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You Can Own the Italian Isle of Isola delle Femmine for Less than an East Coast Condo

If you’re looking to expand your European real estate portfolio, we get it. It’s something we can all relate to. And you’re in luck as the price of one private island in Sicily — complete with medieval ruins including Roman rainwater basins and a watchtower — has just dropped considerably. If you act fast, it could be yours for the low, low price of around $1.1 million. That’s less than the average cost of most big city condos in the States.

Just a stone’s throw from a town of the same name lies the breathtaking Isola delle Femmine (“The Island of Women”). It’s a rugged, picture-perfect atoll set amid the equally dramatic backdrop of Sicily. The 37-acre, oval-shaped island is a mix of sloping grassland and craggy limestone cliffs. The island’s only structure is a crumbling, though beautiful, 17th-century stone tower originally used to protect the mainland from pirate raids. We’re just spit-balling here, but that could be the single coolest backstory for a new island rum distillery.

If that isn’t enough, l’isolotto (“baby isle” to locals) is part of a protected marine park which has contributed to the island’s status as a fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving spot. The surrounding seabed is peppered with ancient Roman relics, while the waters are home to sea anemones, lobster, and stony coral. For more than three centuries, the Bacci family used the island as a secret getaway away from the vacationing riff-raff on the nearby mainland. Today, Isola delle Femmine is the ideal spot for locals, some of whom brave the narrow, 900-foot channel that separates the island from the mainland, just for a day of private swimming and sunbathing.

So, if it’s so perfect, why sell it?

It turns out times are a bit tough, even for well-heeled European aristocrats. Paola Pilo Bacci, a countess in the Bacci family, told CNN, “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.” In the last few years, it’s become a common thread for many new islands up for sale like this postcard-worthy 80-acre island in Ireland and this abandoned fortress off the coast of Wales.

The island was first listed at 3.5 million euros (approximately $4 million), but the family didn’t receive a single bite. They’ve since announced they’ll entertain offers between 1 and 3 million euros, but admit they’re most likely to receive something around the 2-million euro mark. Find a few friends to share the dream with, and suddenly living the good life seems downright affordable.

Of course, if a “tiny” Sicilian island isn’t enough for you, this 348,000-acre reserve in the Patagonian Wilderness is still on the market.

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Mike Richard
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