Large Family Home with Roof Terrace in one of the Madonie Natural Park’s Most Beautiful Villages
Palazzo Iacolano is an impressively large four storey town house, with three bedrooms, twin kitchens and a roof terrace. On the corner of two terraced streets it offers lovely views over the surrounding community and countryside.
Found on the western outskirts of the lovely hilltop village of Gratteri, in the Madonie Natural Park, it’s position will be an outstanding attraction for lovers of nature, rural life and the timeless charm of small-town Sicily. However, within easy reach of the great city of Palermo and the historic beach town of Cefalù, stepping back into the relaxed rhythms of a bygone culture doesn’t have to mean cutting yourself off from the outside world.
If the property you dream of buying in Sicily is a large family home with roof terrace in an authentically traditional community, far from the commotion brought by splashy “€1 house in Sicily” promotions or the mass-market tourist trail, Palazzo Iacolano may be the perfect investment for you.
While some work will certainly be needed to make the building a comfortable, modern base for you and your guests, the rewards will be enormous. A huge family home in a wonderfully characterful corner of this magnificent island, at a total cost that would struggle to buy you a studio apartment in the north of the continent.
In a moment we’ll take a closer look at what that work will likely need to involve, but for now let’s introduce you to Palazzo Iacolano as it currently stands.
The front door of the Palazzo leads you into an entrance hall with a pair of storerooms to the left and right. There is also a small bathroom with a cistern and sink.
The larger, to the left, is about the size of a single garage, although the narrow street outside prevents it being used as such. It would, however, make a great spot to store sports equipment, larger pieces of unused furniture or bikes. It could even be a workshop for the DIY lover. The smaller is cool and well insulated, and could be used as a larder or simply additional storage.
On the first floor is a huge master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom, similarly spacious and fitted with a tub and shower attachment. Whether you prefer to install a separate walk-in shower or keep the current configuration, you will find more than enough room to make a couple very comfortable between the two halves of this bedroom suite.
There is no balcony at this level, but the windows are large and the one in the bedroom is auspiciously positioned between a gap in the buildings opposite, offering a bit of extra daylight and a deeper view, without the room being overlooked. A smaller room here, about 12m2, currently contains a fridge, but given the abundance of storage space below, would be an easy conversion into a bedroom or study.
The staircase up to the second floor splits in two, one half leading to a triangular room which is currently a second kitchen. This would make a really nice little living study or even a smaller single bedroom, with an unusual little round balcony. By the time we reach this floor we are above the opposing rooftops, meaning that the view is a gorgeous panorama over Gratteri and the hills which flank it to the south.
The other fork of the staircase takes you to the body of the second storey, where a pair of bedrooms mirror the layout on the first floor. This time, however, the larger of the two has a balcony, adjacent to that in the kitchen, with the same views of the town and countryside.
A final staircase brings you up to the main family kitchen, and a small dining room which opens onto the roof terrace. This juts out to the side of the property, on the same triangular part of the floor plan taken up by the kitchenette on the second floor and the smaller storeroom at street level. Walled on two sides, the end is open and railed, creating a lovely space with an open feel. Ideal for sunbathing, it could also be furnished for outdoor dining in small groups.
As you would expect from a property in a small village, Palazzo Iacolano is served by municipal connections for power, water and sewage. The floors of the property are in good condition, and there are some nice tiles in some roos which can be repurposed. The white tiling in the kitchen and bathrooms might also prove useful, but beyond this there is sadly a lack of really inspiring material to re-use. The windows will need to be replaced and you will probably want to add a door onto the upstairs terrace.
The real beauty of the property lies in its size, with over 200m2 of indoor space, with only the ground floor workshop and storeroom not habitable. The views from the second and third floors are also really inspiring, especially on a clear day. Palazzo Iacolano is a spacious, well-built family home in a lovely area of Sicily.
Just two streets’ away from the edge of town, Iacolano is in a quiet neighbourhood characterised by small, leafy piazzas and winding cobbled streets. With Gratteri home to around a thousand people, you will still find yourself just a few steps from grocery shops, a pharmacy, some delicious restaurants and a couple of bars. Here you’ll meet the entire community on a daily basis, stopping in to refuel with a quick shot of freshly brewed espresso and a sweet pastry, still warm from the over.
The fertile landscapes of the Madonie Park and the Tyrrhenian sea just seven kilometres down the road to the north, means that you’ll never be short of delicious fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood. These can be bought from small independent shops in the village, but when you need a bigger weekly shop, the town of Lascari is just a fifteen-minute drive away. You’ll find bigger supermarkets and chain stores selling clothing and electrical goods.
The hills of the Madonie are a haven for hikers, bikers, historians and foodies. They are dotted with quaint medieval villages to explore, each with their own culinary specialities to sample. When you need the big city experience, Sicily’s capital Palermo is only an hour’s drive away. A world-renowned destination for lovers of everything from opera to street food, this vibrant city is also home to the nearest airport, less than 90 minutes from your front door.
All of Sicily’s famous historical attractions are within easy reach for day trips, including the Greek temples of Agrigento, the dramatic cliffs known as the ‘Turkish Steps’, the slopes of Mount Etna, and charming old port cities like Siracusa and Marsala. Even if you plan on spending entire summers at your newly-acquired property in Sicily, you could return to the island for many years and still discover new experiences, sights – and of course flavours.
Gratteri is a welcoming community deeply rooted in history, with generations of families calling its narrow streets home. However, in recent years, a growing number of international residents have seized the opportunity to benefit from the excellent value of the local property market, bringing a touch of northern Europe to this Mediterranean town. We have had the pleasure of helping several of these new arrivals with the purchase and renovation of their homes, and we would be delighted to introduce you to our new friends.
While the walls and foundations of Palazzo Iacolano passed our survey with flying colours, there will need to be some work done on the upper floors of the house (not the visible surfaces but the structures between ceilings and floors). The sloped roof above the kitchen on the third floor will need to be re-tiled, although the section above the dining room is in reassuringly better condition.
It would certainly be wise to add an extra bathroom, and on the subject of plumbing, the water infrastructure and electrics of the property could use a refresh. There is cosmetic work needed both outside and in, with the exteriors particularly faded and windows and shutters to replace. The terrace could be a much nicer space with a bit of decoration and some greenery.
We believe that an investment of about €80,000 above the final purchase price would be enough to deliver you a sturdy and beautiful family home with roof terrace in the Madonie hills, that will last for a lifetime. If you need assistance on any aspect of this process we are available to support you long after the exchange of contracts.
Whether you need a full project management service or just some friendly advice on reliable tradespeople or professionals, our welcoming international team is waiting for your call or email.