Historic Home for Sale in Sicily’s Beautiful Madonie Park, in the Old Town of Castelbuono
An smart two bedroom apartment with a beautiful ancestry, Casa Stella is located in one of Sicily’s most historic thoroughfares. At the heart of the Medieval town of Castelbuono, it is just metres along a beautiful little high street from the old fortress after which the community was named. Flanked by churches, museums and an antique clock tower, the palazzo building in which is stands can be traced back to the sixteenth century.
If you could possibly need to feel any more at the heart of traditional Sicilian culture, right around the corner from you is one of the island’s finest bakeries. Fiasconaro is a traditional Sicilian business turned global success story: not only home to a panettone which has won prizes around the world, but also creators of an exclusive line of products in collaboration with none other than legends of Italian haute couture, Dolce & Gabbana.
The palazzo, on what is today called via Sant’Anna, was owned first by wealthy merchants of the Ventimiglia court and later acquired by a succession of noble families who chose Castelbuono for its mild climate, secure hilltop location and decadent court life. Documentation from this early modern period is sadly scarce, and since then many renovations and restorations have rather obscured some of its original character, but in its position and construction it is unmistakeably a noble building of great importance. This is a special opportunity to purchase a slice of real Sicilian history.
Recently in use as the office of a firm of wedding planners, in its current configuration Casa Stella has no bedrooms, living rooms or kitchen per se, so there is some freedom of choice in whether you end up with a one or two bedroom apartment. However, we see the room to the rear of the property, with the small terrace overlooking the smaller streets, as a natural choice for a bedroom, and the blue-carpeted room at the front as another.
This would leave the largest space, to your left as you pass through the little entrance hall, as a kitchen-living room. The necessary installations are present at this side of the house, and while there would obviously be interior design work to do, you would finish with a beautiful open space combining areas for cooking, eating and relaxing.
Scheduled restoration work on this historic home for sale in Sicily – which will take place before the sale – will also improve the property somewhat relative to what is seen in our videos and photography, with improvements to the facade, new shutters and a makeover for the shared staircase all in the diary for 2023. The enclosed terrace in the rear bedroom was not completed legally, and so the aluminium windows will be removed, leaving a more authentic open balcony space.
The vaulted ceilings, ornate light fittings, decorative friezes and impressive double doorways all carry traces of the building’s storied history, and you will certainly want to preserve these in your remodelling work. On the other hand some elements will have to be replaced – take a look through the final section of this listing for more details.
They say that the keys to a wise real estate investments are ‘location, location and location’ – if this is true then it will be an intelligent buyer indeed who takes possession of Casa Stella. As we mentioned above, the land on which this historic home for sale in Sicily stands was originally within the outer perimeter of the castle Ventimiglia.
Orginally founded as Ypsigro by the Byzantines, who recognised the strategic value of the easily defended hilltop in the fertile woodland of what is today the Madonie Natural Park, Castelbuono fell into ruin for several hundred years before the Count Ventimiglia ordered construction of a fortified town on the site in 1316.
Modern Castelbuono is home to around ten thousand residents, as well as being the site of Sicily’s foremost music festival, Ypsigrock, which attracts artists of the quality of Belle and Sebastian, Primal Scream and The Flaming Lips to play in the magical confines of the old town square every August. It is also home to one of the world’s oldest road running events, the Giro Podistico di Castelbuono, where athletes pit themselves against a well-regarded international field and the myriad challenges of the mountainous 10 km course.
The surrounding hills and mountains of the Madonie are a paradise for lovers of sports and the great outdoors, attracting hikers, bikers, trekkers, climbers and paragliders in the summer and skiers and snowboarders in the brief Sicilian winter. While dwarfed by the heights of the Alps and Dolomites, and while of course those who think of mountains in Sicily immediately conjure the name of Mount Etna, the beautiful range is deceptively commanding. Its tallest peak, Pizzo Carbonara, would rank among the highest points in many European countries.
At sea level, the fabulous natural and cultural spectacle of Cefalù, with its golden sandy beach, dramatic rocky promontory and UNESCO-protected Arab-Norman cathedral, is a powerful magnet for tourists from near and far. A little over an hour’s drive to the west is the huge metropolis of Palermo, home to some of Italy’s finest restaurants, most imitated street foods and most acoustically perfect opera house, the magnificent (and appropriately named) Teatro Massimo.
On any scale, Casa Stella is positioned at the heart of the rich and mysterious story of our home island.
Obviously, as the use of the building changes, there is some work that will need to be done by the new owner.
As we discussed above, we envisage Casa Stella as a beautiful two bedroom property, still enjoying a large shared living space and a trio of little balconies. Besides that, the most pressing issue is that some of the floors, especially at the front of the house, could use some attention and may need to be reinforced. Another issue that would need to be resolved before moving day is that the electrical wiring is old and needs to be redone.
The other issues are cosmetic and not so urgent. The bathroom is working, but the décor is clearly rather dated. An extractor fan would also be a better solution than the current internal window, which opens onto what might become the second bedroom. The parquet flooring is not real and will also eventually need to be replaced, and the same is true of the windows, which are aluminium and neither as modern nor as efficient as you would ideally like.
At Property in Sicily, we don’t just deliver a service up to the exchange of contracts, and in the past we have assisted numerous very satisfied clients with work on their newly bought properties – often on a far more dramatic scale than would be needed in Casa Stella. If you would like to speak to us about the costs and timescale of eventual restoration work before you put in an offer, we would be delighted to offer our professional opinion and put you in touch with some trustworthy professionals who can help you achieve absolute most from your investment in a historic home for sale in Sicily.
Take a look at our full portfolio of after-sales support, which covers everything from project management to the practicalities of getting you set up in a new country. Whether you need an architect or a SIM card, our friendly team speaks your language and is here to help.