Casetta Saveria – Sea-view Holiday Home in Sicily, with Fabulous Panoramic Roof Terrace
On the fringes of a beautiful little village in the northern foothills of the Nebrodi natural park, in Sicily’s northeastern province of Messina, Casetta Saveria is a cosy and welcoming home whose greatest attribute is unquestionably the sea-view roof terrace that opens directly off the bedroom. In the village of Capri Leone, it is immersed in authentic Sicilian culture, including a gastronomic tradition of which the Nebrodi Park region is enormously proud.
This fabulous, almost unobstructed panorama taking in rocky green hillsides, the historic stone-built houses of the village and the Tyrrhenian Sea stretching out to the volcanic archipelago of the Aeolian Islands in the middle distance. The tower of the nearby parish church is also in view, the gentle toll of the bells quietly punctuating the otherwise peaceful rhythms of the local dolce vita lifestyle. But above all, the impression from this birds-eye perch is one of being lifted entirely out from the world below. The neatly-tiled L-shaped space is the most fabulous spot to dine in the middle of nature, but in the comfort of your very own sea-view holiday home in Sicily.
Inside, the three levels of the end-terrace property offer a total of about 80m2 of habitable space, with a basement which needs renovation and development. On the ground floor are a living room, a dining room, a small bathroom and a kitchen, while upstairs the bedroom and terrace divide the entirely of the space.
The house would make a spectacular holiday home for someone who wants to buy a Sicilian property at an attractive price, or perhaps a base for a retired couple who don’t mind driving to move to Sicily for a simple life of peace and wonderful weather. We’ll look in more detail at the potential of the two underground rooms later on, but for now we’ll guide you around the property as it currently stands.
Opening directly onto a quiet street, next to an empty plot of land, the white-painted facade of Casetta Saveria is in good condition, including the first-floor balcony which overhangs the front entrance, framed by a wrought-iron rail.
This leads into a living room, with a marble floor and a semi-open staircase, which leads up to the left of the front door. The foyer is large enough for a sofa and a TV nook, and the sturdy walls keep it well insulated in all seasons.
From here an archway brings you to the dining room, the largest space on the ground floor. Large enough for a dining suite and dressers, this is well-lit thanks to the large window on the northern wall. Off to the left is the small kitchen, with space intelligently used to accommodate a free-standing oven and a washing machine, as well as a sink and work surface. The finishings are in a monochrome majolica print, understated but modern.
The bathroom is under the stairs, off the living room, and comes with a small tub as well as a WC, bidet and sink. This is internal, but glazing above the doorway allows for natural light to pass through. A staircase leads down from the living from to a pair of little rooms which are currently used for storage.
The marble staircase leads directly into the bedroom which is the lone indoor room on the first floor. This is airy and well-lit, thanks to the balcony overlooking the street to the front of the property, and that fabulous roof terrace facing the sea.
At this level the view is above the rooftops which can be seen from the kitchen and dining rooms, reaching far out across the twinkling waters of the Mediterranean to the islands which are clearly visible on the horizon. When we describe Casetta Saveria as a perfect sea-view holiday home in Sicily, we are confident that we’re not overselling this terrace in any way.
Rocca di Caprileone is a quintessential little Sicilian community, divided between the larger settlement of that name, close to sea level, and the district (or ‘frazione’) known simply as Capri Leone, some 400m higher up in the foothills of the Nebrodi mountains. It is here that we find Casetta Saveria.
The local council is run by some fantastically outgoing and forward-thinking personalities, one of whom is a member of the national parliament, and international buyers will be guaranteed a warm welcome in Rocca di Caprileone. One impressive statistic to demonstrate the attractiveness of the region is for buying a property in Sicily is that, in contrast to many similar municipalities, the population here has actually trebled since the 1970s, when only 1400 people called it home. So many Sicilian towns have seen precisely the opposite trend – leading to the creation of the now slightly infamous €1 home promotions – that this really is a sign of a great location where small-town lifestyle doesn’t mean a village in decline.
Capri Leone, where Casetta Saveria stands, is a little hamlet measuring less than a square kilometre. On the winding provincial road towards the villages of Mirto and Frazzanò, it is almost entirely residential, save for a couple of churches, and this wouldn’t be an ideal location for anyone wanting to live without a car. However, Mirto is just two kilometres up the road, reachable in seconds, and here you will find small supermarkets and grocery stores, as well as a post office, pharmacy and even a little museum dedicated to traditional Sicilian clothing and fashion.
The narrow streets don’t leave enough room to park outside the apartment, but there is plenty of space to leave a vehicle less than 100 metres around the corner, by the church.
Travelling further afield, a half hour drive will bring you to the nearest towns, Sant’Agata Militello and Capo d’Orlando. Each of these has large supermarkets, leisure activities and a beautiful seafront. Sant’Agata has a hospital, and Capo d’Orlando a beautiful new marina which was completed just a few years ago.
The Nebrodi Park is a fabulous landscape of mountains, woodland and pasture, the largest protected area in all of Sicily. Its hiking trails are some of the most beautiful and least crowded in all of Italy, including the wonderful walks that lead you up to the mountain lakes of Maullazzo and Biviere di Cesarò. Its slopes are home to wild boar, roe deer, wildcats, martens and porcupines.
At sea level, the nearest beach is just a fifteen minute drive downhill to the district known as Torrenova. Here the long strip of sand and pebbles is seldom crowded, and plays host to some magnificent Sicilian sunsets.
The port town of Milazzo is less than an hour away to the east, and regular ferries travel to and from here and the Aeolian Islands. Continuing along this motorway brings you to Messina, Sicily’s third-largest city, and the gateway to the Italian mainland. You can travel the short distance to Calabria on a ferry, boarding by car, on foot or even as a passenger on a train! Rounding the cape you can travel down to fabulous Taormina, a must-visit destination for the world’s most stylish holidaymakers, and then Catania, Siracusa and Mount Etna. To the west, ninety minutes along a stunning coastal highway, is the great city of Palermo and, along the way, the beautiful beach town of Cefalù.
Renovated a few years ago, Casetta Saveria is in good structural condition, and only cosmetic work and decoration will be needed to make it into the perfect little sea-view holiday home in Sicily.
It would be beneficial to replace the windows, in order to make the property more energy efficient. For this we would suggest you budget up to €10,000, although of course it would be possible to do the work for a little less depending on the materials and glazing you choose. A coat of paint and maybe a little colour on the interiors would help freshen up and personalise the place, and it would be beneficial to install heat pumps, which function both to cool the home in summer and heat it in winter. In this way you will be able to use Casetta Saveria in comfort all year round.
The basement space is a blank canvas at the present, and could be remodelled to suit your needs. Our imagination tends towards the luxurious, a little spa fitted out with a jacuzzi bath and a small wine cellar – but a more practical solution, we reluctantly concede, would be a second bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. If any advice from our friendly international team would be helpful when doing work on your new home, our after-sales care is a point of pride for us. We have a long history of managing projects of all scales for some very satisfied customers all over the island.
We can also claim an excellent working relationship with the local authorities. As we touched on before, they are very enthusiastic about opening Rocca di Caprileone up to an international market, and we know that municipal officials have been instructed to help out with this activity as much as possible. While the bureaucratic load of improving a home in Sicily can occasionally be off-putting to a new buyer, we are confident that this is one region in which you will find a warm and cooperative welcome.
If you plan on making Casetta Saveria your year-round home and would like practical advice on making the region your home, our Welcome to Sicily package is the perfect guarantee of specialist advice available to you when you need it most. We can also explain how to take advantage of the fabulous tax breaks available to international buyers who transfer their residency here.