Great Value House for sale in Sicily’s Madonie National Park
Restructured completely in 2003, this cosy terraced townhouse is built of stone and brick, and wears its history on the outside, with exposed materials and a simple, traditional style. Standing in the middle of Collesano, a welcoming community in the serene hills of the Madonie Natural Park, this value house in Sicily’s heartland is a gateway to a truly different way of life – just a few hours from the heart of Europe!
The renovation work has been done to a high standard, leaving a property which makes impressive use of space and light. It’s not a country villa, but at this price it represents fine value. A very little work would make it a wonderful holiday home or vacation rental property, while a few small adaptations could make a year-round home if you’re planning a full relocation to Sicily.
Casa Fustaneo has two full storeys, plus a mezzanine loft, efficiently using the space of a relatively small footprint to offer strong value for money. At street level is a reception room with a WC, which could be used in various ways. A comfortable sofa bed could maximise the property’s sleeping capacity whilst retaining great flexibility. From here a broad staircase leads up to a larger second floor.
Here there are a pair of generously-sized rooms, one of which will become a kitchen-reception room and the other a bedroom. Each of these has a balcony overlooking the quiet street below. There is also a bathroom with a shower. The larger room is connected for water and power, allowing for the easy installation of a kitchen area. We picture this more as a kitchen-diner, with a snug, sofa-filled living room on the ground floor.
The interesting architectural device here is a partially open loft, accessed by a fixed staircase from the living room, and extending through a gap in the wall into the bedroom. This flexible space could be storage – say a walk-in closet space, especially if a spiral staircase were integrated into the bedroom, or a den for younger children.
Above your head the ceiling is in sturdy, solid hardwood, but with a light tone that makes the feel more chalet than farmhouse. The windows are wooden and modern, the walls are clean, light plaster and the floors tiled in an unobtrusive sandy ceramic. The property is connected to fibre-optic internet, which achieves reliably high speeds suitable for a home office.
Around five thousand people live in the town of Collesano, a traditional community built on agriculture, tourism and an historical ceramics trade. In the western hills of the picturesque Madonie National Park, its land is protected from excessive development and any kind of change to the character of the area by covenants which guarantee that you will never wake up to find a garish hotel or unsightly highway under construction outside your front door.
The park is home to numerous protected species of flora and fauna, including fallow deer, wild boar and the stately Madonie Fir tree. Its superb scenery and proud culinary tradition make it a magnet for lovers of outdoor sports and gastro-tourism. In the summer you can paraglide from the green hills to the sandy beaches at sea level, and in winter its highest peaks offer blue, red and black runs to skiiers and snowboarders.
The town has some amazing views over the surrounding countryside and down to the sea some 10km to the north. There, sandy beaches and winding coastal drives lie in wait, all within a short drive. The area is renowned for its vivid sunsets.
Collesano offers supermarkets, pharmacies, bars and day-to-day infrastructure, all within walking distance of your front door. Much of its real estate has stayed in the same families for generations, although recently (and thanks in no small part to our own clients) there has been a trickle of arrivals from northern Europe, tempted south for retirement, the dream of self-employed work in the hospitality sector, or smart-working.
It is within easy driving distance of all Sicily’s major attractions, from Trapani and the salt plains of Marsala in the west to the temples of Agrigento in the south and Etna, Catania and Siracusa in the west. Particularly convenient is the island’s capital, Palermo, whose eternally vibrant cultural scene is rapidly becoming matched by a growing business infrastructure.
The stunning beach town of Cefalù is just half an hour away, and will guarantee a strong market for vacation rentals in summer, if this is your plan for Casa Fustaneo.
The road from Campofelice to Collesano formed part of the circuit of the world-famous Targa Florio rally. Motorsport has always been a passion in Italy, and the Targa was the world’s first ever sports car race. Both a competitive race and a classic car rally still pass along the road once every year, and a museum dedicated to the unique history of the event stands in the heart of Collesano.
While the images of this property show Casa Fustaneo’s current use as a nursery school and playgroup, the business of restyling it as a domestic space will be almost entirely cosmetic. It may take a bit of imagination to picture the colourful hand-print posters and office furniture replaced by a cosy living room suite and a double bed, but in truth the building has been very well looked-after, notwithstanding its youthful occupants. It will make a well-positioned and characterful village house with plenty of natural light and an interesting use of space, thanks to the high ceilings and mezzanine loft.
The property is not currently connected to the municipal gas infrastructure, but this passes along the street outside and could easily be added. Purchasers would probably want to consider investing in a heating and cooling system – there are currently neither radiators nor air conditioning. Of course, if you’re buying this as a seasonal property, it may not be a necessary investment straight away.
Should you have something along these lines – or even more complicated work – in mind, perhaps to reorganise the space or add a layer of insulation to the roof, remember that 2022 is the final year in which you can enjoy the full benefits from the Italian government’s astounding Superbonus 110 building subsidy scheme. This allows ecologically sustainable home improvements to be financed almost entirely by the state, through a system of incremental tax rebates. This could greatly increase the resale price, further increasing the worth of this great-value house in Sicily.
We would be happy to offer our extensive project management experience for any kind of home improvement work.
If you’re drawn to the natural beauty of the Madonie but are looking for something more rural, you’ll find several properties of particular interest in our directory of carefully-selected listings. Alternatively, drop us a line and our friendly, multilingual team will be delighted to hear your plans for this superb value house in Sicily, and answer any questions you may have.