Estate » Biography

Prince Gabriele Alliata di Villafranca was born in Palermo on November 3rd 1955 from Raimondo Alliata and Maria Josè Notarbartolo di Sciara.

He grew up in Palermo, living a well-off though not unusual life on week days, with his father, mother, sisters and a French nanny, and hectic Sundays with his beloved grandmother Vittoria. He used to spend those happy Sundays exploring and searching the age-old family mansion (Villafranca Palace in Palermo), or on cultural-gastronomic excursions to S. Martino delle Scale, Monreale, Cefalù and the Sancturay of Saint Rosalia on Mount Pellegrino, together with his grandmother and the family chauffeur, Giovanni. He used to have ice-creams and "sfincionelli" during breaks, and sometimes, when Grandma Vittoria took a nap in the pauses between their trips, he played soccer with Giovanni.
He started to follow his father on his summer visits to the several family estates in Sicily since he was a child.

The early Sixties' economic boom had left rural areas yet untouched. Prince Gabriele still keeps intact memories of strong personalities, magnificent panoramas, special fragrances, unique flavours, stifling summer heat, endless journeys on uneven roads, epic grape harvests, sticky hands.

In 1968, soon after the tremendous earthquake in Belice Valley, the family moved to the country for a short time, in their Pietraperciata estate nearby Taormina. Those months were unforgettable: outdoor life, bicycle rides to reach school, quiet evenings with the family. A time of great peacefulness.

Prince Gabriele lost his father in 1974.

In 1978 he got his law degree. Then a series of wanderings followed: first he worked in a bank in Naples for 2 years, then he came back to Pietraperciata in Sicily, but the time was not ripe for a permanent move yet. Between half of the Eighties and 1994 he started working as an insurer, first in Rome, then between Milan and London.

In 1995 he finally decided to move back to Pietraperciata, where he worked very hard. In the last thirteen years he devoted himself to the renovation of his own house, the Relais next to Le case del Principe and part of his farm.