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This Covid-Free Italian Town Is Selling Off Houses For A Teensy €1

Italy might not be on the travel list for this year, but how about a €1 (AUD$1.65) holiday house to flit away to when the borders re-open and the mood strikes you? A town in the southern region of Calabria, called Cinquefrondi, wants to make that very dream come true.

It’s one of the few areas in Italy that managed to have no recorded cases of coronavirus, and is in a region which had one of the lowest levels of spread in the whole of Italy. Yet, it’s still left with high rates of depopulation caused by younger people heading elsewhere in search of work.

 

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With the country opening back up for tourism this month, the town has decided to start selling abandoned houses on the cheap to help repopulate the village.

It’s not the first place in Italy and Sicily to bring in one of these schemes, with towns like Ollolai and Mussomeli announcing similar initiatives last year.

“Finding new owners for the many abandoned houses we have is a key part of the Operation Beauty [initiative] that I have launched to recover degraded, lost parts of town,” Michele Conia, the mayor of Cinquefrondi, told CNN.

 

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“I grew up in Germany where my parents had migrated, then I came back to save my land. Too many people have fled from here over the decades, leaving behind empty houses. We can’t succumb to resignation.”

There is a catch, of course. If you choose to buy one of these houses, you will be expected to renovate it within three years of purchase.

There will be a €250 (just over AUD$400) annual policy insurance fee every year until you do, and if you don’t manage complete renovations within the given time frame, you’re looking at a €22,000 fine (about AUD$36,426).

So as exciting as the €1 part is, you do need to be monetarily prepared for the rest of it. If you’re interested, the town is asking for enquiries by email to [email protected]

 

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The houses themselves (pictured above) are mostly small, roughly 40-50 square metres wide, and located in the historical part of town, some with cute little balconies. I believe they call that “full of potential”.

(Lead Image: Instagram / @neveseibella)