The idyllic village of Bisaccia in Italy’s Campania region.
Another Italian village is offering homes for sale for just €1 (Dhs4.7)— but this time the scheme is encouraging family groups and friends to sign up as a collective.
The idyllic village of Bisaccia in the Campania region is the latest destination in Italy to attempt to attract new residents with the offer of extremely cheap housing.
Aimed at breathing new life into rural villages with increasingly dwindling populations, the scheme usually appeals to individual buyers.
However, the set-up in Bisaccia is different from the norm, the deputy mayor, Francesco Tartaglia, told CNN Travel.
“We face a very particular situation here,” he said. “The abandoned (area) spreads throughout the most ancient part of the village.
“Forsaken houses are clustered together, one next to the other along the same roads. Some even share a common entrance.
“That’s why we welcome families, groups of friends, relatives, people who know each other or investors to join forces. We encourage them to buy more than just one house to actually have an impact and breathe new life.”
In total there are 90 crumbling properties up for grabs.
Unlike other villages where the scheme has been implemented, in Bisaccia buyers do not have to invest a minimum amount of money for renovations or complete them within a certain timeframe — although they are expected to pay to restore the houses to a liveable condition.
“Bisaccia is dubbed the ‘genteel town’ because, despite the hardship, its people have always been respectable, welcoming, hard-working and resilient,” says Mr Tartaglia.
“Newcomers here are pampered and taken care of. We want this place to shine again.”
It follows the announcement that Bivona in the Southern Italian island of Sicily is offering €1 (Dhs4.7) homes, along with the added incentive of significant tax breaks for those who not only buy and renovate the slashed-price houses, but also choose to live in them and be part of the community.
The quaint commune, set in the heart of the Sicilian countryside, has seen its population plummet by half over the last 40 years.
“Today we’re down to just 3,800 residents,” said Angela Cannizzaro, Bivona’s culture councillor.
“We want to recover the lost grandeur of our greatest time in history, back in the Renaissance, when 8,000 people lived in Bivona and it was a flourishing feudal duchy blessed by Emperor Charles V.”
Cammarata in Sicily also announced it was giving homes away for free last year, after more than 100 buildings in the historic centre had been left abandoned.
The province located in the Food Valley of Emilia-Romagna has a strong gastronomic and cultural vibe.
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