Casa Vera is an (ultra) contemporary holiday home, coiled around a hilltop in the Syracuse region located to the south-east of the island. It is available for rent exclusively through The Thinking Traveller. The villa was designed and furnished by Gordon Guillaumier, an English designer and architect originally from Malta and now based in Milan, where he worked for a long time with Rodolfo Dordoni. The architecture is sober but artfully integrated into its environment. From the outset, the sheer magnificence of the Sicilian countryside was considered to be an integral part of the décor. The swimming pool, the vast terraces and the interiors of the villa are protected from the sun by an elegant play of light and shade, set off by raffia roofs and wooden and wrought iron screenwalling. This chiaroscuro technique is inspired by the traditional houses found in the region.
Functional yet elegant
The villa is organised in two parts: the main ”residence” and an outbuilding near the pool area. This is accessed by an external staircase built of local dry stone, and includes two large guest rooms, which open onto a shaded patio. The main house includes the communal areas, kitchen, dining room and living room, which communicate without doors or partitions. There is also a master bedroom that opens onto a balcony and two smaller bedrooms that open onto a garden. The kitchen is huge and is very much the “hub” of the house. It is functional yet elegant, welcoming yet uncluttered. The floor is made of smooth concrete and Italian marble has been chosen for the worktop. The kitchen cabinets are build from solid wood and the walls are clad with small (grey) Sicilian tiles. The Arab heritage is omnipresent in Sicily, not only in its art and architecture but also in its agriculture and cuisine. Ceramics is a traditional form of craftsmanship on the island…which can also be found in a much more modern version.
In the living room, too, the walls are covered with Sicilian “tiles” featuring a simple geometry and subtle colours. They contrast with the thickness of the concrete walls (to keep the room cool) and the gentle rigour of the decor. Never one to stick only to his own style, Gordon Guillaumier has chosen to mix his own creations with those of other Italian designers, interspersed by a few souvenirs brought back from his travels. A decoration that is “as uncomplicated as possible”. In his home, as in his work, the architect’s clean lines give rise to a minimal, timeless look that stands the test of time. Logically, the furniture is ideally suited to the house, but keeps the colours neutral to bring out only their elegant structure. “Simply beautiful” seems to be the term that best sums up this approach.
An endless view
The other “masterpiece” of the house is the pool. Dark blue, lined with natural stone and wood, its extremely streamlined look contrasts with the arid yet lush landscape of the surrounding Sicilian countryside. A swimming pool is also nothing without its immediate environment and the furniture specially designed to make its “deck area” more welcoming. Made of teak wood, the outdoor furniture sets off the terrace with the same attention to care and comfort that goes into living room furniture, further enhancing the quality of life. After all, the undeniable beauty of the place is also and above all the view. An endless view of the surrounding olive groves, fruit trees and crops, with the Mediterranean Sea in the background. It is worth mentioning that Casa Vera is located in the immediate vicinity of the Vendicari nature reserve, known for hosting some of the most beautiful beaches in Sicily.
Casa Vera is available for rent exclusively with The Thinking Traveller.
Rental price: € 9,030 to € 20,080 for one week depending on the period for 10 persons (5 bedrooms).
More information about the villa: www.thethinkingtraveller.com