Ancient, Abandoned & Alone

April 22, 2012

Blank-eyed homes in green pastures.

Humming with lizards.

Cooing with doves.

Which one is yours?

Sicily waits.

Abandoned House in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Abandoned House in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Abandoned House in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Abandoned House in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Abandoned House in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

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46 comments to Ancient, Abandoned & Alone

  • Bill

    Thanks for taking me to Sicily today through your photos.

    I can only wonder of the generations of ghosts running through those abandoned homes.

    Thanks.

  • Mike

    There is an expression doing the rounds, it seems particularly appropriate here:

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

    What an amazing set of pics.

    I just stumbled across your blog having typed that most hopeful of google searches ‘buying a house in Sicily’…

    I’ll get there!

  • Anitre

    How beautiful! Your photos has such a painterly quality to them. Well done!

  • Oh Jann, I would take any of these beauties even if they were half finished! Ah, to have the money to buy a property in Sicily! I can’t think of a better way to live out the rest of my life! Sigh. Someday. I hope. I pray. I wish, with all my heart! :)

  • liz

    Jann,
    Are these properties for sale? They are all so beautiful. Each one unique. Thank you for giving me something to dream about.

    • Jann

      Liz, there were no for sale signs anywhere in sight for these properties. You’d have to go to the nearest town and start asking people about them, and then maybe someone would know who owns them, and if you could track down the owners(easier said than done) then maybe you could convince them to sell! But there are plenty of other places officially for sale. Of equal charm? Not all, but some… So dream away!

  • vicki carol

    Hi Jann,

    As I read the above comments, I felt the dreams flowing between us all. Those shots are stunning. That is why we all come back to your site, even when we should be doing “other” work. It is our break from our everyday flatlines. You spark our hearts into beating again. Beautiful, I want to renovate too.
    xxx
    Vicki

  • Yes, the second picture, that would be lovely to fix up! and hopefully it has a court yard with a perragola and long table and chairs so I can make past with oil and garlic and late at night we can eat under the stars!

  • As always, nice pics, Jann. One of my favorite things to do is cruise the country roads looking for “painting fodder.” There are plenty of these structures here, too. Did you now the main reason for their being abandoned is the increase in heirs sharing the property? After a couple of generations there simply are too many pretenders and they can’t afford the costs of the Notaio to divvy it up, and they sell. It is easier to divide money than property! (This is how we bought our property.)

    • Jann

      Yes, Sandra, I’ve heard this. And sometimes it’s impossible to locate all the heirs, so if even one is missing, the property cannot be sold.

  • cemal karahan

    Hi,Jann….! They are simply wonderful….The area so peaceful…! And having seen all these beautiful places makes one feel so sorry for the buildings and their leavers…! This kind of buildings in Turkey, especially located in the western parts and overlooking the Agean Sea are so expensive to buy…! why don’t Italians buy them or do they…?

    • Jann

      Hi Cemal–thanks for your comment! Right now with the awful economic crisis in Italy, Italians I know are not buying; they’re trying to sell.

  • Pina Marra

    I would like to be able to buy one of these wonderful houses…but it’s impossible…

    • Jann

      Pina, never say never! (But realistically even after a renovation, you’d need a lots of money & time to keep them up…)

  • joe girolamo

    Ciao Jann
    We are enjoying primavera in Modica!!! Everything is so green and wild flowers so colorful. A wonderful time to see Sicily through the lens!
    Lynn

  • I am sooo there! Thanks for the lovely visual.

  • –Jann,
    Mine is the second photo!

    I shall write poetry outside on the veranda w/ a nice glass of Italian wine.

    L O V E L Y.

    Xxx Kisses flowing There.

  • Ian Henry

    Hi jan are you back? we had an amaizing time in modica on Easter Sunday ,your pictures are fantastic but as you and I know there are lots of properties like these in Sicily,that’s why it is so special. Had a meeting at the airport in comiso,will be open for domestic and international flights before the end of the year so I understand that lots of dutch, Italian , and English people are now buying properties to renovate. We are back in late may if you are there would love to meet.
    Ian

    • Jann

      Hi Ian, In 2002 I heard that the Comiso airport was about to open. Do you think it’s really going to happen?? Honestly, a selfish part of me hopes it doesn’t happen, as it will bring more people to the area. Looking forward to seeing you in late May!

    • Linda

      I am with you Jann, I sort of hope the airport never opens! The cruise ships have started and we have fled ortigia for the hills of Noto!

    • Jann

      Well, it’s been a decade since they’ve been “threatening” to open it, so I’m hoping, like many so many Sicilian projects, that it takes a bit longer!

  • Mary Floridia-Rankin

    Hi Jann:
    Where are these lovely ladies located? I, too, would love to know their history.

    Mary

    • Jann

      Hi Mary,
      Welcome to the blog! Thanks for commenting. OK, here goes: the first one is somewhere outside Caltagirone–toward Niscemi. The second is on the tiny little road between Chiaramonte Gulfi and Licodia Eubea. The third is on the little road from Licodia Eubea to Militello Val di Catania. The fourth is just outside Acate, and the fifth is on the road between Acate and Santo Pietro. (All in Southeast Sicily.)

  • Wayne

    Fixing those up would be a nightmare, especially with the local forces!

    • Jann

      Ah, Wayne, you are the Realist speaking to a bunch of Dreamers. Yes, I’m afraid you could be right, but before even starting a renovation, you’d have to find out who in the world owns these places. Many owners have just taken off for the USA or Australia, and left their properties behind to rot…

  • Sam

    I would use that last one as a background for a fashion shoot.

  • Nina

    When I look at your photos it’s as if I can jump right into the picture.
    captivating..

  • My favourite kind of places. They make me DREAM. That shot of the birds taking flight beside that magnificent old palazzo is simply amazing. When is your calendar coming out?
    When I first saw your post title I feared you had the Tarot cards or crystal ball out and were telling my fortune. Delighted (and relieved) to see the beauties that ensued instead.

    • Jann

      Ha, ha, Lynne. You make me laugh. My crystal ball says the fate of these houses (abandoned and alone) is not at all yours. Au contraire. (Though the “ancient” part is desirable in the distant future, no?). Thanks for your comment about the photo. Coming from you that means a lot.

  • O Jann. I love them all. The ruined balconied house is calling me though. Your photos are wonderful. You’ve really captured that haunting, menacing feeling of inland Sicily. The lizards and the doves. Just beautiful work! Jx

    • Jann

      I like that ruined balcony house, too, Janine. When I approached it early in the morning, those doves flew out, making an incredible racket. Scared me to death! Menacing, indeed!

  • John Ferguson

    Hi Jann,
    Truly stunning photos! When I see these houses I can’t help but wonder who last lived there and why no one has fixed them up. What a pity it is to see these beautiful buildings empty as they build all of those new red block houses in the cities!

    • Jann

      Yeah, John, who wants to live in those ugly modern flats when there are these little gems. Thanks!

  • Absolutely beautiful! You’ve done it again, Jann! Wouldn’t you love to know the stories behind those walls……

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