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October 23, 2012

A Luxury Villa in Sicily

By Ingrid Skjong | Villas

A Luxury Villa in Sicily
Courtesy of Think Sicily

Located on the east coast of Sicily, overlooking magnificent views of the Ionian Sea and the lava peaks at Mount Etna, Rocca delle Tre Contrade is a villa with history and contemporary personality. Built in 1850 on a sizable wine estate, the home was originally a summer residence for a local well-to-do family. When Jon Moslet, a current owner, came across the property, he jumped. A lover of the Sicilian countryside (and the plethora of abandoned country homes ready for revamping), he and his team set out to rescue the abode.

Without skimping on modern conveniences, the renovation, which began in October 2008, preserved all of the home’s original details, including lofty lava-stone arches, vaulted ceilings and reclaimed terracotta floors. That use of authentic materials and traditions paid off. Rocca delle Tre Contrade won second prize this summer in the Italian architecture competition PIDA, and its blend of new and old offers an idyllic homebase. (It is an exclusive property of villa rental company Think Sicily.)

Up to 22 guests can stay in its 11 en suite bedrooms, and the dining room table sits 32. Nearly all of the bathrooms come with views of the sea, some also housing private balconies and central cast-iron bathtubs. An infinity pool overlooks a lemon grove. Though staying in is a treat, there are numerous activities in the surrounding area, including trips up Mount Etna, a tour of nearby Taormina, visits to local villages and markets, a boat trip up the coast and a helicopter outing. From $16,710 for 12 people; trecontrade.com; thinksicily.com.