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Discovering Sicilian Matriarchal History with Rocco Forte

By Thursday, 18 April 2024 10:45

Explore Sicily through the unconventional perspective of the island’s matriarchs, old and new, exclusively available at Rocco Forte’s Villa Igiea and Verdura Resort.


Stories of powerful 1900s Sicilian women

Villa Igea and Verdura Resort, Rocco Forte’s luxury Sicilian properties, have launched a new Sicilian Matriarchy experience, inspired by the Belle Époque period socialite Donna Franca Florio. Celebrating the powerful and elegant women who brought creativity to the island in the 1900s, the Sicilian Matriarchy itinerary offers a new way to discover Sicily, with all women-led experiences curated into itineraries for the two respective properties:

The Urban Itinerary at Villa Igea

mini 2 Sicily Matriarchs RFH Villa Igiea Igiea Terrazza Bar 7831 JG Jun 21Villa Igiea


At Villa Igiea, the urban itinerary consists of five carefully selected locations in Palermo featuring the island’s breathtaking architecture and landscapes. From the Fondazione Federico II visitors move on to discover the Norman Palace and the Palatine Chapel, and the queens that inspired Dante’s Divine Comedy. The itinerary then leads to an unconventional atelier, where the ancient Sicilian art of embroidery is brought back to life through a sustainable production model. And it’s then time to a step back in time with an exclusive chamber music concert in a magnificent liberty-style Palazzo.

Stops at an artist’s atelier and a botanical garden

A contemporary artist from London, who moved to Sicily in search of inspiration, opens her house, inviting guests into her atelier, followed by a tour of her favourite markets and shops in the traditional Ballarò neighbourhood. The tour ends at the Botanical Garden of the Duke of Serradifalco, recently restored to its former glory by the owner and with Princess Licata di Baucina who will take guests on a guided tour.
 Verdura Resort Architecture detail VSCAPE Verdura Resort

The Countryside Itinerary at Verdura Resort

At Verdura Resort, Rocco Forte’s 250-hectare countryside estate, the itinerary focuses on how the stories of Italy’s matriarchs continue to unfold in the provincial villages of Sicily. The countryside itinerary starts in Aragona, a town just a few minutes from Agrigento, where local matriarch Maria and her daughter Elena uphold traditions of historical oven-cooked cuisine sharing traditional Sicilian recipes with visitors.

Coral crafts and a couscous cooking class

At the next stop guests are introduced to the art of processing coral with Laura, a fourth-generation goldsmith and coral craftswoman. In the museum and laboratory in her ancient Palazzo in the heart of Sciacca visitors will find authentic coral from the region, renowned for its salmon colours and unique fossil status. Then it’s time to explore the cultural fusion of the Mediterranean diet, led by an award-winning Senegalese Chef. The culinary journey starts with a couscous cooking class, where the main ingredient serves as a key to female empowerment in the small community of Senegalese women in Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples.
mini 4 Sicily Matriarchs RFH Verdura Resort Pool Suite Acacia 1676 JG Jul 18Verdura Resort Pool Suite Acacia

For information: roccofortehotels.com/villa-igiea; roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/verdura-resort
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