Beautifully Renovated Tuscan-style Farmhouse and Dependence in a Huge 12 Acre Estate in Rural Sicily
This enormous Tuscan-style farmhouse in Sicily will give you an unbeatable sensation of peace, privacy and connection with nature. It is in fact comprised of two main properties, while a third habitable space is a little apartment with bedroom and bathroom. So the complex in total is easily capable of accommodating ten people in full comfort at any given time.
Sold with all furniture and contents, save for personal effects, this is a luxurious solution for a large family who dream of buying a holiday villa in the very heart of the Mediterranean. It would also make a fabulous option for a full-time move to Sicily, with no comforts lacking for year-round living.
There is obvious potential to enter the hospitality sector, running one or both of these spectacular yet welcoming homes as a bed-and-breakfast or agriturismo.
With almost a full five hectares of land, including 8,000m of healthy vineyard and around 150 oil-producing olive trees, this is a going agricultural concern as well as a perfect spot for relaxation and the purest kind of dolce vita lifestyle.
Each of the houses has two bedrooms, all four of which have en-suite bathrooms. The larger is a two-storey Provençal-style villa with traditional Sicilian design but distinctly modern comforts. There is a complete kitchen, a dining area and a wonderful open terrace outside which touches the very edge of the vineyard. The smaller is effectively a bungalow, built above a storeroom and the mini-apartment, with a covered veranda and mesmerising countryside views.
As a top of the market property on this scale, one would reasonably expect to pay millions for Casale Mario if it were found in the overcrowded expat markets of Tuscany or Piedmont. But the benefits of buying in the Italian South go beyond a dramatically reduced price tag. You will also find yourself surrounded by an authentic Sicilian culture and friendly, welcoming neighbours whose warm greeting has not become dulled by a constant stream of international arrivals. And there are even greater financial benefits available for a tax relocation to Sicily than you would find further north.
If Casale Mario is in your budget and you’re hoping to find this kind of farmhouse and estate, you won’t find better value anywhere on the island. Let’s show you exactly why…
– The Main House
This tall, detached farmhouse has a pitched roof and traditional clay pipe guttering, which adds a rustic touch to an otherwise modern exterior. Flanked on the eastern side by a long flagstone patio, it is set nearly 200m off the main road, and completely secluded by olive trees and vines – when we talk about a ‘Tuscan-style’ farmhouse, a vineyard right outside your kitchen window is exactly what we mean! The only noises you will here are the sounds of nature and you have complete privacy.
The ground floor is almost entirely composed of a long, open-plan living space which combines a living room and kitchen-diner, separated by a peninsula of cupboards and worktop about two thirds of the way along. The lounge area is furnished with a suite of comfortable leather sofas and a pair of beautiful old armchairs, close to the open fireplace with lovely hardwood mantelpiece. There is plenty of shelving and a lovely antique coffee table.
On the kitchen side you will find a family-sized dining table and chairs, as well as a complete kitchen that offers a large double sink, fridge-freezer and a modern oven. Everything is recently refurbished and beautifully maintained. Food lovers will find this a wonderfully communal environment in which to prepare and serve food for their loved ones.
The room has French windows on three sides and windows on all four, keeping everything bright and airy. One of these leads directly out to a covered veranda on the western side of the property, with an outdoor kitchen and long dining table. This is shaded by bamboo screens to keep it cool even in the heat of summer.
Under the stairs is a small toilet, above which you will find a landing with a little study nook, with garden views and lit on two sides by large windows. A corridor connects a pair of twin master bedrooms, each of which has a king-sized bed, ample storage, garden views and an en-suite bathroom. One of these contains a walk-in shower and the other a small tub with shower attachment. Just as in the rest of the house, the materials are expensive and durable, carefully selected and combined to create a sense of luxury and history. One of the bedrooms has a small Juliet balcony.
Radiators and air conditioning units have been installed throughout. The main house can comfortably sleep two couples at any time of the year.
– The Guest House
This slightly smaller building is a little way down the hill towards the sea. Seen square-on from one side it appears to be a bungalow, but passing around the property you make your way down a set of stone steps and find the storeroom and one-bedroom mini apartment underneath.
Finished with a more modern look, including regular guttering and downpipes, it is nonetheless a characterful building, accented by a beautiful hardwood frame spanning the spacious veranda. Like the larger house, it too is surrounded by gardens and greenery on all sides.
The layout is simple, with twin bedrooms opening off a living room with a kitchenette. This is the entrance to the building, not as big as its parallel in the main house, but with high white-painted ceilings whose exposed beams and gleaming surfaces give a strong sense of height and space. The kitchenette is simple but practical, perfect for a short self-catering stay, or for a longer visit by a group who eat most of their meals in the larger building.
The bedrooms are very similar, each furnished with a large bed and joining its own en-suite bathroom. One of these has a walk-in shower, the other a bathtub. Both have incredible views from their full-length windows and Juliet balconies – perhaps the nicest vantage points on the whole estate. The mountains of the Madonie Natural Park stretch out for miles into the distance, the grapes and fruit trees filling the foreground once again bring to mind the image of a Tuscan-style farmhouse, while the craggy outcrops in the distance have perhaps a trace of the Highlands of Scotland.
Just as in the main house, everything here is freshly renovated and new, with the only exception being the traditional terracotta floors. Water and electricity installations are perfect, and the double-glazed aluminium window frames seal in the perfect temperatures conjured by the radiators and air conditioning units.
– The Estate
The 4.8 hectares of this vast country estate is equivalent to almost 12 acres of land. Two of these are taken up by vineyards, about which we’ll be delighted to supply more information on request. Obviously a purchase of Casale Mario is an investment in the local agricultural economy as much as in bricks and mortar.
The 150 olive trees, also, yield around 500kg of oil annually, with an enviable quality thanks to the fertile soil and perfect growing conditions of the region.
Irrigation is supplied from a well and a reserve tank of 50,000 litres offers peace of mind that hydration will never be a problem on the estate. Four water cisterns provide for the needs of the homes.
A wide and well-maintained driveway snakes through the grounds, with all the opportunity you could need for off-street parking.
Two further free-standing sheds measure 20m2 and 5m2 respectively.
A few short kilometres up the road, the village of Gratteri is a welcoming and charming town, steeped in Sicilian traditions. Its friendly residents have welcomed some new arrivals in recent years, since we highlighted the scintillating panoramic views and buyer-friendly prices as a reason to make it one of our top picks for smart investment in Sicily a couple of years ago. You can immerse yourself in your future home with our full guide to the town.
The nearest beach is just 15 minutes downhill at Lascari. The long straight sweep of coast which runs from Campofelice di Roccaella in the west to Mazzaforno in the east is an unbroken 10km of wonderful coastline, a mix of sandy and pebble beaches, away from the tourist congregations of nearby Cefalù. The Medieval cathedral town turned modern day beach community is a must-visit, however, its distinctive sloping skyline punctuated by the twin towers of the Arab Norman Duomo, and capped by the dramatic silhouette of the Rocca mountain, from whose flat top the views are stunning.
Lovers of great food will adore the haute cuisine found at the Palermo province’s quintet of Michelin-starred restaurants, but will also be blown away by the legendary street food delicacies on offer throughout the markets and piazzas of the Sicilian capital. Whether you visit to marvel at the beauty of the immaculately preserved baroque villas, take in an opera at the city’s iconic neoclassical opera house, or to shop till you drop in the exclusive boutiques of via Libertà, you will find something in the ancient metropolis to bring you back again and again.
The first thing to reiterate here is that these homes are in fabulous condition, fully furnished and ready for immediate use by the buyer. If you were to purchase in Spring you could spend the entirety of your summer in your newly purchased Sicilian estate.
A small imperfection on the roof of the main property will need a bit of attention, but this will not significantly impact the total spend.
We believe there may be some room for negotiation on this already appealing asking price.
The lure of running a bed-and-breakfast or agriturismo from this Tuscan-style farmhouse is obviously a persuasive one, a chance to share your fabulous tranche of land with visitors from the world over, as well as recouping some of your capital outlay.
If you are planning to let some of all of the rooms in Casale Gratteri on the tourist market, Property in Sicily can be an invaluable ally. Our sister company, Solemar Sicilia, has been connecting high-value tourists with luxury accommodation across Sicily for many years, and we would be happy to place our skills in advertising, property management and customer success at your disposal.
We can’t wait to meet the eventual buyer of this fabulous Provençal-style villa and its huge estate.