Thought all the €1 houses in Italy had already been snapped up? Well, you’re in luck. Another Italian town has joined the party, selling off abandoned and dilapidated buildings for the kind of price your wallet will be very happy about.
Castropignano, a hilltop town in the Molise region, is following in the footsteps of places like Cinquefrondi and Salemi, becoming the latest place to try and repopulate by tempting newcomers to buy empty buildings. The village is located inland between Rome and Naples, near mountains and delightful rural countryside. It’s topped by the ruins of a medieval castle, and has a sleepy vibe with just one restaurant and one bar – though that could all change depending on who snaps up the €1 properties.
According to mayor Nicola Scapillati, the new owners can turn the buildings into whatever they wish, from homes to shops.
Rather than selling to the highest bidder, Scapillati is keen to match prospective buyers with a property ideal for their purposes. ‘I welcome anyone who would like to purchase a new home here to email me directly with a detailed plan of how they intend to restyle and what they would like to do with the property – make it a home, B&B, store or artisan shop,’ he says, adding: ‘They should also list any requirements they may have, like access for people in wheelchairs. The village is tiny and cars can’t navigate the narrow alleys and steps.’
There are around 100 properties in Castropignano that are in need of renovation, and Scapillati hopes this scheme will both make the village safer and ensure its future. Many younger people have left in search of work, meaning around 60 percent of residents are over the age of 70. ‘It hurts me to see the beauty of our ancient historical centre scarred by crumbling houses, slowly decaying. It’s sad and dangerous,’ he told CNN.
‘We've got nothing grand to offer except peacefulness, silence, pristine nature, oxygen-rich air, great views and fantastic food, ideal to detox from the daily stress,’ he adds.
Already packing your bags? The deal is that buyers must renovate their new properties within three years of purchase, and a payment of €2,000 ($2,378, £1,794) is required, which will be returned after the work has been completed. All you have to do is email Scapillati at email@example.com with your plans, and a slice of the Italian dolce vita could be yours. 2021’s looking up already.
Prefer to just visit? Here are ten of the most beautiful villages and towns in Italy.