One Bedroom Holiday Property for Sale in Erice, Sicily
Extending up to 800m above the small city of Trapani, on the sun-drenched western tip of Sicily, looms the steep rocky silhouette of Mount Erice. At the top of this outcrop stands the historic community of the same name. Famous for its naturally-fortified Norman old town and stunning sunsets, the views from this unique spot take in the horn of Trapani’s old town, the salt flats and windmills of the Salinelle and the green hills that roll eastwards into the Sicilian interior.
The town is connected to Trapani below by a winding road, but most dramatically by a cable car. And just metres from the landing point of this famous ascent, next to one of the best viewpoints in town, is the quiet cobbled side street on which we find Casa Giovanna.
Painstakingly restored fifteen years ago by a well-renowned local architect, this immaculately-designed, one bedroom terraced cottage is steeped in history, with the exposed masonry of its ancient walls testimony to centuries of inhabitation. The perfect holiday home from which to explore Western Sicily and the Aegadian Islands, Casa Giovanna radiates local character without sacrificing any comfort.
The land registry of property for sale in Erice confirms that the house includes a living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and private internal courtyard. However, There is also a secret bonus to owning this property, which would not be obvious from any map… we’ll explain all in just a minute! But first, let’s look at the details.
Casa Giovanna is, we think, one of the best value bits of property for sale in Erice today. A cosy two storey home with a simple floor plan, the bulk of its 60m2 of internal space is given over to a living room, entered directly through the front door. At one end a dining area has been constructed around a fixed bench, while at the other a comfortable space has been left in which to relax. This area is amply big enough for a couple to share without ever feeling on top of each other. The walls are a mix of well-maintained stone and plaster, and overhead the beams of the ceiling are exposed, creating a really timeless atmosphere.
To one side of this is a neat kitchen, simple finished in white and blue tiles. The sink is a nice decorative porcelain, and there is a quadruple hob on which to cook. Hardwood doors lead to a small larder and a utility room.
The staircase is open and elegant, wrapping around the edge of the room as it curves up past a Juliet balcony to the little landing. From here a door leads into the bedroom, a long, roomy space with tiled floor and more feature woodwork overhead. A ladder leads up to a little mezzanine space over the landing, which is perfect for storage. The window overlooks the courtyard to the front of the house.
The bathroom, also leading off the landing, is a compact but very well-decorated room in excellent condition. The decorative tiling is a bright and warming touch, and the walk-in shower is amply sized. The fittings are modern and well-maintained.
This room overlooks Casa Giovanna’s distinctive and welcoming little outdoor space, a rectangular courtyard tucked between the back of this house, and adjoining properties. Opening directly off the living room, this patio has been beautifully realised, with bench seating, and a design which preserves and highlights the masonry, alcoves and windows of this ancient building. Completely private, it can be your little oasis of calm.
This kind of internal patio is a rarity in Erice. Traditionally the old town is built around shared patio spaces, with common use for the various adjoining properties. In point of fact, this is also true for Casa Giovanna, which shares the use of the second, larger courtyard outside the main entrance and bedroom window.
However, this is the good bit of insider knowledge we teased you with earlier: although this space is legally shared between Giovanna and two other properties, one of these is a municipal building which has been unused for the past twenty years. Even better, the other belongs to a very friendly lady who only visits her holiday home for a short trip every year – sometimes literally just a few days! So in practical terms, this large open space, shaded by a leafy tree, is almost entirely at your personal disposal! There would be no problems whatsoever, for example, putting a table and chairs out here. Almost all year round, a second terrace space that’s just for you!
As you would expect, such a well-presented property is structurally sound, and benefits from a water cistern and double-glazed wooden windows in good condition.
Standing right at the entrance to Erice, with convenient car parking and easy access from the main road which climbs the hill, Casa Giovanna is tucked off-street, through a gate and along a little passageway, offering privacy and security.
The old town of Erice is a hilltop triangle, about 600m along each side, meaning that the entire community is easily navigable on foot. It’s steady presence on the tourist trail means that you will find numerous good quality restaurants and cafes, and there are several grocery stores within easy reach.
Despite its village-sized dimensions, the town is in fact so historically significant as to have been mentioned by the Roman poet Virgil in his masterpiece The Aeneid. Attractions include the twin castles, one Norman and one Saracen, and a number of distinctive and beautiful churches.
Down the road (or, if you prefer, the conveniently-located cable car!) you will find the historic merchant city of Trapani, home to around 70,000 proud inhabitants. With hospitals, good schools, excellent dining and a beautiful seafront, this is a charming spot made famous by its maritime history, as well as being a noted producer of desert wines and rock salt.
Just to the south of the city is a small airport with connections to several international destinations. A much larger option, Falcone-Borsellino outside Sicily’s burgeoning metropolitan capital, Palermo is less than an hour away and welcomes regular flights from all Europe’s major cities.
Out to sea, west of Trapani, and clearly visible from Erice on a clear day, are the beautiful Aegadian Islands, home to some of Italy’s most beautiful beaches. Nor is the main island lacking in this regard either, with the fabulous resort of San Vito Lo Capo just 20km up the coast.
For some years Casa Giovanna has been listed as a vacation rental on Airbnb (although this has been deactivated while it is up for sale). A popular spot, it has generated around €4,000 of rental income per year, and we think there is the potential for more. Talk to us about registering the property with our sister company, Solemar Sicilia, who have been managing holiday homes across the island for nearly two decades. With a loyal clientele and industry know-how, we offer a rental management package which is sure to help you keep your investment simple and profitable.
If you wanted, on the other hand, to make the cottage into a year-round home, it might be worth considering installing some form of central heating. At present there is none in place, although those majestic stone walls do an excellent job of keeping out the fiercest heat in summer and worst of the cold in winter.
At this reasonable price, we think this property for sale in Erice’s most attractive corner would make an affordable and intelligent first step onto the Sicilian property ladder for a buyer making their first real estate purchase on the island. Talk to us today and let us help you get started!