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Palazzo Petta – Gratteri

€ 25,000
Via Dell'Orologio, 2 Gratteri, ,
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Property Description

Restoration Project in Sicily’s Madonie Park; Bargain Price for a Three-storey Townhouse in a Picturesque Hilltop Village


If you have ever dreamt of renovating a home in Sicily, you will know that the market can be incredibly cheap. Even away from the over-hyped ‘homes for a Euro’ promotions, you will find great value for money on old villas and town houses. However, even by the standards of the island, Palazzo Petta is an amazing opportunity.

In the midst of the evocative hilltop town of Gratteri, where medieval history blends with exhilarating panoramic views of the surrounding Madonie Natural Park, this semi-detached three-storey home boasts 120m2 of internal space, beautiful stone walls and a characterful village location.

While the building will need a complete renovation, the original materials are perfect for repurposing, and with the help of a skilled architect you will be able to watch as this historic fixer-upper becomes a comfortable modern home without losing its distinctive charm or antique roots.

With an asking price under €30,000, this is a competitive offer for a restoration project in Sicily. Whether you dream of turning it into a permanent home on the island, a family-sized holiday getaway for the summers, or a rental property to take advantage of Sicily’s growing appetite for traditional tourism, Palazzo Petta is waiting to be remodelled to your exact needs.


The Property

Palazzo Petta stands three storeys tall, and in its current configuration has no internal divisions of space. The walls are in thick stone, which will provide excellent insulation against both the brief winters and long hot summers which are characteristic of this area.

The front doorway is beautiful, and you will certainly want to retain it and feature it at the end of your your rebuilding work. In ten enormous stone blocks it is a striking reminder of the building’s historic origins.

Both the first and second floors have windows to the front of the property. The rear wall is the party one, meaning that it is free-standing on both sides. A little courtyard is directly to the right of the home; on the left side there is a narrow alleyway.

The property has been in the hands of the vendor for the past 13 years, but it is not currently occupied, or even inhabitable. We usually like to show you a thorough range of interior photos and a complete virtual video tour of all of our properties, but unfortunately this has proven impossible because of safety concerns. This fact will serve to illustrate the degree to which a complete renovation is necessary, including floors and ceilings.

The plus side of this, of course, is that it gives you a completely blank canvas from which to start. In a moment we’ll look at how much this renovation work is likely to cost, but first we’ll explain more about the area in which Palazzo Petta stands.



The house is towards the western edge of the little town; around the corner from a small bar and the town’s little park. Nearby you can find all of the shops you’ll need on a day-to-day basis including a welcoming butcher’s and a mini market, as well as come other small bars and cafes where locals congregate throughout the morning to enjoy a coffee and pastry, and as evening draws in to finish the day with an aperitivo or a soda.

Just a few moments’ walk to the east of the village is the park of the grotto of Grattara, a distinctive rocky landmark from which the community takes its name. This is a village, really, of no more than a thousand inhabitants, but the history of life here stretched back to the bronze age. By the middle ages it was under the protection of Sicily’s great Ventimiglia family. They lived in the castle whose ruins can still be seen today atop the hill.

In the twentieth century, like many small towns in Sicily, Gratteri saw its population fall thanks to economic migration north. In the past ten years, however, it has seen something of a resurgence, and in 2019 we chose it as one of our first picks for the best value real estate in Sicily. It is now home to a diverse range of international residents, as well, of course as many local families whose roots can be traced right back through the centuries.

The village is immersed in the greenery of the Madonie Park, a vast area of hills and mountains which covers a huge swathe of the central northern coast of Sicily. Its slopes are a warren of beautiful footpaths, stunning driving roads, dense woodland and fascinating small towns. To the east, Castelbuono hosts an annual music festival and is home to one of Italy’s most celebrated bakeries; to the west Collesano is the birthplace of the world’s first motorsport rally.

Down at sea level, the glorious beach town of Cefalù is just a half hour drive away, and the nearest beaches are even closer than that. The bustling city of Palermo can be reached in only a little more than an hour in the car.

Gratteri is about 650m above sea level, and this gives some unforgettable views. From the rooftops it is possible to see directly out to the Tyrrhenian Sea – if you were able to add a roof terrace it would make a fabulous spot. But of course, as the saying goes, you can’t ever put the roof on first, so let’s examine what you’ll need to do before getting to that stage.



It’s going to be necessary to start by completely gutting the interior of the property, and building new floors from scratch. These will of course need staircases, and then you will want to divide them in some fashion. It should be possible to create a couple of bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen-diner.

Very often these last are placed not on the ground floor, as they would be in a northern European home, but at the top of the property – a reflection of the status which Sicilians give to the rituals of food preparation and mealtimes. If you are able to create a little space at roof level this would, of course, allow you to eat outside. There should be room for a bath- or utility room up here, too.

We would perhaps then devote the majority of the first floor to a master bedroom. With a full-length window and a Juliet balcony, the space would open naturally onto the street, allowing light and fresh air to circulate. You could add an en-suite bathroom. The ground floor could be split between a reception room and a guest bedroom, and you would have everything you needed for a family of four to spend many fabulous holidays here, or for a couple to make a beautiful retirement home.

Our estimate for the full renovation work is €100,000, although this can obviously vary hugely according to the design choices in your personal restoration project. In Sicily, renovation work is all about who you know, as you’ll see from our guide to renovating a house in Sicily. Given the scale of the work needed, our overview of how to build your own home on the island might make a useful piece of prep reading, too. This latter piece gives a particularly helpful breakdown of the team you’ll need to assemble for a sizeable construction challenge like this.

Of course, you won’t want to step into this huge project on your own – getting the right project manager is absolutely vital. One option at your fingertips is to engage the help of our own management team. With experience overseeing projects of all scales, from the restoration of urban mansions to the construction of Tuscan-style villas from scratch, our work in this area has been an invaluable channel for networking, cultural mediation and local know-how for dozens of delighted clients. With packages available to suit all needs and budgets, our after-sale assistance is a point of real pride for Property in Sicily.

Whether you want to discuss the logistics of managing this beautiful restoration project in Sicily, or simply make an enquiry about the purchase of the property, please feel free to contact our friendly, multilingual team today.

Address: Via Dell'Orologio, 2 Gratteri
Zip: 90010
Country: Italy
Property Id: 7368
Price: € 25,000
Property Size: 140 m2
Rooms: 6
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
development potential
size: 140 m2

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