The Best Holiday Apartments in Sicily

Sicily's wild, rugged coast
Sicily's wild, rugged coast | © Joe / Unsplash
Photo of Liza Karsemeijer
16 December 2020

Bed down in a private palazzo or sleep in a basilica-spying suite at one of these smart Sicilian stays.

Italy’s most underrated destination? Sicily might just clinch it. The free-spirited, wild-at-heart Mediterranean island has natural beauty around every cove; undiscovered ghost towns stencilled with Arabic, Greek and Roman history; and the purest food plucked from the land. These apartments let you enjoy it with independence – but with restaurants, pools and wine tours never far away.

Le Cupole Suites & Apartments, Trapani

Budget Hotel, Apartment, Independent Hotel
4.9/5 (7 Reviews)
Le Cupole Suites & Apartments
Courtesy of Le Cupole Suites & Apartments / | Courtesy of Le Cupole Suites & Apartments /
On Sicily’s west coast, Trapani is a city stuck between two seas that’s been lapped by waves of civilisations for centuries. These apartments almost mirror the city’s palimpsest-like past: set in an 18th-century palazzo, where modernity reigns supreme today. The best apartments (aim for the top-floor attic room) have views of the Basilica di San Pietro’s majolica-covered domes. Downstairs at reception, you can arrange car, motorbike and bicycle rental, or book onto a tour of Trapani’s salt pans and the Egadi Islands.
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Ferrini Home Residence 150, Catania

Budget Hotel, Independent Hotel, Apartment
4.7/5 (54 Reviews)
Ferrini Home - Residence 150
Courtesy of Ferrini Home - Residence 150 /
These classically decorated apartments are a short stroll away from Catania’s old town. The hosts here have over 40 years of experience in hospitality and can help you find the best places to eat in the ancient port city on Sicily’s east coast or organise a trip to the looming hulk of Mount Etna, which lingers in the distance. Apartments are impeccably dressed in neutral shades of taupe and cream; grander ones have polished parquet floors and two bedrooms tucked away inside. Despite the high style, they’re affordable and luggage storage, food delivery and tours can all be arranged.
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Don Vittorio, Naxos

Budget Hotel, Apartment, Independent Hotel
Don Vittorio Country Village
Courtesy of Don Vittorio Country Village /
Giardini Naxos was the earliest Greek settlement in Sicily and today its ruins lie among citrus groves, close to the sea, and with Etna as the dramatic backdrop. We can think of worse places to spend a week – and this resort modelled on a country village is only a brief drive away from the former Greek colony, with apartments that sleep up to five guests, an outside pool and a playground for kids. There’s even a restaurant, raised 300m (985ft) above sea level with great views, and you can bring four-legged friends to roam around the large, lush gardens.
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Palazzo Planeta, Palermo

Boutique Hotel, Apartment
4.8/5 (21 Reviews)
Palazzo Planeta
Courtesy of Palazzo Planeta /
The Planeta family owns several wineries in the Sicilian countryside and a vine-stitched resort in Menfi. But this historic palazzo is its Palermo base, with several renovated apartments that sleep up to five people. They’re all named after city sites – such as labyrinthine Ballarò and Vucciria markets, birthplace of Sicilian street food. Each stylish room comes with original timber beams, antique wardrobes and wall-hung terracotta plates mixed with modern kitchens, private terraces and opulent private tubs. If photographs of the vineyards don’t remind you of what the hosts do best, the free welcome pack with Planeta wines and products will. You can even visit their cellars in Menfi, Noto and Etna, or arrange a tour of the city with on-hand guide, Arianna Patti.
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  • Villa Cinzia Mondello, Palermo

    Budget Hotel, Apartment, Independent Hotel
    Villa Cinzia Mondello
    Courtesy of Villa Cinzia Mondello /
    Conveniently located on the route between Palermo city centre and the airport, this apartment in the Mondello neighbourhood is perfect for beach-loving groups. It’s only a two-minute walk from city beach, Spiaggia di Mondello, and also features a roofed veranda with sun beds, hammocks and a dining table for al fresco meals. Host Francesco, a native Palermitan, will gladly share his favourite restaurants or even show you the city first hand: like most Sicilians, he’ll enthusiastically tell you about the island’s history and culture.
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    The Malandrina, Taormina

    The Malandrina
    Courtesy of The Malandrina /
    The Malandrina feels like the Sicilian second home of your dreams. Its furnishings are a modern take on a classic beach house; its location is only steps away from Taormina’s main street – a city famed for its Etna-spying amphitheatre; and its sea-view roof terraces are furnished with smart sun beds. Yep, this one has it all. The palazzo-turned-family home has been renovated with strictly Italian design, mid-20th-century furniture and sweeping marble staircases, created by local craftsmen. When you check in, a basket of fresh fruit, bottle of champagne or box of chocolates will be there to greet you. For an extra fee, lunch and dinner can be arranged in your room.
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    Palazzo Melfi, Comiso

    Suite Hotel
    4.8/5 (16 Reviews)
    Palazzo Melfi
    Courtesy of Palazzo Melfi /
    Elegant furnishings, a central location in Comiso’s centre and an extensive breakfast buffet of local products – all for a modest price. That’s the proposition at Palazzo Melfi, an apartment hotel that calls out to couples seeking a romantic getaway thanks to its atmospheric frescoed ceilings in many of the rooms. The icing on the cake? It’s only 30 minutes from Modica, a spectacular baroque village and custodian of Sicily’s centuries-old chocolate-making tradition.
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    Relais Parco Cavalonga, Donnafugata

    5/5 (2 Reviews)
    Relais Parco Cavalonga
    Courtesy of Relais Parco Cavalonga /
    This Sicilian countryside hideout is crafted from a hamlet of 17th-century farm buildings, and today features botanical gardens and tiered infinity pools, all carved into the rocks near Ragusa. You’ll find the island’s quietest beaches a 30-minute drive away and in the estate’s own grounds, you can go horseback riding, play tennis or opt for a round of golf. Rooms overlook a valley studded with century-old olive trees; the eight apartments can sleep up to six people, with private terraces and gardens adding space for all.
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    These recommendations were updated on December 16, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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