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Casa Pendola – San Marco d’Alunzio

€ 35,000
Via Cristoforo Colombo, ,
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Property Description

Incredibly Cheap Home in Sicily’s Nebrodi Park, with Two Bedrooms and Sea Views.

Casa Pendola offers some lovely sea views, with the deep blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea barely 3km away to the north-west. A balcony on the second floor offers a particularly nice spot from which to watch the sun set across the wide expanse of Sicilian sky, the colours reflecting in the waters below as swallows drift lazily overhead.

A compact two-bedroom house in the heart of an adorable little town in north-eastern Sicily, Casa Pendola is on the market for a price tag you’ll struggle to believe. And with buyers in the charming town of San Marco d’Alunzio entitled to an amazing welcome gift from the local council, this could be your perfect opportunity to get on the property ladder in the sun.

While some restoration work will be needed to modernise the cheap home in Sicily’s hills, the fabric of the building is in good condition. We believe you can have the perfect little holiday home, rental property or a base for a quiet new life in the kind of traditional Sicilian environment that people spend their lives dreaming about for a total investment of around €60,000.

What’s more, the local authorities will provide a no-strings, non means-tested sum of €5,000 towards the cost of renovating the property. It sounds too good to be true, but in San Marco d’Alunzio you can genuinely be paid to live out the dream of turning your own Sicilian property into a pristine place in the sun.

The Property

The twin entrances of Casa Pendola are found on a quiet backstreet which, thanks to the gentle steps which lead down the hillside from the nearby town square, is only accessible on foot.

The main entrance is up a short flight of stairs, finished in terracotta tiles with a wrought iron handrail. A miniature terrace has been created outside the front door, from which vantage point you can catch a glimpse of the blue Mediterranean waters to the north. This also serves as a kind of balcony for the living room.

Underneath this, the second entrance is into a large storeroom which is partly built into the hill. Receiving light both from the double doorway and a small window at the rear, it is a dual space separated by a long slow archway that runs the width of the large room. Occupying the entire footprint of the property it offers almost 25m2 of storage space, and could perhaps be used as a hobby room, a space to work out or a playroom. The low position and thick plastered walls keep it beautifully cool even in the height of summer, so you could also keep a little wine cellar or other produce down here.

Upstairs in the main living space of the house, the first floor is mostly given to an open plan living room and kitchen. To the rear, a spacious bathroom offers a chance for more light and for air to circulate around the space. There is also a small entrance hall, with space to store coats and shoes.

The living area is simple, with clean, plastered walls and a double window to the front. Behind this the kitchen has been minimally fitted, but there is plenty of room to accommodate a dining table and chairs. The bathroom is noticeably more modern, a large tile covering almost the whole of the walls as well as the floor, and a simple box shower in the corner. It’s a spacious bathroom for a property of this size.

The staircase is finished with a classic Sicilian design touch, scaglietta marble, which has a distinctive, dense pattern and is extremely hard-wearing. This finishes on a little landing with a window. From here you can enter the two bedrooms, one master and one guest.

The master bedroom is a little under 20m2, with a walk-in closet that could possibly become an en-suite lavatory and washroom. It is the brightest and airiest space in the house, thanks to a dual exposition. A good-sized window offers a view over the surrounding rooftops, including the bell tower of the nearby church. The sea-view balcony is an real advantage, as we mentioned earlier. Big enough to take a chair outside, we imagine you getting cosy here to read a book… maybe even to write one! The view isn’t lacking in inspiration.

The guest bedroom is smaller, although comfortably big enough for a double bed. If you envisage it for family use, either your own or as a holiday home, you could free up more floor space with bunk beds. Otherwise, there is enough room on the landing to add a small wardrobe for extra storage if you need it.

As we suggested in our introduction, from a structural point of view Casa Pendola is very solid. The floors and walls are in good condition, and the roof is only missing a layer of insulation. Built before the national planning permission amnesty of 1967, it won’t spring any unpleasant surprises from a legal standpoint (sadly you can’t take this for granted as much as we’d hope in small-town Sicily) and all of the relevant documentation is now in order.

There are some nice old wooden fixtures, including the front door and windows with integrated shutters. It is served by the municipal mains for electricity, water and sewage.


Can Marco d’Alunzio is one of the most progressive and outward-looking communities in the stunning hills of the Nebrodi Natural Park. Under the leadership of mayor Filippo Miracula, the municipality has been actively promoting itself to the outside world, with twin initiatives offering not only the subsidy to people who renovate property in and move their residency to the district, but also totally free accommodation to tourists. If you’re interested in the look of Casa Pendola but would like to try before you buy with this hillside community, talk to us today about how to claim the offer.

With almost 2,000 residents, the town is able to sustain an active and welcoming social and commercial life. A supermarket is just on the southern outskirts of the town, but smaller shops like a butcher’s, greengrocer’s and a few pharmacies are on hand, all easily reached on foot. So too are a few bars and a couple of restaurants, including the homely, tavern-like confines of La Macina, where the hearty local fare is accompanied by an excellent wine list.

Casa Pendola itself is just 50m from the main piazza, which is flanked by the dramatic remains of a Norman castle around which the settlement originally grew. The sunny spot is home to a variety of performances, festivals and gatherings throughout the year.

The town museum is devoted to the rich archaeological history of the area, with artefacts dating from Sicily’s Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arabian and Spanish eras. As well as attracting ancient historians, it is also a must-visit for birdwatchers, who are drawn to the town to watch the local population of a huge bird species called the Griffon Vulture. Don’t be put off – the second-largest flying species in Europe may look (and sound!) intimidating but they don’t give any problems to the human residents of San Marco.

The green hills of the Nebrodi Park are a sensational landscape for nature lovers to explore. A huge area at the summit of the mountain range is completely uninhabited, and the trekking, cycling and hiking possibilities are really breathtaking. Visit a crystal-clear mountain lake one day, drop down to sea level and sample the beautiful beaches and marinas around Sant Agata di Militello and Rocca di Caprileone the next.

The nearest city is Messina, 80 minutes’ drive to the east. Along the way you will pass Milazzo, the gateway to the mysterious Aeolian Islands. The volcanic eruptions and black sandy beaches make the dramatic archipelago a must-visit – taking a boat tour around them by night and witnessing lava explode from the hillside is a really unique experience.

In the other direction, Sicily’s largest city, Palermo, can be reached in under two hours. Home to one of Europe’s most acoustically perfect opera houses, a legendary street food culture and an international airport which is currently undergoing a program of expansion, the huge metropolis is a hub of culture for all of Sicily. This beautiful coastal route takes you between the magnificent beach town of Cefalù and the hills and villages of the Madonie Park, a sister reserve to the Nebrodi.


The first priority, on exchanging contracts, will be to refresh the electrical and hydraulic fixtures. We can put you in touch with a good local electrician and plumber, but they will need to spend a week or two working on the property to make sure that these are up-to-date and confirm to legal standards. This should cost about €10,000.

The wooden windows are characterful but provide poor insulation. Replacing these to a high standard will require an investment around €10,000, but in the long run the dividends will be noticeable. On this note, remember to budget for some insulation under the roof – this won’t run up a dramatic bill.

The fascia is currently plastered, and removing this would allow the essential character of the building to shine through, the sturdy stone a much more elegant look. If you’re planning to move here full-time or rent the house out through the winter then heating will be an important consideration. The best move would be to spend about €5,000 on some modern heat pump systems, which also offer air conditioning in summer.

The kitchen will certainly need to be replaced. The bathroom could certainly be redone too, although this is far less pressing.

Once these changes have been made, you will have in Casa Pendola a beautiful, cheap home in Sicily with a great view. Honestly, the price here wouldn’t buy a parking space in much of north Europe. We are on hand to offer support right through the process, our popular after-sales care packages including project management for all levels of renovation.

Talk to our friendly international team about Casa Pendola today.

Address: Via Cristoforo Colombo
Zip: 98070
Country: Italy
Property Id: 7076
Price: € 35,000
Property Size: 90 m2
Rooms: 4
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
sea view
development potential

Valerio Gruessner


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