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Jacques Garcia - A Sicilian Dream - Villa Elena
Celebrated interior designer Jacques Garcia invites readers inside his private residence in Sicily for the first time. The former monastery, rebuilt in Noto’s characteristic golden limestone, boasts spectacular salons that have been restored with a profusion of noble materials and techniques: colored marbles, flamboyant stuccowork, majolica tiles, damask silks, and velvets. Time stops in the elegant music room, decorated with embroidered silks and rococo-style mirrors that reflect the decor to infinity; the gilded dining room is hung with silk damask wall coverings and an eighteenth-century Murano chandelier and furnished with Chantilly porcelain and antique Italian rococo chairs. The grand marble salon features baroque paintings and a stunning collection of sculpture and Sicilian furniture.
The exquisite villa—surrounded by shaded terraces planted with towering cacti and succulents—attests to Garcia’s love of ancient civilizations and his masterful blending of Arabian, Norman, Renaissance, and baroque influences that converge in Sicily’s colorful history. The domain, dotted with ancient sculptures and reflecting pools, is graced with splendid panoramic views revealing the sea near Syracuse, a distant folly, a restored villa nestled in an ancient olive grove, and the decaying grandeur of a classical temple reconstructed with ancient fragments.