History comes to life inside the stone walls of Sicilian masseria Dimora delle Balze, but it’s not the only lesson on offer…
The island holiday home has been transformed from an abandoned relic into a contemporary retreat by owner Elena Lops, where guests can brush up on their art and photography, or sharpen their skills in the kitchen with private lessons.
Lops enlisted designers Draga Obradovic and Stefano Guidotti to help revive the Val di Noto masseria, which dates back to the 1800s and was abandoned for half a century. It’s packed with Sicilian flavour: thick stone walls have been repaired while ancient columns line the 11-bedroom villa’s terraces.
Rediscovered period details, such as wooden elements and fragments of decoration on the vaulted ceilings, provide inspiration for the interiors and have been paired with Moroccan floor tiles and subtle bursts of colour.
‘We were really moved by the strength, decay and echoes of the past,’ Obradovic told Vogue Australia. ‘We could see the indelible mark of the succession of cultures and styles — from the most glorious, such as the Byzantine remains, to the more recent humble rural stalls and drinking trough for the animals — and these influenced our reinterpretation of the interior.’
Bedrooms – starting from €545 per night – are set around the cobbled courtyard of the masseria, which can be rented in its entirety. Named for Sicilian artists and works, each is outfitted with locally made wooden furniture. Suites also have their own terraces, with views of the Italian holiday home’s 27-acres of gardens, lemon orchards and carob trees, and private swimming pool.
Dimora delle Balze sits on the south-eastern part of Sicily. It’s close to some of the island’s most scenic beaches including the Lido Di Sacramento and Fontane Bianche, and a plethora of Roman ruins and baroque monuments for eager explorers.
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