Family Travel Guide with Kids

Villa Igiea & Verdura Resort Sicily

Sicily is bustling, thanks in part to the island’s two Rocco Forte hotels’ superb hospitality. This London-based fourth-generation family firm lays out the red carpet at each of its five-star hotels/resorts around Europe. Rocco Forte guests enjoy soothing spas, destination-level bars and restaurants, and elegant facilities that ensure outstanding encounters within its historic hotels. Villa Igiea and Verdura Resort in Sicily are excellent introductions to the brand’s versatility and the beauty of this rogue Italian island.

Chic by the sea: Verdura Resort

Rocco Forte’s Verdura Resort and its 568 hectares of zagara-scented land on Sicily’s southwest coast, between Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples and the little fishing village of Sciacca, are best explored by bike. (There is a free fleet distributed over the site that may be purchased.) The modernist design of Verdura lets the landscape to shine; two golf courses (one 18-hole and one nine-hole) and more than a mile of private shoreline give the “wow” factor.


Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte Vice President and Design Director, has created a distinct feeling of place at Verdura. The resort embodies casual sophistication and is a great family escape. The spacious, youth-focused indoor/outdoor Verdùland provides engaging daily programming for children and teens, giving parents the opportunity to play a game of Italy’s number one dish, attend cooking classes or mixology, taste wine, or rest in the luxurious Irene Forte. The largest spa in Rocco Forte’s portfolio. The spa, one of Europe’s most advanced premium wellness centers, offers a variety of exercise programs and treatments, as well as an open-air thalassotherapy circuit comprised of four swimming pools of varied temperatures.

Verdura with its 203 modern rooms and suites are simple but elegant and cocooning, reflecting the rough and rocky nature of southern Sicily. Its geometric structures, each directed toward the sea, merge seamlessly with the surrounding terrain. A large swimming pool surrounded by lounge chairs and daybeds serves as a focal point, and the private beach with thatched parasols features a water sports center with wake and flyboarding, windsurfing, and other activities. Trails for jogging, trekking, and cycling wind through the resort’s olive, orange, and lemon groves.

As at every Rocco Forte hotel, Verdura’s cuisine reflects the region. Ingredients include authentic Sicilian products such as freshly caught fish, extra virgin olive oil produced by the Verdura organic farm and vegetables, oranges, lemons, aromatic herbs and almonds from the resort’s organic garden . A well-stocked and very careful wine cellar presents the best labels and grape varieties of the region. Breakfast at Buongiorno is particularly generous, with a sumptuous buffet featuring freshly squeezed orange juice from the resort’s many orange trees. And don’t miss the evening aperitif (a particularly Italian custom) at the Granita Bar where craft cocktails are served under a bright setting sun.

Timeless elegance: Villa Igiea, Palermo

The opulent Villa Igiea in Palermo was once the home of Italian socialite Donna Franca Florio, who founded the historic and unique grande dame hotel at the turn of the twentieth century. The villa has welcomed kings, dignitaries, and Hollywood stars over the years, all of whom have enjoyed the gardens flanking the Tyrrhenian Sea and the resort’s Belle Époque interiors.

Polizzi has imaginatively reimagined the facility, repairing and improving its central areas, 78 rooms, and 22 suites to new levels of lavishness since it was purchased by the Rocco Forte Hotel Group in 2024. She was inspired by the powerful Florio family as well as the Edwardian and Belle Époque eras in which Villa Igiea was erected. Sala Basile, the jewel of Villa Igiea, with its Sicilian Art Nouveau murals by revered painter Ettore de Maria Bergler, served as a color chart for the hotel’s interior design.

The chic presence of Villa Igiea’s illustrious past guests is palpable in the resort’s stunning Terrazza bar and patio, where cocktails are named after Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Paul Newman, Gina Lollobrigida and others. The evening aperitif, enjoyed in the vaulted bar or outdoors on the vast terrace scented with zagara, evokes a nostalgic atmosphere, reinforced by waiters in tuxedos and a bow-tied bartender who takes his job seriously. The elegant Florio restaurant and its Louis XVI room retain the same charm that attracted diners at the height of the Belle Époque. Here, chef Fulvio Pierangelini designs his decadent Mediterranean menus inspired by the simple, fresh flavors of Sicily.

A swimming pool facing the Bay of Palermo, a tennis court and the Irene Forte Spa, infused with the fresh and intoxicating scent of Irene Forte’s organic body products, complete the options for rest, leisure and rejuvenation.

Sicily is vast and the hospitality choices are endless. A visit to Villa Igiea and Verdura is an ideal way to experience the generosity, variety and best of this enchanting island.

Photos courtesy of Rocco Forte Hotels, unless otherwise noted.

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Family travel guide


Villa Igiea & Verdura Resort offers a variety of family-friendly accommodations, including rooms, suites, and villas. The villas are ideal for families with multiple children, as they offer plenty of space and privacy.


The resort offers a variety of activities for all ages, including swimming, tennis, golf, biking, and cooking classes. There is also a kids’ club with supervised activities for children ages 4-12.


The resort has a number of restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines, including Italian, Mediterranean, and Asian. There is also a children’s menu available.


The resort is located about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Palermo Falcone Borsellino Airport (PMO). The resort offers a variety of transportation options for guests, including airport transfers, car rentals, and taxi service.

Specific activities and attractions that families may enjoy at Villa Igiea & Verdura Resort:

  • Visit the beach: The resort has its own private beach, where families can relax, swim, and build sandcastles.
  • Play golf: The resort has a world-class golf course, which is perfect for families with older children.
  • Visit the spa: The resort’s spa offers a variety of treatments for adults and children, including massages, facials, and body wraps.
  • Take a cooking class: The resort offers cooking classes where families can learn how to make traditional Sicilian dishes.
  • Visit the nearby town of Sciacca: Sciacca is a charming seaside town with a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions. Families can visit the town’s thermal baths, explore the medieval castle, or simply enjoy a stroll along the waterfront.

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