Perfect for those fleeing crowds, the unhurried Sicilian town of Noto is replete with Baroque-style limestone edifices. While White Lotus season two pulled throngs of tourists to the series’ main filming location on the Italian isle, the hilltop town of Taormina, Noto’s charm and palpable authenticity remain intact through and through, from the pastry shops lining its main street to the denizen-cum-denizen main piazza in the center.
A couple of short ascending blocks from Noto’s main thoroughfare is Palazzo Alvear, a stunning Italian villa that’s nothing short of a dream. But then again, we can’t expect anything less from any property that’s part of luxe, crème-de-la-crème European villa rental company, The Thinking Traveller?
Palazzo Alvear sports four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Enter through the front door, then head up a couple of steps. You will arrive at the first of the three reception rooms: high ceilings with a dangling contemporary chandelier, a centerpiece wooden table with modern & yesteryear vestiges, whitewashed walls, grey polished concrete flooring, a corner chaise & desk, plus two sets of French doors — one of them ushers guests onto a large terrace with an outdoor dining table — fill the space.
To the left is one of the main living rooms. A wide arabesque opening —flanked by a pair of antique sideboards stocked with antiquarian objects — spawns a natural flow into the space. A zebra-printed ottoman grabs your attention. Two white sofas appear on each side of a marble fireplace with the owners’ coat of arms on top of it.
Right to the side of it is the villa’s kitchen. Ask for one of The Thinking Travellers’ master chefs to cook you Pasta a La Norma one night. Your tastebuds will thank you. An al fresco dinner is the way to go.
There’s the main bedroom, which has access to the internal courtyard. The sunken tub promotes romantic baths (that said, it often feels like anything Italian is romantic?). An eclectic art collection dresses the villa’s monochromatic walls, especially in the main bedroom, where framed humanistic art appears ubiquitously. An assortment of skulls sit on one of the stands.
One more bedroom exists in the main house. It’s equipped with a double bed, armchair, marble-dressed en-suite shower room, and a charming small balcony that looks out at the street.
One of the most beguiling features is its sanctuary-like courtyard, which has a pool, tables, and lounge chairs — a trifecta combination that makes it the perfect place to lay back and enjoy the La Dolce Vita lifestyle.
Right off the courtyard is the third bedroom, which also comes with an en-suite shower room.
Head downstairs from the courtyard and you will enter the oh-so-private guest suite: a spacious space with vaulted ceilings, a living & dining area, kitchen, plus en-suite bathroom.
Location: Noto, Italy (Sicily)
The vibe: A Sicilian palazzo and beguiling courtyard that allows you to live La dolce vita 24/7.
Our favorite thing about the villa: The courtyard — it’s the perfect place to escape all the hustle and bustle you left behind before your trip to Sicily.
Amenities: Courtyard pool, kitchen, washing machine, air conditioning, daily maid service & private cook (upon request), dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, smart TV, Wi-Fi, and Sonos wireless music system.
Any personal neighborhood recs? Yes, make sure to check out Anche Gli Angelia, a wine restaurant & lounge that occupies the bottom space of an erstwhile church. Design lovers will be in raptures over how the space fuses new with old: exposed brass piping and spider leg-like lamp fixtures rub shoulders with preserved high-vaulted ceilings.
Itinerary recommendations: The Thinking Traveller offers a wide range of Think Experiences: their special programming that brings guests to the forefront of local culture, from denizen-ran gastronomical lessons to wine tastings, and castle tours. When here, opt to book the Cookery Class in Modica, which offers travelers the chance to learn local culinary fare under expert chef Katia Amore.
Price per week: $5,797-$10,265
How many bedrooms & bathrooms?: Four bedrooms and four bathrooms.
Closest airport: Catania Airport