SXSW Exclusive/Airbnb Hualalai’s Top Villa/Airbnb SXSW Exclusive/Airbnb Villa on the Rocks/Airbnb 1 of 4 Villa on the Rocks/Airbnb Next It seems just a few short years ago that Airbnb was a scrappy little startup for budget travelers. While plenty of couch-surfing deals can still be had, the site is also home to some of the swankiest crashpads. Here are four of the most ridiculously over-the-top villas you can rent on Airbnb.Villa on the RocksThe South of France Glimpse the Future of Camper Vans in the Stunning Hymer VisionVenture Previous Hualalai’s Top Villa/Airbnb 1 of 4 It’s hard to stand out at South by Southwest. The iconic Austin event brings together some of the brightest, most creative, most interesting people in the world. You might just be able to buy your way into the event’s elite social circle, provided you’re cool with splashing out on a nearly $10,000-per-night villa. The SXSW Exclusive Villa is exactly what it sounds like: a sprawling, three-property estate with every imaginable amenity all within walking distance of the festival. The pictures tell the whole story. Suffice to say, you won’t be wanting for much while you and your 15 closest friends are crashing here. Think multiple gourmet kitchens, media rooms, fur-lined chairs, Roman pillars, and a stunning outdoor party pool. 1 of 4 Hualalai’s Top Villa/Airbnb Editors’ Recommendations Previous Reunion Zero/Aribnb Reunion Zero/Aribnb It’s fitting that Orlando — home of the classic, over-the-top, family-friendly, all-American vacation — would be home to one of the largest vacation rentals in Florida. Reunion Zero is a 25,000-square-foot behemoth of a villa. In fact, with room for up to 34 guests spread throughout 14 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, it feels more like a boutique hotel. Add to that amusement-park-worthy amenities, and it’s a wonder guests would ever want to leave. Outside is a large, lazy-river-style swimming pool with two bridges, illuminated fountains, and a sunken pool bar, plus a large spa and a second, rooftop pool. Inside lies a gourmet chef’s kitchen, a home theater, a bowling alley, a multi-sports court, and several game rooms. That the garish contemporary decor borders on “Modern Willy Wonka” only adds to the charm.SXSW Exclusive VillaAustin, Texas Reunion Zero/Aribnb In Hawaii, every oceanfront villa seems grander and more luxurious than the last. Hualalai’s Top Villa rises above most — literally. The 6,300-square-foot, five-bedroom, 5.5-bath rental features a custom design that stays out of its own way to ensure the natural Hawaiian landscape is the real centerpiece. Outdoor rain showers, cornerless walls, and an ocean-view hot tub all ensure most guests will never need to leave. Inside is a stunning chef’s kitchen, four master suites, a state-of-the-art media room, and a curated fine art collection. What’s more, guests have access to a personal concierge to customize their vacation itinerary, plus access to all the amenities at the adjacent Four Seasons Resort. Sure, the all-in price is more than five grand per night, but who cares? Two words: Hawaiian sunset.Reunion ZeroOrlando, Florida Villa on the Rocks/Airbnb America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scene SXSW Exclusive/Airbnb Hualalai’s Top Villa/Airbnb Deep Sleep: The World’s Most Incredible Underwater Hotel Rooms Previous Next Rob Lowe’s Montecito Millon-Dollar Manse Hits the Market 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now 1 of 4 Next Reunion Zero/Aribnb Villa on the Rocks/Airbnb SXSW Exclusive/Airbnb Next Previous You’d be hard-pressed to find a bad spot to bed down in the South of France. Villa on the Rocks is no exception. The four-bed, 10-guest luxury villa is a beautiful architectural masterwork of modern and natural design. The centerpiece is a 91-foot outdoor lap pool that runs the entire length of the four-story house. Aquarium-style sides ensure indoor guests can easily keep an eye on swimmers. Immediately adjacent is a wide rooftop deck overlooking some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world.Hualalai’s Top VillaKailua-Kona, Hawaii
New York – The Italian government has established a council to foster relations with the Muslim minority living in Italy.Italy’s Interior Minister Angelino Alfano announced the establishment of the Council for Relations with Italian Islam on Tuesday to serve as an advisory board to help the lives of Muslim-Italians and their integration into the country’s society, according to Italy’s ANSA news website.“The Council will be tasked with providing opinions and formulating proposals on…the integration of the Islamic population in Italy,” Alfano said. The Muslim council will include professors and experts in the Islamic faith and culture, the same source noted.“Respect and collaboration between religious and cultural identities in Italy must be the premise for a dialogue that will enrich democracy, promoting the reasons of peace, social cohesion, and unity,” the minister added.According to demographic experts, there are over 1.5 million Muslims living in Italy, mostly immigrants and a small number of converts.Italian media stated that the new board will maintain open communication with the Italian government on Islamic issues and the unification of “Italian Islam.”“[The open dialogue] favors a community with all those who – while from different countries, cultures, religions and traditions – intend to contribute to the peaceful development and prosperity of our country, in full compliance with our laws and our Christian and humanistic tradition,” the Interior Minister said during the meeting.The idea of “Italian Islam” has experienced some challenges in the Roman Catholic-majority country.In March 2015, plans to build Europe’s first Islamic University for 5,000 students in the city of Lecce, in the southern region of Puglia Salento, did not succeed.According to Italy’s The Local news website, Giampiero Palladini, the Italian-Muslim convert who planned the construction of the higher-education establishment, was faced with Lecce’s local authorities that feared the “character” of the city would change with a Muslim university.Interestingly, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, who is also head of Italy’s New Centre Right (NCD) party, sparked controversy following the Paris terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015 when he said the Italian government would “crack down” on illegal mosques.According to the same source, it is not easy for Muslims to obtain government permits to open places of worship. Italy has only four official mosques for more than 1.5 million Muslims.