Islet For Sale Off Sicily Coast Causes Controversy

Thu, 04/11/2019 - 00:00
Isola delle Femmine Sicily

Isola delle Femmine, a tiny islet a short distance from the Sicilian coast, has been put up for sale, and the local municipality isn’t happy.

The real estate agency Romolini Immobiliare is managing the sale on behalf of the owners, the aristocratic descendants of a Sicilian patriot, Rosolino Pilo. The island has actually been for sale for two years, and the price has recently been discounted – on the agency’s website, it is reported between €2 and €3M.

The islet is uninhabited and is just 300 meters from the village on the coast by the same name (in the province of Palermo). Here, the residents including the mayor have expressed concern over the possible sale of the 15-hectare island that is part of a protected marine area.

At center of the islet are the ruins of a 17th-century sighting tower, which affords a 360-degree view that extends to Ustica; all around the typical Mediterranean scrub, lizards, butterflies and wilderness. An ideal place for those seeking solitude and silence, and for scuba diving enthusiasts, snorkelers or swimmers.

Isola delle Femmine holds a unique allure, highlighted by the legend surrounding it, which probably gave it its name. It is said that, once upon a time, 13 Turkish girls, guilty of unspeakable crimes, were put by their own relatives on a ship and left adrift. A storm threw the ship on this small island, where the girls lived for seven years in solitude. When the families, regretting their gesture, looked for and found their daughters, they decided not to return home, but to establish a small town near the island, which they called Capaci (Cca-paci, meaning ‘qui la pace’, peace here).

Use and potential described by the agency cite it as a “trophy asset,” a partially private use or to restore and safeguard a precious, unique asset. The agency also states that the conservative restoration of the tower would make it usable as a private residence, or for the construction of a museum dedicated to the natural, historical and archeological aspects of the island.

Despite the controversy, the estate agency doesn’t seem to want to backtrack. The owner Riccardo Romolini published a video on his Instagram profile, while cruising on a boat just off the island’s coast, highlighting its beauty: “Deserted island, inhabited only by seagulls. Wonderful.”