NOTO, Italy — Having previously invaded the Hamptons, Nantucket, Aspen, Palm Beach and the Dominican Republic, I set my sights for a summer vacation on the remote southeastern area of Sicily, known as Noto, as the guest of the fashion designer Luisa Beccaria; her husband, Lucio Bonaccorsi, a Sicilian prince, and four of their five gorgeous children. Time has stopped here. There is not one crumb of plastic or inch of neon. The view is 500 acres of olive and almond trees. Twelve years ago, Luisa and Lucio began to not only restore the castle, but also revive the old Sicilian culture of aristocratic country life. They rebuilt many of the very thick white stone walls, painted the rooms with pastel colors, decorated with pale, simple furniture, and created interiors that float in the air on a mountain top. It takes a lot of guts to announce, “We did not hang paintings because none are as beautiful as our views.” There is also no air-conditioning or fans. A breeze always fills the long antique lace curtains. You are living Visconte’s film, “The Leopard.” With other houseguests, there is a total of a dozen perfect children plus the housekeepers. All in all, 21 people speaking in Italian. When they’re not, they’re asking me what I think of George Bush. They clarify that they are not anti-American, just against our present administration. But it’s embarrassing. I don’t want to defend Bush. I am also rehashing information about Tom Cruise. The chef makes delicious dishes made from homegrown tomatoes, zucchini, cucuzza, eggplant, olives, almonds, cucumber, carub, pasta, etc. We feast for the entire stay. The local light wines flow like water. The perfect vacation …

XOXO Peggy

Editor’s Note: Uberpublicist Peggy Siegal just returned from a summer jaunt to Noto, Sicily.

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