Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves outside the Sicilian fishing town of Mazara del Vallo is a castle-like villa that dates back to the 17th century. Complete with turrets and towers, this fortified farmhouse was originally built as a monastery, and later became the centre of a local wine business. Now, the ground floor of this family-owned property is an elegantly furnished holiday retreat. The eclectic interiors feature pieces collected during the owners’ extensive travels across the globe: a Chinese-style library, a canary yellow living room with Brazilian ceramics, and a Moroccan-influenced suite all tell stories of a life well-lived. There’s plenty of outside space for peaceful contemplation, too. Take a sunset walk in the pine grove, admire the Mediterranean garden, or read a book under the shade of century-old olive trees. It’s easy to while away afternoons over long, lazy lunches within the walled orangery; there’s also a palm-fringed pool and a private tennis court. And if you manage to drag yourself away from this magical place steeped in history, there’s a plethora of interesting places to see close by: choose from white sand beaches, world-famous Greek temples and perfectly preserved medieval towns.