An Aristocratic Italian Family Is Selling A Private Island in Sicily

If you’ve always dreamed of owning an island you can now buy one for $1.1 million, less than a Tuscan villa or a Manhattan loft apartment

An Aristocratic Italian Family Is Selling A Private Island in Sicily

Isola delle Femmine is a small island covered in mallow, mandrake, and erba stella, located on the northern coast of Sicily near Palermo that is now up for sale for about $1.1 million. The island is owned by an aristocratic family struggling to afford the upkeep of estates they’ve owned for centuries. It used to be their favorite secret retreat where they enjoyed the sea and the sun away from noisy vacationers.

The oval-shaped island in uninhabited and is part of a protected marine park that is now an elite scuba diving and snorkeling spot. With reef waters inhabited by lobsters, sea anemones and madrepora stony coral. Plus, the island is situated just 300 meters from a mainland village named after it and locals affectionately call it “l’isolotto”, meaning the baby isle. It seems that the island used to be a peninsula, connected by an isthmus.

The island was originally much more expensive but since there were no offers, the price was lowered to bargain rates, real estate agent Riccardo Romolini handling the sale stated:

“The price at first was €3.5 million but given nobody showed up we’ve now lowered it to a flexible range between €1 and €3 million, open to offers and negotiations. Anywhere close to €2 million we’d be very interested.”

Paola Pilo Bacci, the countess whose family has owned the island since the 1600s says she has fond memories of childhood summers spent on the rocky isle and says: “I loved diving with my mask to admire the stunning rocks and corals. The water is translucent and has a magical pull. The beauty and silence of the isle is enchanting. It’s just you, the sound of the waves and seagulls crying.” About wanting to sell the island she points out:

“This fiefdom has always been a family jewel but there’s no sense in hanging onto something we no longer use. A new owner could breathe new life into the isle and tower, which was majestic and deserves to be rebuilt. A re-style could turn it into an exclusive private residence or a lavish venue for celebrations and business events. New owners can apply for tax incentives and funding from the European Union if they come up with a development project that respects the surrounding nature.”