuous Baroque palaces, gleaming white churches that date to the 7th century, and even a couple of Greek temples.

Select Sicily, one of the island’s leading holiday home rental agencies, will make sure you find the best accommodation in this area.

Villa holidays have always had their selling points: complete privacy, no shared facilities, no unwanted disturbance from other guests, the freedom to set your own schedule, and a private swimming pool where you don’t have to be up by 5.30 am to bag a sun lounger. In a post-Covid-19 world, luxury villa holidays are all the more appealing.

If you want to unwind, spend quality time with your loved ones, and disconnect from the outside world a little, renting a lavish private villa with all the modern facilities of a multi-million dollar home is a hard-to-beat holiday experience.

From ultra-luxe waterfront rentals to hilltop retreats with stunning views of the Ionian Sea, we’ve rounded up the loveliest villas around Syracuse to rent in 2023.

Villa Aqua, Syracuse

Villa Aqua, Syracuse. Photo by Select Sicily
Villa Aqua, Syracuse. Photo by Select Sicily

Perfectly integrated with the surrounding topography, Villa Aqua is an immaculate, modernist villa split over two floors, with four bedrooms, the kind of high-spec kitchen you see on TV adverts, and a spacious, light-filled open-plan lounge and dining area with floor-to-ceiling glass windows leading out to a covered panoramic porch.

This idyllic, dramatically positioned retreat offers unique charm, a wow-inducing pool, a fabulous sea-facing terrace, and shady al fresco areas in which to relax, recharge, and play chess or carrom with the sound of waves crashing in the background.

The exquisite beach of Fontane Bianche and all the other stylish lidos of the Ionian coast are just a short drive away, as are the historic centers of Ragusa and Modica, the Baroque pearl of Noto, and the seaside hamlet of Avola, from which the full-bodied red wine takes its name.

Prestige, Syracuse

Prestige, Syracuse. Photo by Select Sicily
Prestige, Syracuse. Photo by Select Sicily

Stunning geometry is part of the appeal for Prestige, a contemporary-design waterfront villa enveloped in total peace and quiet. This intimate luxury property to rent in Syracuse is expected to become one of the most requested villa rentals in Sicily’s southeast corner.

This one-of-a-kind, four-bedroom villa abounds with rich architectural elements and features a seaside tennis court, a panoramic veranda, perfectly-manicured gardens, and an inviting infinity pool complete with a jacuzzi and heated plunge pool. There’s even a telescope you can use to survey the starry night sky.

Orizzonte, Noto

Orizzonte, Noto. Photo by Select Sicily
Orizzonte, Noto. Photo by Select Sicily

Built in perfect harmony with its paradisal setting within what is arguably the island’s most beautiful strip of coastline, Villa Orizzonte offers precisely what’s in its name – hypnotic views of the undulating hills carpeted with carob and olive trees and the Mediterranean Sea stretching beyond the horizon line.

Its elevated position means that sea views are always on tap, no matter whether you are reading one of Andrea Camilleri’s books on the panoramic terraces, swimming in the wonderful 60-foot stone swimming pool, or waking to another beautiful sunrise.

Plemmirio Bay, Syracuse

Plemmirio Bay, Syracuse. Photo by Select Sicily
Plemmirio Bay, Syracuse. Photo by Select Sicily

Surveying the bright cerulean-colored Ionian Sea from on high, Plemmirio Bay is supremely beautiful. Located some 5 miles south of the UNESCO-listed town of Syracuse, this top-of-the-range villa with direct sea access owes its name to the protected Plemmirio coastal nature reserve, well-known for its excellent diving and beautiful stretches of beaches.

Here you can spot octopuses, colorful parrot fish, and even dolphins if you’re lucky.

This architect-designed, three-bedroom villa is ideal for enjoying the south-east of Sicily to the full, with complete privacy, seclusion, space and charm at home, seaside relaxation literally on your doorstep, and many of the area’s most fascinating UNESCO treasures just an easy drive away, including the late-Baroque towns of the gorgeous Noto Valley in the deep south-east of the island.

Plemmirio Bay Interior. Photo by Select Sicily
Plemmirio Bay Interior. Photo by Select Sicily

Villa Sciutìa, Scordia

Villa Sciutìa, Scordia. Photo by Select Sicily
Villa Sciutìa, Scordia. Photo by Select Sicily

Ideal for multi-generational family reunions, trips with large groups of friends, and other big occasions, Villa Sciutìa, pronounced with the stress on the last syllable, is a glossy supermodel of an estate including three buildings. The Main House has seven bedrooms and an exclusive suite with an Art Deco design.

The Old Bakery House has two additional guest rooms with en-suite bathrooms, and the Dining Pool House features a spacious and well-lit living and dining space.

This opulent mansion to rent in the picturesque village of Scordia, some 15 miles northwest of Syracuse, can sleep up to twenty-two people, and offers pretty much everything one could wish for in a summer house: an attractive 50-foot-long swimming pool, a full-sized tennis court, a children’s play area, a wooden sauna, and even a wine cellar.

The addition of a complimentary concierge service and an in-house private chef is the icing on the cake.

Looking for a unique luxury getaway next year? Whatever your aspirations happen to be, Select Sicily has got you covered, and will give you a taste of what it’s like to vacation like a celebrity.

The company has curated holiday rentals in this gorgeous island all the way down off the tip of Italy’s boot since the mid-2000s, with exclusive properties available from Syracuse to Palermo, from Taormina to Agrigento.

For additional information and to reserve one of the properties they currently have listed, visit Selectsicilyvillas.com.

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Author Bio: Jessica Maggi

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