Build a Tuscan-Style House by the Sicilian Sea
Picture a spacious, elegant villa, built in local stone on top of a rolling hill. Its full-length windows would not be overlooked by any eye until you reach those of the tunafish who make their home in the crystal-clear Tyrrhenian Sea below. With a swimming pool, covered patio, outdoor kitchen, market garden… why not an olive grove or even a vineyard? The only limits are the reaches of your imagination and sense of adventure.
A magnificent location, convenient but secluded and within easy reach of some of Sicily’s most famous sights, this plot is an opportunity to carve out your very own little slice of the dolce vita and leave your family’s mark on this landscape for generations to come. Build a Tuscan-style house with a Sicilian view.
Plot di Maio covers a huge 25,000m2 swathe of Sicilian hillside, with permission to build a 250m2 property, plus outbuildings like a storeroom or garage. This is a wonderful opportunity, not easy to find in the area, where much land, the beautiful Madonie National Park is under the protection of the parks authority.
Available for almost half the per-hectare rates sometimes asked in this area, this plot offers value, potential and a heavenly sea view.
It stands almost on the crest of a hill, whose gentle slope means that there is no need for any dramatic landscaping when the time comes to build. Its northern side (towards the sea) rolls sedately downwards at exactly the gradient you’d want to take advantage of the sea view.
The land ahead of you as you gaze down this green expanse is completely clear, most recently used as grazing pasture for sheep and well maintained without bulky shrubs or coarse bracken. To the west, as the land climbs a little, is a wilder stretch with a natural distribution of trees, including some wild-growing olives.
Plot di Maio runs alongside the main road from Collesano to Lascari, so although it is completely undeveloped you won’t waste money on building an access route. And once you have your short driveway in place, there will be no need to share it with neighbours or put up with some of the pothole lotteries you can find delivering you to many of the island’s older residences. It’s also worth noting that while we may use the term ‘main road’, this is far from a busy stretch – certainly not by northern European standards!
As the crow flies, Plot di Maio is closer to the villages of Campofelice and Gratteri (itself one of our top recommendations for buying property in Sicily) than it is to Collesano, but the hilly terrain and the reasonably straight, well-maintained SP128 provincial road that leads to Collesano makes that a shorter drive. However, make no mistake, this is a countryside property offering peace and seclusion above all else.
Collesano is a small town of about 4,000 inhabitants, with the wonderful culinary traditions that have done almost as much for the fame of the Madonie as its spectacular nature. Local delacies not to be missed are the Easter treat, pupa cù l’ova – shortbread biscuits containing a hard-boiled egg – San Martino biscuits, with their sweet fennel notes, and the apparicchio, a local caponata made without tomato but rich in sun-dried, locally-grown courgettes.
Down the hill, approaching sea level, is Lascari, a larger town with some supermarkets and a beautiful long beach. The brisk sea winds caught along this sandy strip, known as the Salinelle, make the area favourite of kite- and wind-surfers.
A short hop along the coast to the east is Cefalù, just twenty minutes from your front door, the stunning medieval town famed for its UNESCO-protected Arab-Norman cathedral and for the distinctive fortified outcrop which overlooks the picture-postcard old town. It is also home to one half of the Property in Sicily family.
Beyond Cefalù is Milazzo, gateway to the volcanic Aeolian islands, and eventually Messina, where you can take a ferry to the Italian mainland. In the other direction you pass the historic villas of Bagheria, before coming to Palermo, the great southern metropolis which embodies everything this joyfully spontaneous and always enthralling island has to offer.
It’s so tempting to imagine what you can build on this perfect little plot. Given the choice we would build a Tuscan-style house with long, sloping roofs and perhaps a terrace on top to offer the best possible panorama. Then why not add a sea-view swimming pool, one elegant little body of water blending seamlessly into the vast expanse of it below?
The fertile ground in this area, naturally irrigated by run-off from the tallest peaks of the Madonie, is ideal for horticulture. A small olive grove could be a great option – but why not go the whole nine yards and plant your own little vineyard? The delicious grapes springing from your very own Sicilian soil could even become a romantic, sustainable business venture – what’s not to adore about that image?
The mature olive trees on the property no longer bear fruit, but would make excellent hosts for grafting younger trees. Many of the locals are masters of this delicate craft who can rejuvenate an elderly tree in just a couple of years, and we would be delighted to introduce you to a specialist.
Sustainable energy is generously subsidised in Italy, and we would be happy to advise you on how to make sure your new home is both ecologically responsible and energy-independent. On the subject of guaranteeing your independence, we would advise deepening an existing well in order to guarantee a supply of fresh water to the property.
However, electricity cables do pass through the area, so it would be a simple matter to connect the property to the main grid for added convenience.
Property in Sicily has helped dozens of non-Italians to renovate and build their own houses in Sicily. From a helpful steer around some of the local bureaucracy to full-scale project management, we would love to experience this adventure at your side. There’s so much to discuss about Plot di Maio, so pick up the phone or send an email to get in touch with our friendly, multi-lingual team today.