Other units in Rustico Alto – Huge plot with an historic house to rebuild
Three Properties in One – Real Estate in Sicily
Much more than a single property The Permaculture Estate, with development potential, in Sicily is a vast, 20 acre plot in stunning wooded hillside between Lascari and Gratteri, on the edge of the Madonie Park. It offers complete privacy and seclusion, almost unlimited space and has been painstakingly designed to support a completely sustainable, clean lifestyle.
Within the huge plot you will find three individual properties, bids for each of which will be considered individually. However, the greatest value (and investment potential) would lie in purchasing the entire estate as a package.
If you would like to know more about these three properties in isolation, please click through to discover separate listings on Casa Rosso, Villa Isabelle and Rustico Alto. Alternatively, keep reading to find out more about the estate as a whole.
The Permaculture Estate was the vision of a couple of French designers, past collaborators of several internationally recognized “Starchitects”, and devotees of the principles of sustainability, waste free living and harmony with nature. Just ten years ago this tranche of north-facing hillside was thickly forested and almost devoid of human activity. What the seller has cultivated in the meantime is nothing short of astounding.
Work began immediately on the land itself, which has been landscaped to feature meadows, small lakes, and footpaths. It has also been planted with an incredible range of fruit trees, including over dozens varieties of citrus, many of which are rare and highly prized. The irrigation system is complex and comprehensive, in accordance with the philosophy of using and valuing renewable resources. It allows rainwater to be collected in artificial lakes (sustainably-built, of course!), filtered and pumped to give this land an independent water source capable of feeding down throughout the entire property. In addition all necessary power lines have been laid.
Sadly, after devoting many years to this beautiful project, the sellers have been forced to return home to France by the Covid-19 pandemic. They are hoping to find a purchaser who shares their passion for ecology, will appreciate their labours and continue the project to realise the fullest potential of this magnificent terrain. In the right hands, this Permaculture Estate with development potential in Sicily could be a true rural paradise.
During this stage, space was cleared in the centre of the estate to build the roomy, two-bedroom Villa Isabelle. This is a superb example of eco-design, in accordance with the 12 Principles of Permaculture. The concrete foundations are the sole use of mortar, with the entire above-ground structure being built from renewably-sourced wood. Master craftsmen from the local area spent many months retraining in the techniques needed to satisfy the architects’ exacting standards, and no compromise was made on quality. As can be seen on the listing, some finishing design touches are needed, but the house is structurally ready for immediate occupation.
Next, the estate was expanded by the acquisition of Casa Rosso. Purchased to guarantee complete privacy and seclusion throughout the estate, this small prefabricated building was built years ago by the construction company who were creating the SP28 provincial road from Lascari up to Gratteri. The single storey property has three bedrooms, plenty of garden space and has been a family home for generations.
The third structure on the Estate, which also predates the Permaculture project is the Rustico Alto. At the very top of the hill, this ruined cottage would originally have homed a family living off the land. As can be seen from the photos in the listings, it would need to be essentially rebuilt, but reusing the stone which remains on the site would provide a beautiful, character-filled link with the building’s past.
The Permaculture Estate is reached by the main road which runs from Lascari to the town of Gratteri, on the edge of the Madonie National Park. This beautiful mountainous nature reserve is home to thousands of rare species of flora and fauna, including roe deer, wild boar and the almost-extinct Nebrodi fir.
In spring and autumn, hikers and cyclists flock to the hills of the Madonie to enjoy their treks and trails. In the hot summer months, the cool breeze makes the charming medieval towns dotted around the region a beautifully fresh escape from Sicily’s humid sea level. And in winter the mountains are covered with snow and boast a number of pistes for skiing.
Turning in the other direction, from almost any spot in the Permaculture Estate you can see the crystal waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, as it meets the island’s north coast. Heading in this direction, past the convenient market town of Lascari, you can reach the nearest golden sandy beach in under ten minutes from the Permaculture Estate.
This stretch of coast sits in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes the spectacular arab-norman architecture of Sicily’s rapidly-developing metropolitan capital, Palermo (to the west), and the historical centre of Cefalù (just five kilometres to the east). This magnet for tourists from the whole world is famous for the iconic rocky outcrop from which it takes its name, as well as the beautiful medieval town, cathedral and harbour. The sensational two kilometre strip of pristine sandy beach doesn’t hurt the community’s popularity either!
Within a little over an hour you can reach Falcone-Borsellino international airport, with regular connections to all of the continent’s major hubs.
The potential of this estate is vast: obviously, with twenty acres of unspoilt Mediterranean hillside at your disposal, this is likely to be more than a family home or summer vacation retreat. To find a plot already envisioned and realised as a sustainable permaculture estate, with development potential, in Sicily, is a superb stroke of luck.
The first thing to note is that plans are already in place for the development of the Rustico Alto. With the previous owners having been celebrated architects, you can be assured that these are to the highest professional standard.
The land has also been green-lit for the construction of at least two further properties. A buyer with vision could create a fluid, interconnected series of homes sharing common facilities like sea-view terraces, a permanent barbecue or outdoor kitchen – and why not dream of an infinity pool, with no visible barrier between the water inside and that of the sea below?
We could envision this as a fashionable holiday resort for environmentally-conscious travellers. However, in the current climate, another idea also springs to mind: if a group of friends or an extended family were to invest in this land together, they could create a community in which to retire and grow old together, each with their own private accommodation but a shared stake in a huge, sustainable sea view estate.
In any event, some development is going to be needed on the site. This will require local knowledge, contacts and a certain amount of red tape. However, at Property In Sicily we have years of experience helping our clients with after-sales care in this area. We would be absolutely delighted to recommend you trusted and certified local architects, lawyers, craftspeople and construction teams. If you end up with units to rent for the tourist market, our sister business would be delighted to manage this on your behalf. Take a look through our complete range of services and start to dream of what we can help you achieve!
Finally, remember that this is the perfect moment to develop property in Italy. The range of subsidies and tax credits available to smart investors is definitely worth checking out.