Italy and its population were hit hard by COVID-19, but one town is proud to have escaped the virus completely unscathed and with zero case numbers.
Now, the small village of Cinquefrondi in the Italian region Calabria is ready and waiting to accept visitors, and is hoping to lure some longer-term guests by selling off its abandoned homes for €1 or AU $1.63.
CNN reports the “COVID-free” village is hoping to reverse its depopulation trend with the scheme. Typically, Italian towns that have taken part in bargain deals such as these do so to combat a dwindling population and breathe new life into an ageing town. And Cinquefrondi is no different.
But there are some key differences in the contracts of buying a property here that make this deal even more appealing than previous €1 offers, like this one to purchase a dilapidated home in Mussomeli, Sicily.
While other contracts require a down payment of up to €5,000, unrecoverable should the buyer fail to renovate the home within three years of purchase, the Cinquefrondi mayor requests buyers pay €250 a year until renovations are completed. The catch? If after three years the renovations are still incomplete, buyers will have to fork out €20,000. But it shouldn’t ever come to that.
“We’re just asking for some kind of certainty once a new buyer commits to the project. The policy fee is very low and the cost of a restyle here is within €10,000 to €20,000, given the dwellings are cozy [and] tiny,” Mayor Michele Conia told CNN.
There are said to be around a dozen empty dwellings available for purchase as part of the scheme. Each is small, around 40-50 square metres in size, and had previously belonged to farmers, shepherds and artisans. Some even have a balcony with a view.
The quaint village of Cinquefrondi is surrounded by the Aspromonte National Park and overlooks the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts. The town is but a 15-minute drive to pristine beaches, while the produce scene within the town itself means it’s considered a “foodie paradise”.
Interested? Before taking the plunge, why not hear from someone who has experience in buying and renovating a run-down Italian home. Get the answers to your questions from a real buyer, who purchased a €1 Italian home last year.
And if buying a property seems like too much of a commitment, you could always consider an Italian holiday. Sicily is offering tourists an enticing incentive to pay a visit, by claiming it will cover half the cost of tourist flights and a third of accommodation expenses.