Botanic garden

The elliptical pond... ... provides refuge to water plants, fishes and birds. Nymphaea Lotus flowers Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) Giardino6 Giardino7 The botanic garden is in the middle of a large loquat garden Local produce from the garden Giardino11 Giardino12 Jacobinia flowers in the foreground beside the steps Giardino14 Giardino15 Giardino16 Giardino17 Giardino18 Giardino19 The collection of exotic palms along the main pool Exotic palms Exotic palms Giardino23 Giardino24

The accommodations and structures of Villa Cecilia are located in the middle of an old loquat trees garden of 10,000 m2 that belongs to the property.

The loquat fruit and in particular the varieties “Nespola Rossa del Giappone” and “Nespolone di Trabia”, are produced in Italy almost exclusively in the area of Trabia thanks to its favourable climate conditions. The production started in the '50 and for years has contributed to the local wealth.

Nowadays the loquat trees are still grown in the area but their main local contribution is environmental and aesthetic. The loquat is in fact appreciated worldwide as an ornamental evergreen plant with its long dark leaves, in addition for its delicious fruit.

Aiming at enriching the biodiversity of the garden, without reducing the loquat trees, the owners of Villa Cecilia have first created several roof gardens on the various terraces and balconies of the Main House.

Around the main pool they have then created the large collection of exotic palms native to Australia, Florida, Madagascar and Mexico: four Ravanee rivularis around the jacuzzi pool and then Arcontophenix alexandrae, Bismarckia nobilis, Noedypsis decaryi (Triangle palm), Sabal palmetto, Macrozamia moorei, Dasylirion etc…. The botanic species are indicated by tags.

Next to the main pool is also present a collection of Crassulaceae.

In the villa there are also tropical flowers like Justicia (Jacobinia or Brazilian Plume Flower), Pachystachys lutea, Odontonema strictum (Firespike) and roses climbing on trellis roofs and fences.

The garden is personally supervised by the owner, a botanic enthusiast, and has been planted with special care for the alternation of the leaves colours and the flowering periods during the seasons.

Review by Union of Garden Clubs Italy (UGAI)

In July 2015, Villa Cecilia Trabia has been visited by representatives of Union of Garden Clubs Italy (UGAI) who have written a review on the UGAI website. You can read the article below and here.

The Garden of Cecilia - by Marzio and Giusi Giacalone (UGAI)

July 2015

We visited a botanical garden unique in Sicily.

It is arranged on the side of a hill, in the form of a large amphitheater facing the sea (at a distance of not more than 70 to 80 m.) and is organized in terraces of varying shape and size. This garden contains a large amount of plant species, some of great value and rarity, from Sicilian, Mediterranean and even tropical origin.

As tribute and testimony to the ancient crops endemic to the area, a large part of the land is home to a “nespoleto” (loquat orchard).

The complex is large, very large and also impressive for the care and placement of tree species studied.

This is not just a botanical garden; is the park that surrounds “Villa Cecilia Trabia”, located in Trabia, 20 km east of Palermo.

Transformed by the owners, Cecilia and Gioacchino, into a 4 star deluxe villa residence, it has three buildings (in addition to the large Main House at the center of the complex). These are perfectly and discreetly placed among the greenery of the park, a swimming pool (20 meters long) that degrades in a large whirlpool below that, in turn, degrades in an ornamental pool. The complex can accommodate up to 22 guests who are given a welcome of high quality including tourist assistance, rental of boats etc.

On arrival, we were immediately captured by a large elliptical pond where, among aquatic plants of various types, we found swimming fish of various colors, sizes and species (fishes whose greed we don’t question as confirmed by Gioacchino who likes to feed them with the grandchildren).

The Main House dominates the site from the top of a hillock. A narrow avenue begins to rise to the top among rare plant species (for the area), as the coffee plant, and sites equipped for rest/entertainment of the guests. As you climb you stop frequently to admire plant species that Cecilia illustrates mentioning also their Latin name.

Clerodendrum trichotomum - Spathodea campanulata with bell-shaped flowers that resemble red tulips - Catalpa pink flowers - Jacaranda with elegant bearing - Tipuana tipu (rosewood from Brazil) with yellow flowers - Coffea arabica - Pachypodium with bell-shaped fragrant white flowers - Acacia flamboyant with flaming red flowers - Chorisia speciosa - Grevillea - Alpinia with the porcelain ears - many Alocasias - Catalpa paulownia with blue flowers - various types of Eritrine (mainly cristagalli, commonly called coral tree) - Schefflera - Monstera - Musa. In an area more protected from the cold and wind we find tropical plants: Papaya, Mango, Litchis, Annona cherimola.

Once at the top of the park, it is a must to stop and admire the magnificent view. The eye takes in the whole stretch of sea between the tip of Aspra and the mountain of Cefalù. On the sea, at the right of the nineteenth century building of the “Tonnara di Trabia”, is the Castle of Principi Lanza di Trabia where (in the 50’s and 60’s) often stayed with his guests the Prince Raimondo Lanza, whose adventures are narrated to us by Gioacchino, at that time a bold young man.

Behind us a large haired carob tree, very wide and branched. Suddenly we hear a rustle of stirred leaves and a guttural and repeated verse. We worry a bit but soon the mystery is solved: for the first time in our lives we see two hens fluttering quietly, like great birds, among the branches of carob tree, trying to intimidate intruders with their clucking. Cecilia explains that the two hens come from somewhere and have been living long-term undomesticated on the carob tree. We thought of the eggs: they must be very good (but also the hens should not be too bad).

We start to step down, we cross the great nespoleto and get to the pool terrace. Meanwhile night falls and the area, cleverly lit, offers an extraordinary glance. Show within a show, is the impressive wall of trees along one side of the swimming pool.

Here we see the Chrisalidocarpus lutescens that surrounds the smallest pool. At the four corners of the whirlpool the Ravenea regularis, then Arcontophoenix alexandrae, the Arecastrum romanzoffianum, commonly called cocos plumosa – the palm Bismarckia nobilis - Howea fosteriana - the Neodixis or triangular palm - the Butia capitata - the Eritrea armata - the Phoenix reclinata - the Phoenix roebelenii - the Cycas circinalis - the Macrozamia mollis, a protected species - the Zamia sulfurea. Near the fishpond also Washingtonia robusta - the Livingstonia australis - a large collection of Bamboo - Dasilirium spinulosum - Dasilirium longissimum - Chamaerops humilis, commonly called Scopazzo - Sterlizie queen and other species - Palm Caryota of various species - Nolina mangiafumo (smoke eater). The complex is completed with showers, toilets and a small outdoor kitchen/bar.

We sit at one of the tables and Cecilia offers us a delicious appetizer (canapés and a refreshing beverage made of celery juice blended with various ingredients).

Finally, we get to see the Main House up the top of its roof terrace. The view is wonderful and, now that it was dark, even more impressive.

For this meeting Gioacchino and Cecilia had chosen a day when exceptionally there are no guests. They would arrive the next day, forcing the owners to retire in the (no less comfortable) Cottage Agapanto and then to return to Rome once even this would be occupied in early August.

The day with Gioacchino and Cecilia ended at the restaurant "Al Pescatore" (200 meters away) where you eat practically on the sea rocks and where we were in for a wonderful "fish fry" watered by a cold enough Chardonnay from Cusumano (it is especially recommended).

To our dear friends our big thank you for offering this unforgettable afternoon.

Marzio and Giusi Giacalone


- After the trip organized by the Roman Garden in the Eastern Sicily is now the turn of Western Sicily. And if this trip were to be realized we strongly recommend including a visit to Villa Cecilia. Sincerely, it withstands comparison with the most famous Italian gardens.

- Special thanks to Cecilia who provided us with the names of plants.

Contact Info
an image
Villa Cecilia Trabia
Tourism & Service Srl
SS113, 4
90019 Trabia, Sicily, Italy

Phone: +39-338-1550331
Latest News

August 2020
Special Offer!
20% OFF the stated prices for stay in 2020.

January 2016
Botanic Garden Review!
Villa Cecilia Trabia has been visited by representatives of Union of Garden Clubs Italy (UGAI) who have written a review on the UGAI website. More...

November 2015
We have added a new accommodation for rental: Cottage Agapanto. Independent and secluded cottage with a panoramic view on the sea bay. Ideal for for couples looking for their privacy. More...

March 2014
We now offer an even wider range of services including touristic tours with an English speaking guide to the historical highlights of Palermo, Monreale and Trabia.

April 2013
Our guests staying in the Main House can enjoy a private chef available also for large groups with a wide selection of regional and Sicilian dishes.