Two-bedroom Affordable Property in Gratteri with Sea-view Balcony and Terrace
Casa Pietro is a a historic building right in the heart of Gratteri, the highest in the immediate vicinity at four storeys tall. Renovated in the 1960s, it has a structure which has been strengthened by reinforced concrete, beneath a plaster facade.
With two large bedrooms, a large kitchen, a store room, bathroom and utility room, it is topped off by a quartet of spacious balconies, two of which overlook the charming and quiet high street of the quaint hilltop town, and the best of which, to the rear, offers a beautiful sea view.
With a small roof terrace and the potential to either develop this or expand further onto the very top of the building to make full use of that spectacular panorama of rural Sicily, there is a fabulous potential to Casa Pietro. The sloping countryside means that affordable property in Gratteri with sea views is not uncommon, but much of it involves sacrificing the central location we have on offer here.
At this asking price, it would make a tempting investment, whether you are planning to move to Sicily, want a pied-a-terre within striking distance of the island’s north coast, or see the potential in investing in the market for vacation lettings or eventual resale.
The ground floor of Casa Pietro is currently split into an entrance hallway and a commercial space, used in the recent past as the campaign headquarters for a local politician. Later on we will float a few suggestions for how this could be used, but for now we will simply note that it measures about 12m2, comes with a smart parquet floor, and leads to a bathroom at the rear.
To the side of this, the main front entrance of the property leads into a long corridor, with an alcove to serve as a closet on one side. This runs directly into the staircase, with marble paving and skirting in excellent condition.
The first floor landing is very large, with a balcony opening off it to the left. This overlooks the small street to the rear of the property, and doesn’t have much of a view, but provides brightness and a through-flow of air that carries into the bedroom to the front. This is large, well-lit and has a lovely balcony overlooking the high street outside and the bar directly opposite. Facing south-east, it catches direct sunlight throughout the best of the day.
The second floor follows an almost identical floor plan, with another large bedroom. If you were happy to sacrifice one of the bedrooms, either would make a a fabulous large living room, perhaps with a sofa bed to give you flexibility to host guests on an occasional basis.
The difference is in the landing area. Half of this has been closed off to create a bathroom with a shower. And now we have climbed above the level of the houses to the rear, the balcony is a completely different proposition. Instead of giving you a view of neighbouring houses, you can instead look over their rooftops and take in a colourful panorama of countryside, sky and sea. The deep blue Tyrrhenian twinkles six kilometres away to the north, and a bank of green hillside rises above Gratteri to the right of the panorama.
Climbing to the top floor, this effect is only further improved. Here there is no balcony, but a pocket roof terrace, and a pair of window, from the landing and a neat utility room. At this level the main space is a kitchen, big enough to include a dining area. The walls are picked out in simple white tiles, and there are plumbing connections for all appliances and fixtures. Light and air, once again, flow right throughout the space.
Gratteri is a walkable, traditionally Sicilian town in the Madonie Natural Park. This quietly dazzling range of hills and mountains offers something to every kind of lover of the great outdoors. Whether you want to ski in winter or hike in summer, taste every possible variety of the region’s culinary delights or discover the layers of history in which the green slopes are steeped, there is incredible possibility.
We identified a few years ago that affordable property in Gratteri was abundant and could even offer better value than the ‘One Euro House In Sicily’ promotions to be found in other villages around the island. Along with nearby Pollina, it was one of our top picks for investing in Sicilian real estate as long ago as 2019.
Bar Italia, directly opposite the front door of Casa Pietro, is a popular meeting point and social hug for the whole community. The genial Antonio whips up cappuccinos and serves fresh pastries each morning, and everyone who’s anyone will stop by at least one evening a week to let the day’s events settle over a local amaro or a cool beer.
The same street is also home to a newsagent’s, a butcher’s, a GP’s surgery, a dental practice and a bakery. With a small supermarket, a pizzeria and a restaurant less than a five minute walk away, all your day-to-day supplies are right around the corner.
Two main roads lead away from Gratteri, one into the heart of the Madonie and the other dropping down around 600m to sea level, in the town of Lascari. Here you will find larger supermarkets and bigger stores to buy homewares and clothes – as well as a lovely stretch of beach, off the tourist trail and all the more popular with locals for that.
The nearest hospital, cinema and even a water park are all found in Cefalù, a stunning coastal town with a flourishing tourism industry. Here you can take in the sights of a UNESCO-protected Cathedral, eat in some of the island’s best restaurants, and soak up the sunshine from the two-kilometre strip of golden sandy beach.
Palermo, Sicily’s largest and most important city, is an hour away by car. As well as everything you would expect from a metropolis of over a million inhabitants, including an iconic opera house and a well-supported football team, you will also find the closest airport, with regular connections to all of Europe’s major cities.
Structurally perfect, Casa Pietro revealed no underlying issues in our survey. There are some areas that you will need to address, however, with varying degrees of priority. We are here to offer guidance and local expertise to buyers before, during and after the purchase.
Some of the windows are new and efficient, while others will need to be replaced before long. If you move fast you will be able to get some help from the Italian ‘Bonus’ system, which offers financial subsidy to sustainable home improvements in a variety of categories. The electrical system will need to be replaced to guarantee a safe and efficient service. This should cost in the region of €6,000.
If you wanted to add a second bathroom, there is a space on the first floor landing, underneath the current one. This would obviously increase the liveability of the property, especially if you’re not planning on using the downstairs space much. A reasonable budget for this work is €5,000. A similar sum would be needed to refresh the current bathroom, although this is in working order, and not immediately urgent.
The same is true of the facade and balconies. These could be made pristine with an investment of about €20,000.
At the moment there is no heating or air conditioning. This is not the end of the world if you’re envisaging short stays to Casa Pietro, but obviously it would be a sensible addition to make the house comfortable year-round. A good system would cost about €7,000 to install.
One of the big areas of potential to address is what do do with that smart but unusual ground floor space. With a small bathroom to the rear and the only entrance into the main house lockable, there is obviously the possibility to keep sub-letting the room for a similar purpose.
However, the buyer might want to re-open that door, and integrate the room into the plan of the house. This could be as storage space, say for bicycles or a scooter. Alternatively, a new owner might choose to make full use of the room by using it as a lounge or even a small guest bedroom. Bear in mind, though, that the front wall is currently more than half glazed, so this would have an obvious limitation on privacy. You could put a wall in here, but this would require the time and financial commitment of a planning permission application.
Another consideration is the roof terrace. There is such a beautiful view at this level that the narrow channel hardly seems to do it justice. If you were willing and able to sacrifice the utility room to create a full-size terrace, you could have an absolutely beautiful one. This is another project that would require planning consent, however.
Whatever kind of future you have in mind for this affordable property in Gratteri, we are here to help. A great starting point is to take a look at our full guide to renovating a property in Sicily. As you will see from our testimonials, we have a lot of experience in helping buyers turn all kinds of houses into gleaming new homes.