Its red-ochre façade looks out over a garden of English lawns and high palm trees, dominating the historic centre of Milis, a town outside of Oristano, as does the Gothic-Catalan perspective of the church of San Sebastiano. Every detail of the magnificent Palazzo Boyl has been beautifully tended to. In the past, everything had to be perfect to receive the Piedmontese sovereigns of Sardinia and their important guests. The building is a gem of mostly Neoclassical Piedmontese architecture and has almost a thousand years of history behind it. It started out as a monastery (listed in the condaghe of Santa Maria di Boncardo), traces of which are still visible, where, in a strange twist of fate, the first citrus groves of Milis were eventually planted, then some hundred metres out. It became an aristocratic residence in the XIV century and then completely rebuilt in the 1600s, the old building folded into the new one. Until the end of that century it belonged to the Vacca family. Then one of them married the Marquis Vittorio Pilo Boyl of Putifigari, a military engineer and author who, along with his brother, expanded and modernised the residence. The villa took its name from this family of Piedmontese nobles, relatives of the Savoy dynasty, who kept it until 1978. Over the centuries, the building underwent further changes: the entrance gallery and Neoclassic flair are the most apparent of these. The façade is graced with windows under slightly overhanging edges. The white frames contrast with the Pompeii red of the walls and at the centre are four jutting pilasters under Ionic capitals. In the middle is a great door under a wrought iron balcony and, further up, a belvedere terrace. At the top are four busts of white marble, allegories for the four seasons. A great white clock further embellishes the façade. The timeless beauty of the interior remains intact. In the spacious rooms of the lower floor are gorgeous mosaic floors and furniture that echo the nobility of the aristocratic Boyl family. On the upper floor is the fascinating Museum of Sardinian Dress and Jewellery, an ethnographic exhibition of textiles, garments and ornaments that span two centuries of history. The courtyard is home to an amphitheatre where events are held. As the sun sets, as the first lampions are lit and the lights go on in the museum’s rooms, you can enjoy the spectacle of the dark blue sky, the piazza and the palm trees gently swaying in the breeze. The atmosphere will bring to mind the illustrious personages that used to come and stay here. The palazzo, aside from being the summer and long weekend residence of the marquises, was also the occasional residence of Alberto La Marmora, of Kings Carlo Felice and Carlo Alberto, of Italian intellectuals like Grazia Deledda and Gabriele D’Annunzio, as well as such illustrious foreigners as Honoré de Balzac and Valery, the librarian of the King of France.