This luxurious villa, directly on the sea of Sicily’s stunning northern coast, was purchased by a professional couple in 2006 and has been extensively and lovingly renovated and improved over the intervening period.
Consisting of two completely independent living units, the master apartment is a perfect year-round base for your new life in Sicily, while the second has potential as a business investment holiday rental or a truly beautiful three room annexe for guests. If you’re looking for a way to finance your move South, buying a split property is a great move.
While the peninsula on which Villa Russo stands is largely (and mercifully) beyond the large-scale tourist trail, the combination of the area’s outstanding natural beauty and proximity to the international airport in Palermo make this an attractive destination for summer holidaymakers and digital nomads in the winter.
Whatever you decide to do with this stunning property, we are perfectly positioned to help you with everything from the initial practicalities of buying a property in Sicily to long-term management of a second home or high-end vacation rental.
You enter Villa Russo along a driveway with ample parking, through a covered porch, and immediately find yourself in a huge open-plan living area. The kitchen connects to the dining area through a large serving hatch, and the glazed veranda offers an unbeatable, uninterrupted sea view. Windows on every side and the huge solarium and sea-view terrace mean the room is flooded with the bright Sicilian sun. You’ll love the design touches like the feature brick wall around the fireplace. On this floor are also a guest bedroom and a bathroom with a shower.
A staircase leads down to the lower floor below, where you find the other bedrooms and the study. A master bathroom on this level is particularly large and luxuriously fitted with a spa jet bath. All rooms have both heating and air conditioning, the walls are partially wood-panelled and the bedrooms have fitted wardrobes.
As well a the huge terrace at the top level, the apartment has several other balconies, all of course with fantastic sea views! Outside, the space in front of the front door also takes in the sunny panorama. This primary apartment can comfortably accommodate 5 people.
The secondary, fully independent, three room apartment is on the lowest floor and accessed by a neat external staircase. With a private entrance and a small terrace with sea views and access to the cliffs below the villa. Newly renovated throughout, the waterside position is spectacular, offering total peace and privacy.
Here you enter a spacious living room, lit by a large window with southwesterly aspect – more magnificent sea views and the hills that flank Palermo in the distance. The large, bright bedroom offers the same glorious aspect, as well as a double bed and built-in closet. A corridor connects the rooms and also the fitted kitchen with washing machine and a small terrace for laundry. Finally there is a small internal bedroom with bunk beds. There is no external window but a skylight opens onto the hallway.
The smaller apartment benefits from air conditioning, internet and a private parking space. To be honest it’s an ideal base for a couple, although the second bedroom does give it a capacity of four.
Villa Russo stands just 400m outside the large village of Aspra in the district of Bagheria. Aspra has a population of a couple of thousand, and all the shops and amenities you need for day-to-day life. Nearby Santa Flavia is a small market town and Bagheria is the closest city.
Only fifteen minutes by car or or train is Sicily’s thriving capital city, Palermo, with everything you would expect from a modern, developing metropolis. It is also blessed with an incredible, rich history and proud culinary tradition. Not only will you love discovering this yourself, but you’ll never run out of ways to attract guests to your new Sicilian property.
Within easy reach are the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Monreale and Cefalú, and the gorgeous views and complex ecosystem of the Madonie Natural Park. The size of the island mean that all of Sicily’s myriad attractions, from the historic merchant cities of Trapani and Siracusa to the natural drama of Mount Etna and the ancient temples at Agrigento, are no more a couple of hours’ drive away.
You may have read scary stories about the legal status of some buildings near the sea in Sicily. It’s true that the late 60s and 70s saw a boom in unauthorised construction, and many homes in this area have recently been demolished due to a governmental clampdown. HOWEVER! The million-dollar date in this regard is the year 1967. Houses built before this cut-off are completely safe, and the disappearance of other homes along the coast has resulted in increased demand and, in many cases better views!
You’ll be delighted and reassured to know that Villa Russo was built in 1965. This villa by the sea, to buy for a great price, is a very safe investment.
The owner, a very friendly doctor, currently lives in the upper apartment and is very sad to have to part with this property! A buyer’s market means that the asking price is more than €100,000 less than her total investment in the property, but we think that with a motivated seller there may be room for a little negotiation, to get a truly amazing bit of value.
If you want little ways of improving this charming villa by the sea, to buy a little greenery and do some light landscaping on the terrace would pay handsome returns. We think the old aluminium covering on the veranda would be our first move, and perhaps a revamp of the property’s windows. Remember that home improvements which increase the energy efficiency of a building qualify for amazing public subsidies.
An outdoor kitchen would let you make the absolute most of the Sicilian climate and your incredible sea view.
Thinking of your investment ‘upside down’ you could make the ‘guest’ apartment a second home, and look for a long-term tenant in the larger unit upstairs. As a final, more ambitious possibility, the middle floor (i.e. the lower floor of the upper flat) could also be easily separated off, creating a third apartment.
And of course, there’s the possibility to enjoy the entire property as a whole, either to house a large family (bring the grandparents South for their retirement?) or to have the option to host guests in a stylish and independent fashion.