By now, you’ve heard all about Italy’s one euro homes — dilapidated dwellings that despite being a little rough around the edges, cost less than a cup of coffee and sit within stunning, historical towns in Sicily, Sardinia and Molise. You’ve probably even humoured the idea of buying one yourself.
A recent initiative that first made headlines in 2018, the one euro homes scheme works to bring new life and tourism dollars to ageing towns and their populations throughout Italy. Gathering a number of run-down and abandoned properties, the local municipality will give global bidders the opportunity to purchase a house for €1, or AU $1.58 at the current conversion. And the scheme works; buyers from all around the world have taken advantage of the plan and the participating towns have benefited from it.
The catch, of course, is that buyers must commit to renovating and restoring the properties to a liveable state within a few years of purchase. Some governments will require a refundable deposit as a symbol of commitment, while others will even provide buyers with a cash bonus to employ local tradespeople.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of picturesque towns take part in the initiative, and here, we’re sharing them all in the one place in an effort to help you get one step closer to your Italian dream.
Should you need any more convincing, we suggest reading our first-hand account with Meredith Tabbone, a Chicago-based financial advisor who purchased her own €1 home in Sambuca, Sicily. “I would do it again and I probably will. My best advice to anyone considering buying one of these homes is to put in a bid!”
The picture-perfect, Medieval town of Sameli is auctioning off its abandoned homes for €1. Successful bidders will need to put down a deposit of €3,000 as a promise the renovation will take place within three years. Upon completion, the money will be returned.
Located in South-Western Sicily, the town is surrounded by olive groves, wineries, and natural trails for hiking. It’s a short drive to the coast, though the town itself has plenty to offer, with restaurants, cafes, museums and bars.
The stunning town is hoping to reverse its depopulation trend by selling off its decaying homes, which once belonged to farmers and artisans. The town made a bid for new buyers in late 2020, marketing the destination as “COVID-free”, but that’s not all the town has to offer new buyers.
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”.
One euro homes in Mussomeli must be renovated within three years of purchase. A refundable €5,000 deposit is required and yearly taxes between €2,500 to €4,000 must be paid following the reno. Once that’s all done, the holiday house is yours to enjoy, whether for the summer or more permanently.
In the Sicilian hinterland, Mussomeli is known for its Tuesday morning street market and then historic Manfredi’s Castle. The town is a 40-minute drive away from the beaches and temples of Agrigento.
The ancient Sicilian village of Gangi, located in Palermo, sits atop Monte Barone and is surrounded by lush landscapes. Named the ‘most beautiful village in Italy’ in 2014, the town listed 108 homes for the one euro scheme.
The 7,000-strong population may be small, but the village has plenty going on with delicious restaurants, hotels, bars and food markets. The Romanesque church of San Giuseppe dei Ricchiand and a 14th-century castle also lies within the village, and the crystal clear waters of Cefalu are only an hour’s drive away.
The village of Bisaccia is incentivising new buyers by listing 90 crumbling homes for €1. The “clustered” nature of the town’s architecture makes it perfect not for singles or couples looking to buy a home in Italy, but rather families, groups of friends or those who prefer more communal living arrangements, according to CNN Travel.
The sleepy town is surrounded by rolling forests, and yet it’s within easy access to some of Italy’s most desirable spots. Being that it borders the Campania, Basilicata and Puglia regions, it’s perfect for day trips and weekend adventures.