Villa Valguarnera is a magical setting for all seasons. With little or no winter and a temperate summer, it is a perfect resort all year-round, recognized as one of the world’s most fascinating destinations. It is perfectly situated on the airport highway between Palermo and Cefalù and all major Sicilian archeological sites can be visited on a one or even half-a-day excursion. Today, there are more ancient Greek temples in Sicily than in mother Greece.
Uniquely positioned between Northern Europe and the Middle East, the cultural tapestry of Sicily is a blend of Phoenician, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Spanish, Austrian and British traditions which results today in a rare cosmopolitan and tolerant social character found in few places in the world.
During the 250 years of the Islamic presence in Sicily was a place where Latins, Greeks, Persians, Indians, Jews, and Armenians converged to create a unique Mediterranean society. Sicilian dirhams were exchanged even as far as Peking. Embroidered silks from Palermo were the essential bridal dowry of the great courts of the age.
Palermo—called al-Medina—was the wealthiest Mediterranean commercial port in the 10th century and the final destination of the Silk Route from China.
The Christian Norman king who conquered Sicily absorbed the cosmopolitan heritage of Byzantines and Arabs into his administration, architecture, art and ceremonial rituals. He developed commercial and diplomatic contacts to the Levant and the Maghreb which lasted for centuries when Sicily served a bridge between East and West.
Palermo is the only European city celebrated as an Arab-Norman cultural jewel by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Palermo’s layers of civilizations—uniquely symbolized in the Royal Palace— speak of a continuity that cannot be found elsewhere in Europe. Sicily’s unique music, art and culture have few rivals in Europe, as well as its food, considered by many as the finest in the world with its infinite variety of fish, delicious vegetables, gelato, pastries and wines.
Today, Palermo is easily accessible from most airports in Europe.