Italy has a reputation as one of the world’s most desirable destinations. It’s delicious food, rich history, and stunning coastlines are enough to keep visitors flocking all year round. But when it comes to attracting homeowners, it’s apparently not having as much success.
A number of small towns in the Italian countryside have launched a push to revitalise and attract new investors by selling off homes for just over US$1 (Dh4).
In the tiny rural village of Zungoli, in the Campania region, there are 15 homes available as part of the scheme. Zungoli has just had a facelift, with new piazzas, lights and pavements installed, the town's mayor Paolo Caruso says. "People must really come see for themselves the beauty of the place, taste the great food and breathe the fresh healthy air," he told CNN.
The town of Mussomeli, a nine-hour drive away in Sicily is offering up 11 properties for the same price. The medieval town is slightly bigger than Zungoli, but still has a village, community feel with plenty to explore.
Mussomeli and Zungoli are not the first Italian towns to take part in such a scheme, with fellow Sicilian town Sambuca offering up a number of homes for US$1 back in January.
However, there is a slight catch. These old homes are not always in the best condition, and the new owners must commit to investing in and renovating the properties.
In Zungoli, the new owners must pay a $2,248 (Dh8,257) security deposit, and promise to refurbish the home, while in Mussomeli, new owners are required to come up with an agreement with the notary to refurbish the home within three years — or risk losing a $5,620 (Dh20,643) security deposit.