Italy: A place is giving away its houses to attract new residents

against the rural exodus
“They should no longer stand empty”: A place in Italy is giving away its houses

Presicce wants to breathe new life into its old town.

Presicce wants to breathe new life into its old town.

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In the Italian region of Apulia, a place lures with an interesting offer: the houses are given away and there is even some money on top of that for the renovation. This is how Presicce wants to attract new residents.

The Paradise Sale has been going on for quite some time. With the “symbolic euro” lure towns and villages all over Italy to buy a house. One of the reasons is the continuing rural exodus and the gradual extinction of the “borghi” and “paesi”. In Apulia, those responsible have now gone one step further: anyone who is willing to move to Presicce will even be paid a pretty penny for it.

In the very south, more precisely in the heel of the boot, is Presicce. The municipality belongs to the province of Lecce and is a member of the association “I borghi più belli d’Italia” (English: The most beautiful places in Italy). For all its beauty, the place lacks the people who keep it alive. That should change, Presicce not fall victim to decay. “There are many empty houses in the old town that we would like to see inhabited again”, explains Mayor Alfredo Palese “CNN“.

That’s why a plan was devised: 30,000 euros for everyone who buys an apartment in Presicce, so that they can actually live there. Cost of the property: 25,000 euros. This leaves some money that future residents should and must invest in the renovation. Because the conditions state that the money may only be used for the purchased house, i.e. repairs and renovation work.

Italian town is giving away its homes for new residents to move in

On average, these are 50 square meter properties that were built before 1991. The people in charge want more details about the project soon on the town’s website publish.

Presicce isn’t the first town to try to liven up its inner life with a few outsiders. Cammarata is nestled in the hilly landscape of Sicily: cats darting across the piazza, old gentlemen watching them with an espresso, nothing else – country idyll in Italian. The mayor, Vincenzo Giambrone, doesn’t think that’s nice at all. He laments the increasing decay and the dwindling population: “I can’t bear to see that this beautiful historic center is empty and turned into ruins. It hurts me,” he tells “CNN Travel”..

The solution: More than 100 buildings in the old part of the city are empty and are to be given away. About a dozen are available and there are plans to add more, the mayor assures. However, there is a catch, because such a house is not completely free. Interested parties must undertake to renovate within three years and deposit a guarantee of 5,000 euros. They will get it back once the work is complete.


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