Characterful Renovation Opportunity in Sicily’s Madonie, with Sea View Terrace
Casa Maria Luisa is a large, 1920s town house in Gratteri, in the province of Palermo. Just a 20 minute drive from the sea, this is a characterful renovation project crying out for a buyer with an eye for good bones and a great location. It will make someone a superb purchase.
With many original details and materials to reuse, including some beautiful decorative floor tiles, and sturdy construction from stone and timber, an astute architect will be able to transform this into a fabulous family-sized holiday home, guest house or even permanent residence. If you have ever dreamt of owning a classic Italian property, this is a renovation opportunity in Sicily to look at today.
Facing north-west towards the sea, and with a total floor space of approximately 140m2 ( + 7m2 of terrace), Casa Maria Luisa is built on four floors. The ground floor has previously been used as a storeroom and before that a stable for a pair of donkeys – the connection to the old Sicilian way of life is tangible. A well to one side still bears water! This could eventually make an extra bedroom, a workspace or cool games room.
Moving upstairs, we find a a bedroom and a bathroom, one facing out and one inland. They are split by the staircase which leads up again to the second floor. This has a pair of bedrooms, one with a small balcony onto the street.
On the highest, third floor, is a kitchen, living room and a large balcony. The house is bright throughout, but at this level the house it’s truly filled with natural light and fresh air, and the views are spectacular. The layout has obviously kept one eye on this, with the family space being paired with the kitchen and a sea-view terrace which is big enough for outdoor dining.
The view has to be seen to be believed – as the green hills of the Madonie Natural Park fall away to the sea below, the seven or eight kilometres that separate you from the twinkling azure Mediterranean feel like a stone’s throw.
Casa Maria Luisa is just metres from the main street of Gratteri, Corso Umberto, right around the corner from Bar Italia, where you will certainly become a regular for a morning coffee or an evening aperitivo.
Gratteri is a small town of about 1,000 inhabitants, though this number swells slightly in the warm summer as some tourists mix with locals who prefer the gentler climate, helped by a cooling sea breeze, that you find at this elevation (about 600m up).
The mountains of the underappreciated Madonie Natural Park offer outdoor sports and stunning drives all year round – whether you dream of paragliding in summer, hiking in spring or skiing in the winter.
Just along the coast is beautiful Cefalù, home to a golden beach and unforgettable Medieval Old Town. Its cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the year-round tourist flows have brought incredible quality of bars and restaurants. It is also home to half of the Property in Sicily team and our associated Italian language school, Solemar Academy.
Let’s talk plainly: The building needs a full renovation. However, the structure is solid and the paved floors are in good condition. You will want to remodel the facade, perhaps adding a little balcony on the first floor to match the one on the second. The utilities (wiring and plumbing) will need refreshing, and the kitchen and bathrooms refitting. The rest of the work is cosmetic.
This may seem like a large project, but trust us – many of our clients take on far more dilapidated real estate than this! And right now Italy has some remarkable public subsidies available for work which increases the energy efficiency of a property (as new windows and roof insulation would do here).
We estimate that a total investment of just €40-50,000 over the purchase price could deliver you an absolutely fabulous family home that’s ready to welcome guests or help you start a new life in Sicily, perhaps taking advantage of the smart working boom in one of Europe’s most beautiful corners.
Last year we picked Gratteri as one of our hottest investment opportunities in Sicily, and the Casa Maria Luisa is typical of the reason we love the small community. Without the headline-grabbing gimmickry of the ‘€1 houses in Sicily‘ promotions which fill the press, you can quietly find superb property to renovate at bargain-basement prices – and enjoy the benefits of our wide local network of architects, craftspeople, designers, lawyers and labourers. This will give you complete peace of mind that your renovation opportunity in Sicily will become reality under close supervision and to the highest possible standards.