Elegant Loft Apartment at Palermo Marina
The mystical and enthralling city of Palermo has grown up over the past three millennia thanks above all to its situation, a perfect natural harbour at the heart of the Mediterranean. At the heart of this beautiful sweep of land, and now in the midst of Italy’s fifth largest and arguably most historically fascinating metropolitan area, is the marina known as La Cala. And here, less than 50m from the panoply of tall white masts bobbing gently in the calm turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, we find this timeless loft apartment.
Standing in Via San Sebastiano, on the second floor of the eighteenth-century Palazzo Coglitore, this high-ceilinged apartment is a real treasure. The vaulted roofs, majolica tiles and ornate decorations of this loft apartment at Palermo marina only enhance the value of its superb location. Nor is convenience lacking, with the city’s main coastal road just around the corner, as well as one of its liveliest markets and some wonderful public spaces. A reliable condominium board and well-maintained elevator ensure that this is a practical living environment as well as an eye-catching one.
The deeply-ingrained family traditions which still underpin Sicilian life mean that properties of this character don’t come on the market too often in Palermo, with apartments and entire palazzo buildings staying in families for centuries. Much more than a pied-à-terre in one of the continent’s most up-and-coming cities, this is a special opportunity to step into the culture of an authentic and boundlessly-rewarding neighbourhood.
The generous 124m2 of internal space is divided into two large rooms, plus a kitchen and a bathroom with a shower. A pair of twin balconies open onto the street below, overlooking a beautiful church and a very pleasant little piazza. The bedroom has been enhanced by the addition of a partial mezzanine floor, creating extra space as well as a cosy nook in which to sleep.
The entrance from the communal landing is straight into the apartment’s ample living room, measuring over 50m2, with a vaulted roof some 6.2m high lending the illusion of still more space. Underfoot a tile pattern uses authentic, locally-produced majolica tiling, a signature of Sicilian craftsmanship and interior design. The dining area is elegantly lit by a pair of elaborate chandeliers.
Off this opens a small bathroom with a shower, a utility room and a kitchen, currently fitted with the basics for home dining. There is also a balcony measuring a couple of square metres, large enough to sit and enjoy a morning coffee, or just take in the sights and sounds of this old quarter of town.
Finally the bedroom is around 40m2, with its own balcony also opening out to the front of the property. The mezzanine is reached up a neat open staircase, and here again we see the beautiful majolica-tiled flooring.
The windows are double-glazed and finished in wood, and the building is connected to a high-speed ADSL internet line. Internal doors are sturdy and original, and the restoration work (carried out in the late 1990s) has been performed to a high standard of durable craftsmanship.
The palazzo (the Italian term has no direct translation in English, but can be understood as a particularly prestigious town-house) Coglitore dates back to 1790, and is now divided into nine apartments, each sharing responsibility for the upkeep of shared spaces. These include a stylish entrance hall and the elevator, but also an independent methane heating system, with heat pumps and an autoclave.
Of note also is the fact that a 13m2 underground storeroom belongs to the loft apartment at Palermo marina, offering a practical solution for out-of season items or the storage of bikes and other large items.
As we mentioned above, the undisputed joy of this apartment’s location is its proximity to the marina of Palermo, with its sailing club, quayside dining and the small urban beach around the Nautoscope sculpture, which really comes to life in the summer months, hosting concerts and an array of pop-up restaurants. Along the coastline is a beautiful expanse of green park, the Foro Italico, which separates the town from its sea. The coastal path which runs alongside this grassy expanse is a haven for joggers, cyclists and dog-walkers.
Moving inland, the famous Vucciria district is one of the trio of souk-like outdoor markets which hark back to the city’s Arabian roots. Street food and street art are in abundant supply, although some tremendous fine dining experiences are also within a ten minute stroll. Palermo’s first Michellin-starred restaurant, the sumptuous Gagini, stands just a hundred metres from your new front door!
If you’d like to understand more about this iconic city, take a look at our comprehensive guide on the subject, but the headlines are of a city which is constantly evolving, a complex interplay of historical and cultural influences from all corners of the ancient and early-modern world. Stepping out of the dark shadow of criminal activity which gave the area such notoriety until the dramatic shift of public opinion and policy seen in the early 1990s, it is a rapidly-modernising arena for commerce and culture.
Served by the nearby Falcone-Borsellino International airport, it is also the fulcrum of Sicily’s road and rail network, with public and private transport ready to whisk you to all of the island’s noteworthy attractions in no more than a couple of hours. From the majestic temples of Agrigento to the volcanic archipelago of the Aeolian Islands, via picturesque Cefalù, mercantile Trapani and noble Siracusa, nothing is beyond a convenient day trip away if you want it to be.
Loft alla Cala would make a perfect year-round home for a couple interested in a permanent relocation to Sicily. With some incredibly generous tax relief opportunities recently put in place to entice ex-pats to make the region their home, there has never been a better time to make this leap. For those apprehensive of Italian bureaucracy or still working to pick up the language, our Welcome to Italy package of services is a concierge option to integrate you seamlessly into the day-to-day life of your new home town.
Alternatively, the superb position and evocative local stylings give the loft apartment at Palermo marina an appeal as a vacation rental investment which need hardly be re-stated. Here, too, we can be of assistance well beyond the purchase date – our sister company Solemar Siclia has been managing holiday homes for decades, and we can put our vast network of regular visitors to work, guaranteeing a steady return on your outlay.
Loft alla Cala is in beautiful condition, with no immediate maintenance needs. This certainly isn’t a ‘1€ house in Sicily’-style renovation project, and indeed we’d struggle to see any way to reconfigure the spaces as they are at present. Additional bedrooms would lack natural light, and disrupt the elegant simplicity of the home. However, it does represent a high-end entry point into the Sicilian market, which will be sure to attract rapid interest.
Condominium fees, providing for the high-standard cleaning and maintenance of the building, come to approximately €100 a month.
NB. In contrast to the vast majority of our listings, the sale of Loft alla Cala is being conducted in partnership with another agency. Due to this unique circumstance, please be aware that commission will be charged at a rate of 4% of the final purchase price.