Prepare for a lifetime of mozzarella-making and afternoon spritzes, because your chance to live out your days in a Call Me By Your Name-style summer haze is here — with a small catch.
Mussomeli, a picturesque town in southern Sicily, is selling homes for less than the price of your morning espresso at just €1 — $1.63 at the current conversion rate. The houses available to be purchased are in a state of decay and dilapidation; all are abandoned and need some serious work to bring them into a state of liveability, but unlike renovating in Australia, the costs to do so are somewhat more achievable.
According to Case 1 Euro, the official site from the Municipality of Mussomeli that facilitates all transactions on one euro homes, renovations can cost between €100 to €700 euros per square metre. So, on a 70sqm home, which appears to be the average size available, you could expect to fork out between €7,000 and €49,000 for the renovation. You can utilise the services of local architects and tradespeople, or go it alone with a bunch of friends. The choice is yours.
There are some other fees and fine print involved, too. First up, a refundable security deposit of €5,000 is required. A plan for the project must be submitted within a year of purchase and commenced no later than two months after the issue of a building permit, and three years on, the renovations and restoration must be completed. Yearly taxes on the property will range from €2,500 to €4,000, but hey, it sounds like a pretty affordable (and fun) project, and the end result is an epic summer home for you to enjoy with your pals.
The one-euro initiative from the Municipality of Mussomeli is part of a plan to boost tourism and flock new residents to the town, which at this stage is predominantly made up of an ageing community. The youth population long moved out to seek opportunities in bigger cities, leaving many of the homes abandoned due to the passing of the elderly population.
So far, the initiative is working; over 100 people from around the world have purchased a home in the town and have commenced renovations.
Located in the Sicilian hinterland, Mussomeli has a population of 11,000. While it appears quaint, there is plenty around to keep those visiting entertained. On Tuesday mornings, a street market with a selection of handmade garments and fresh produce brings the town together, and when wandering the cobbled streets and Manfredi’s Castle becomes tired, the town is a short 40-minute drive away from the beaches and temples of Agrigento.