Adventure

This Is Not A Drill! Italy Is Giving Away Castles For Free

*This is what dreeeeeeams are made of*

Italy really, really wants us to move there. We’ve already told you about the mayor who wants to pay you to move to his Italian town. Now, the Italian tourism authority wants us to live in its beautiful, heritage-listed castles… for free.

After a bunch of attempts to better distribute hoards of tourists — think banning tour buses, selling off historical lighthouses and even restricting accommodation — Italy has come up with a much savvier plan.

The State Property Agency and Ministry of Cultural Heritage are renting out 103 historic Italian buildings. They hope that the people who inhabit them will revive them and help open them up to the public to encourage more tourists to visit areas beyond crowded city centres.

Essentially, you’ll be living in and managing your own Italian museum.

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You can live in this. The hallowed ground where Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise married. Photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons

So what kind of properties are up for grabs? According to Conde Nast Traveler, you can apply to live in Orsini-Odescalchi castle in Bracciano, the castle that hosted Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s 2006 wedding. You can also rent the 11th century Castello di Blera in Lazio and the 13th century Castello di Montefiore.

Castles not your thing? Other properties on offer include farmhouses, ex-convents, defence towers and old schools all around the country. A lot of properties are dotted along the scenic Appian Way and the ancient Via Francigena route.

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The Via Francigena route. Photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons

Italy is accepting applications for the rental homes up until June 26 this year. In your application, you have to provide an outline of how you would turn the property into a sought-after tourist destination. If successful, you’d score a nine-year lease.

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Ruins along the Appian Way. Photo: tjsalo/Flickr CC

Here’s what we’re telling you: the year is 2003. You’re on a school trip to Italy. You come across your superstar lookalike, assume her identity and sing a very famous pop song on a Colosseum-like stage in front of a crowd of hundreds. You are Lizzie Maguire. This is what dreams are made of.

Now, go Lizzie, apply to live in a heritage-listed Italian castle! Before time runs out! Go!

(Lead image: Soriano nel Cimino, Lazio. Wikipedia Creative Commons)