Italy has over 6000 abandoned towns, villages, and hamlets. In towns where abandoned properties belong to local authorities, buying yourself a home, sweet (haunted) home is a piece of cake.
Take Gangi in deep Sicily, famous for its exotic gardens and Arabic-style dwellings. The proactive mayor has set up a special real estate agency that places decrepit houses on the market for just 1 euro each.
The catch? You need to renovate the house within three years, a makeover that won’t cost more than 20,000 euros. “It’s been such as a success that we’ve almost run out of houses,” says local real estate agent Alessandro Cilibrasi. “Foreigners come here in herds, but each day we find more low-cost dwellings to place on the market.”
The mayor has launched a website to showcase the buildings and hired a PR team to take clients on tours and send email alerts when houses become available. “Our new residents, who are most welcome, have helped revive Gangi’s city life,” says Gangi mayor Giuseppe Ferrarello, with a bit of pride. ”Too many locals had fled and this place had turned into a ghost town. I consider these buyers as honorary citizens.”
Photo of Gangi, Sicily by Laura Lovecchio via Wikipedia Commons.