Set in a Picturesque Fishing Village; Charming Beach Apartment in North Sicily with Sea-view Roof Terrace
Casa Vincenza is a beautiful renovated flat in the fishing village of Porticello, in the municipality of Santa Flavia, on Sicily’s Tyrrhenian coast. Just a few miles from the great city of Palermo, Porticello nonetheless retains the feeling of a small, close-knit community, and the centrally located apartment will see you surrounded by traditional Sicilian life.
With a sea view on offer from its private top floor roof terrace, it will give you a beautiful vantage point from which to enjoy the natural beauty of this magical area of Mediterranean coastline.
Just a few hundred metres from the water, and right at the heart of the village, it is the perfect place for you and your guests to pass long happy summers and escape to the sun for mild winters.
Taking the terrace into account, it is priced at under €1000 per square metre, making it superb value for a beach apartment in north Sicily. Comfortably able to sleep four, it would make a perfect base to spend time disconnecting from the world and to share with friends. This kind of property, set back from the coast but still just a stone’s throw away, is one of the most cost-effective ways to buy real estate on the island.
An unusual design, but a fantastic way to keep everyone happy, the renovation work on the building in which Appartamento Vincenza is found split the four-storey property into three living units, one each on the ground, first and second floors. Nothing out of the ordinary there, you might think – but the clever part was to split the top floor, with its panoramic view of the sea, village and surrounding hillsides, into three small terraces and connected indoor rooms. The apartment for sale is on the second floor, but benefits, equitably, from an equal share of the space above.
The entrance to the main apartment takes you into a lobby, off which all of the other rooms branch. A pair of bedrooms are to either side of the property, and a large, bright living room has been plumbed to hold a kitchenette along one wall. At present the property is unfitted and unfurnished.
The one exception to this is the bathroom, which has been done in a modern style, with a box shower and a minimalist but stylish grey and white tile pattern. Underfoot is a comfortable parquet.
Finally, completing this floor is a small but useful storeroom, and a balcony which overlooks the quiet street outside.
In the rest of the property the floors are a matching tile pattern which creates a pleasing cohesion throughout the apartment. These are original, and were restored rather than replaced when the building was renovated – we think an excellent choice which connects what is now a comfortable, modern living space to its more traditional past.
The walls are currently an unobtrusive shade of light umber, and there is a backsplash where the sink and work surfaces will go in the kitchen area picked out in a dark, modern tile.
Both internal and external doors and windows are wooden, in a single shade and a unified style.
On the top floor of the building, the room mentioned above that belongs to Appartemento Vincenza is a long, fairly narrow space of 8.4m2. With a simple, less ornate tile underfoot and a light pattern covering the lower half of the walls, it would be an interesting project to convert this area into a second kitchen, perfect for preparing food to eat on the terrace outdoors.
The terrace is the largest of the trio, in fact, measuring around 14m2. The principal view takes in the rooftops of the surrounding village, while the nearby green slope of the nature reserve Monte Catalfano are also in clear view. To the side is a view of the sea. A fabulous setting for your beach apartment in north Sicily.
The house is connected to the municipal water supply and also benefits from a reserve cistern. Electricity and sewage are likewise catered for by the main public infrastructure. The common areas and exterior of the building have all been well maintained and are pleasant both to look at and use.
The building where Appartamento Vincenza is found is located just a few hundred metres from the small harbour and town square of Porticello. Salt water still runs in the veins of this romantic village, where the fish market is a regular meeting point for locals. Some fabulous quayside restaurants take full advantage of the daily influx of delicious, locally sourced seafood.
The rhythms of life in the surrounding streets and piazzas are dictated by the time-honoured mantra of the dolce vita. Everything has a time – including work, but also a daily strolling, a game of cards with friends outside a bar, a coffee in company at breakfast time or simply enjoying the company of lifelong companions who have been meeting daily on the same bench for longer than anyone can remember.
Just a few minutes’ up the road, reachable on foot if you wish, is the little town of Santa Flavia. This means that all the important things are within very convenient reach. In Porticello itself you’ll find many fishmongers, some high quality butcher’s, several greengrocers and, for the things you can’t buy fresh, a convenient little supermarket. Santa Flavia has more medical and social facilities, as well as shops to buy clothes and electrical goods.
If you need to get into the city of Palermo, it can be reached by train or car in under twenty minutes. Here you’ll find a little of everything Sicilian life has to offer: a warren of outdoor markets and top-class boutiques; mouthwatering street food and meticulously prepared Michelin starred restaurants; lively jazz bars and one of Europe’s finest opera houses.
With the convenient nearby motorway leading east to Cefalù and Messina, west to beautiful Trapani and south to the Greek temples of Agrigento, most of Sicily is within a few hours’ drive. Palermo airport has regular connections to all major European travel hubs.
While the apartment is in very good condition, with only some minor paintwork issues to correct, it will of course need to have all fixtures and fittings added, except in the bathroom. We estimate that the cost of a kitchenette will come to about €4,000, depending of course on your taste. If you would be tempted by adding a second food preparation area upstairs, your budget would of course need to increase somewhat.
The electricity and water infrastructure is all in good shape, as is the roof. However, if you are planning on spending long periods in Porticello, or even making Appartamento Vincenza your year-round home, you should plan on investing in some improvements to help you control the internal temperature.
At present the property does not have either a heating system or any air conditioning units. The windows, moreover, while attractive, are only singly glazed, and this makes energy efficiency a weakness of the apartment. It is still possible to benefit from some public subsidies for environmentally responsible home improvements of this kind, if you act quickly.
The region is not by any means overwhelmed by tourism, but there is a healthy interest in the area from those savvy enough to venture off the beaten track. This makes a beach apartment in north Sicily a potentially strong investment in the region’s tourist economy.
If you are planning to let the property to holidaymakers, be sure to ask our friendly and multilingual team about how our sister company, tourist rental specialists Solemar Sicilia, can give you a completely stress-free solution for everything from publicity to check-ins, cleaning and maintenance.