Casa Concetta – Two-bedroom Family House with Sea-view Terrace in Beautiful Nebrodi Hills
On the very edge of the small village of Capri Leone, 380m above sea level in the foothills of the Nebrodi mountains, Casa Concetta is a three-storey family house with sea-view terrace and a totally unobstructed panorama of the countryside and coastline.
From the master bedroom and the spacious veranda above, the Tyrrhenian Sea, verdant green hills and the dramatic skyline of the Aeolian islands are all in clear view. And with a steep drop down to a valley whose bottom is almost at sea level, there is no chance of any future development ever obstructing that spectacular vantage point.
Offering 112m2 of total space, it currently comprises two bedrooms, two living rooms, a kitchen and bathroom – we think there’s a way to add an extra bedroom and really maximise your investment. A superb spot for a holiday property, it is also big enough to be a permanent home in Sicily if you are planning to move to the island and take advantage of the phenomenal tax breaks for new residents or retirees. The beautiful, photogenic position would mean that if you’re not planning to spend all year here you would have no problem letting the place to tourists.
The small village is peaceful and traditional, a friendly community with an outgoing local administration eager to encourage new buyers from overseas. From the moment you’re first able to visit in person and take it all in for yourself, we’re certain you’ll fall in love with Casa Concetta, just as we ourselves did.
The house has not been occupied since 2017, and so some restoration work will obviously be needed, but this is not a complete renovation project, the bricks and mortar still being in good condition. We’ll give you full details in a moment, but for now let’s take you around the charming property as it currently stands.
An end-terrace family house with sea-view terrace, Casa Concetta benefits from twin entrances, one on the northern side and one to the south. The latter offers vehicle access, while the former, reached by a footpath, is the true ‘front’ of the building, looking out over that spectacular drop, a tremendous 1:7 incline down tree-covered hillsides to the sparkling sea just five kilometres away. The gradient of this hilltop village means that the lowest floor is partially underground, but at the low side there is a full floor with a window from which to take in the scenery.
On this level the space is divided in two; a reception room of almost 15m2 and a kitchen behind, with a walk-in larder under the staircase. The wall between these is not load-bearing, however, and opening it up would give you over twenty square metres in which to create a large family living space with kitchen plus dining and lounge areas. Alternatively, you might take advantage of the plumbing connections in place to create a third bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.
Opening up the space would have the added benefit of bringing more natural light into the largely subterranean rear of the ground floor, currently only taking this in from small ceiling-level windows.
The floor here is a dark marble tile which could be refreshed to feature in the new design, weaving the home’s historic roots into a stylish modern décor. The staircase, which runs up to the first floor and then continues directly to the second, is in good condition, flanked by a wrought-iron handrail which you will also want to preserve.
The first floor landing is also a lobby for the rear entrance. This opens onto a small street behind the house. A mid-sized bathroom opens off this, with a small side-view window facing east.
The two existing bedrooms are on this level, and the master is of particular interest. A generous 15m2, it is the full-length window which immediately catches the eye, opening onto a false ‘Juliet’ balcony which takes wonderful advantage of that magnificent panorama. Facing almost directly north, you can take in the town of Rocca di Caprileone (the municipality in which the village which almost shares its name is found) down at sea level. However, hills screen off the larger town of Capo d’Orlando. The Aeolian Islands of Alcudi, Filicudi and Salina, the second largest island of the mysterious volcanic archipelago, are all in view on the horizon.
The guest bedroom is a single. Maybe one could just about squeeze a small double bed in here, but there wouldn’t be room for side access. Bunk beds would be a great fit if you’re bringing kids or see the family house with sea-view terrace as a holiday home as an investment in Sicily’s tourist market. A side window doesn’t take in much of the sea, but still offers a pleasant outlook on hillsides and greenery.
On the subject of windows, the only one in the whole house which is overlooked is found upstairs on the top floor living room. This is by far the property’s brightest and most airy space, with a triple exposition. The only side on which you can’t see directly out is the partition wall of the semi-detached home, to the west. Occupying all of the internal space on this level, there is around 19m2 available to you here, and we think it would make a beautiful kitchen-living room. This, of course, would free up the ground floor for that second double bedroom, but it all depends on how you want to configure the place.
French windows lead onto the large covered terrace. A permanent wooden canopy offers shade from the heat of the Sicilian sun, but you can still drink in a full 180 degree view. At one end, screened from view from the living room, a fixed metal staircase leads up to the loft space. While not habitable, this is still very useful for storage and houses a water tank. Of course, at this highest point of the property, the view is the most inspiring of all. On a sunny day the colourful array stretching right to the horizon really is quite jaw-dropping.
Casa Concetta is found on the very last road on the northern edge of Caprileone. Rocca di Caprileone, the municipality, runs from the town below up into the hills, taking in several little districts and villages along the way. The town hall and municipal services can be reached via a scenic road downhill that takes no more than fifteen minutes by car. Here you will also find a long beach, a blend of of sand and pebbles, with clear water and beach bars which run throughout the high summer season.
Even closer at hand is the village of Mirto, just two kilometres along the road, where you can buy food and essentials in the little supermarket and other food stores, You’ll also find a post office, pharmacy and a small museum dedicated to the traditional costumes of the region. Rocca di Caprileone is home to about four thousand residents, a number which has been growing over recent decades, and led by an open and welcoming council who have been going out of their way to encourage a small community of arrivals from overseas, whilst never compromising the local heritage and character.
On the other side of those hills to the north, Capo d’Orlando can be reached in half an hour by car. Home to a fabulous new marina, only recently inaugurated, the coastal community is a magnet for lovers of sailing and the open waters. Onwards to the east is Milazzo, where ferried leave regularly to to Aeolians. Your guests and family will love exploring this natural treasure, some of Europe’s most active volcanic territory.
Nor is the landscape inland any less dramatic. The Nebrodi Natural Park Sicily’s largest, a warren of hiking trails, bike rides and romantic driving territory. The region is famous for its food, including the speciality, Nebrodi pork. Towards the highest peaks, at around 1800m, you will find complete tranquillity and some of the freshest water imaginable in pristine mountain lakes.
The largest city in the region is Messina, whose narrow strait you can cross to the Italian mainland. Mount Etna is just over thirty kilometres to the south-east, and beyond that the metropolis of Catania is a popular destination for shopping, history lovers and as a base from which to explore the volcano. Taormina, just to the east of Etna, is the setting for the glamorous and award-winning HBO miniseries The White Lotus, although the beach scenes were actually shot in Cefalù, an historic beach town with a UNESCO-protected cathedral. This will take you just an hour by car.
The nearest airports are at Catania and Palermo, Sicily’s legendary capital. Either of these can be reached in about two hours.
Not having been lived in for more than half a decade, Casa Concetta will obviously need some work to be done by the new buyer. It will be important to update both the electrical and plumbing infrastructure in order to bring it in line with both the law and the standards of usability you would expect. For this, a budget of around €15,000 will be required.
Next, the old windows, shutters and doors will have to be replaced. This is going to take around €20,000, but for this investment you can expect to purchase top quality, energy-efficient fittings which, combined with the great natural insulation of old Sicilian real estate, will help minimise your bills. The bathroom is also going to be a priority project, and here you should estimate between €6,000 and €8,000, depending on your choice of materials and fixtures.
Beyond that, spending will bee largely discretionary. For around €5,000 you would be able to add state-of-the-art heat pumps, to deliver cool air in the summer and heat the home in winter. You would be wise to invest in the loft space, in order to finish off the exposed breezeblocks of the structure and seal it for storage use. This might cost around €7,000. The same team could also be engaged to refresh the external plaster of the rest of the building, for which we would budget €10,000.
Internally, you might also want to consider putting in a more comfortable parquet floor, either in some rooms or perhaps throughout. This is usually going to cost about €100 per square metre, so you can calculate this yourself.
Either of the plans we suggested above for the ground floor of the property – whether to create a third bedroom or an open kitchen would cost around €15,000 for redesign and remodelling.
This will, of course, seem like a lot of work and money to be spent. But with the asking price so affordable, and the ultimate prize a beautiful family house with sea-view terrace, we think the effort will be more than worthwhile. Our comprehensive range of after-sales care packages include project management services, and our local connections and many years of experience in this field will help your money go as far as possible. Talk to our friendly international team today and let’s see how we can help make your dream Sicilian home a reality.