Scent of the sea

A breath of the MediterraneAN for this house near the famous Granelli beach in the province of Siracusa.
A rigorous functional restoration that establishes a dialogue with the beauty of the Sicilian landscape


Project Lillo Scaringi Raspagliesi – Local architect Studio Tringali – Landscape designer  Ivan Gallo – Photos Mattia Aquila – Article Laura Ragazzola


The house immersed in light stands on a narrow strip of land that descends from an olive grove to the sea. Like a pencil stroke, a wooden gate forms a slight boundary between the building and the beach, which discreetly encroaches on the garden with a small dune.

Granelli – as the beach is called – faces a wide bay between the rocky shores of Punta Chiappa and Porto Ulisse. We are in southeastern Sicily, close to Pachino, in the province of Siracusa. The coast is wild, uncontaminated, sculpted here and there by golden sands. The crystalline water of the Mediterranean shifts through every shade of blue.

“The sea, not the house, is the real protagonist of this project,” says the architect Lillo Scaringi Raspagliesi, owner of the dwelling and the man behind its refurbishing. “Who has never dreamt of waking up in a place like this? The sea is 50 meters away, you can almost plunge in straight from bed, while the road is behind the house, about 100 meters on, where a small parking area is provided. The building was rustic, but even during the worksite phase it was enough to look at the sea, and all my doubts vanished: there was only the desire to get down to work.”

The first idea was to create a stronger link between the building and the landscape. The designer explains: “Emphasizing the long narrow lot, we created a sort of visual spyglass from the parking area past the house, thanks to the two aligned glass doors, reaching as far as the sea. On the inland side, the gaze runs along the tunnel formed by a light wooden pergola leading to the entrance; on the side of the sea, a wooden walkway indicates the path to the water.”

The house seems to open to the surroundings, in search of complete harmony between nature and residence. It stands on the ground with the lightness of a temporary construction, with slight level shifts, topped by a roof terrace with an iron balustrade that replaces part of the original tiled roof. White lime alternates with discreet ochre, shaded in the yellowish hue of the meadows ‘scorched’ by the sun. A portico doubles the space of the house, creating an open-air living area with a masonry kitchen.

And inside? “Well, it had to be a place to seek refuge. From the sun, the heat, the wind… Because Sicily is an island with a strong character, where everything is more intense,” the architect says. “The internal layout is very functional: I chose a large open plan subdivided between the living room and the kitchen, joined by two bedrooms with bathrooms.

The furnishings are functional and designed down to the smallest details, as in the case of the custom cabinets in Cor-ten, a dominant motif of the interiors. The kitchen is a steel block, while the sink is set into a masonry structure covered with tiles. Iconic historic and contemporary design pieces punctuate the interiors, reflecting another passion of the owners.