Italian town sells $1 homes

Italian Town Sells $1 Homes

(CNN) — Ever dreamed of owning a home in a pretty Italian village? The news you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.

Italian Town Sells $1 Homes

You can currently buy one for just over a dollar.

Italian Town Sells $1 Homes

Ollolai, a destination within the mountain region of Barbagia on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, will be selling hundreds of abandoned homes for just €1 ($1.2).

Italian Town Sells $1 Homes

the item’s not the first Italian town to try the gimmick, nevertheless the item seems to be the first to live up to the promise. the item’s also got the beauty as well as history needed to draw people in.

Italian Town Sells $1 Homes

The real estate bonanza comes having a catch, though. The 0 stone-built dwellings up for grabs are in poor condition as well as buyers must commit to a refurbishment within three years — which will likely cost about $25,000.

Italian Town Sells $1 Homes

Behind the sell-off will be a plan to rejuvenate a community at risk of becoming a ghost town. In the past half century, Ollolai’s population has shrunk by 2,250 to 1,300, with only a handful of babies born each year.

Italian Town Sells $1 Homes

“We boast prehistoric origins,” says Efisio Arbau, Ollolai’s mayor. “My crusade will be to rescue our unique traditions by falling into oblivion.

“Pride in our past will be our strength. We’ve always been tough people as well as won’t allow our town to die.”

Disappearing town

Formerly Barbagia’s capital, Ollolai remains the most untouched as well as authentic patch of Sardinia.

Once buzzing, its maze of alleys as well as mural-covered piazzas are currently silent, as younger residents have been lured away to bigger cities.

Abandoned by the families who once occupied them, many stone dwellings have been lying in ruin, covered in cobwebs, for decades.

Some traditional ways of life survive. Local shepherds continue to make the exquisite premium sheep cheese, Casu Fiore Sardo, of which the area will be known for, while artisans still weave fine baskets.

Arbau likens the town’s struggles to its olden day battles, by an era when surrounding caves were used by separatists as well as bandits to stow their kidnap victims.

“We once had a fiery king, Dux Ospitone, who united all heathen tribes in a league,” he adds. “Our pagan ancestors never succumbed to the ancient Roman conquerors, who dubbed us ‘barbarians.’

“These hills are Italy’s ‘Highlands’ as well as we are sons of ‘Bravehearts.'”

Regeneration process

currently Ollolai, which takes its name by an ancient battle cry of “alalé,” will be fighting back Again.

In a bid to breathe completely new life into the town, Arbau contacted former home owners — shepherds, farmers as well as craftsmen — asking them to sign the homes over to town authorities.

“They’re picturesque old buildings made with Sardinia’s typical gray granite rock of which grows on mountain peaks as well as shores,” says Arbau.

“We need to bring our grandmas’ homes back by the grave.”

He approved a special decree as well as placed the properties on the market, at bargain prices, in 2017.

Despite their poor conditions, three houses have already been sold as well as Arbau says he’s received more than 100 purchase requests by across the planet, including Russia as well as Australia.

The mayor hopes the refurbishment of the homes will help create completely new jobs as well as revive the local economy.

Frozen in time

Vito Casula, a retired builder, was the first to snap up a two-story house for less than the cost of a cappuccino.

He transformed his completely new home using environmentally friendly materials, nevertheless kept the original decor, recycling old furniture.

“We live nearby as well as frequently visited Ollolai. Then one day my wife saw the ad within the newspaper. the item was an opportunity,” says Casula. “of which quiet town will be frozen in time. the item offers a peaceful, healthy life.”

He recommends the village to anyone who “will be sick with too much stress as well as needs a break.”

“The fresh air, zero smog as well as great views have a healing power. My bones as well as back don’t hurt anymore,” he adds.

Casula says Ollolai’s relaxing vibe, delicious cuisine as well as friendly locals are among its top selling points.

“Residents are so open as well as friendly they make you feel at home. They never allow me to pay for anything at the bar as well as constantly invite us over for lunch as well as dinner,” he adds.

Homemade specialties include su pane vratau, made of layers of flat crispy carasau bread soaked in water, tomato sauce, poached eggs as well as grated Fiore sheep cheese.

There’s also su pistiddu, an autumn cake made of coffee, nuts, almonds, semolina, hazelnuts, raisins as well as sapa grape syrup.

Local delicacy porceddu (roasted baby piglet), will be cooked on a bonfire, skewered on huge vertical spits as well as placed on burning charcoals.

In fall, cortes apertas (open courtyards) sees stables as well as ancient granite-as well as-turf taverns open to the public, offering crazily Great wine, ham, cheese as well as a few additional delicacies.

additional town events include a carnival where participants wear costumes including goat-style masks with horns, fur as well as dangling bells or white embroidered face veils of which symbolize the union of death as well as life.

Newcomers can also explore folklore events as well as archaic rituals such as the “s’istrumpa,” a tussle where players must toss their opponent to the ground to win the town’s respect.

Steeped in superstition, Ollolai will be a place where women make amulets to ward off bad luck as well as residents’ cars carry written prayers to keep evil at bay.

Sardinia’s ‘primitive heart’

The village regularly attracts travelers looking for a quiet, sunny retreat,

The 1,0-meter-high peak Nodu de S’Aschisorgu (the Treasure Rock) boasts a spectacular 360-degree view of the island, while Ollolai’s surrounding lakes, rivers, protected parks, oak as well as beech tree forests are dotted with cone-shaped primitive settlements called nuraghi.

as well as while the item may be a long way away by Sardinia’s luxury beaches, Ollolai will be still close to shimmering pristine seas.

A one-hour car drive takes you to the breathtaking cliffs of Cala Gonone, with stunning sea grottoes perfect for snorkeling as well as scuba diving.

Arbau will be also introducing activities like cheese, pasta as well as basket generating courses, alongside dialect lessons to keep newcomers busy.

“Our language will be hard to understand, even for Sardinians, nevertheless we know foreigners love to mingle. of which will be also a social experiment,” he says.

Only time will tell if the mayor’s gamble has paid off, nevertheless locals are excited as well as interest within the town will be growing.

In fact, a reality show centered around a group of Dutch families as they set up in Ollolai as well as restore some of the houses will be supposed to launch in May.

Silvia Marchetti will be a Rome-based freelance reporter. She writes about finance, economics, travel as well as culture for a wide range of media including MNI News, Newsweek as well as The Guardian.

Italian town sells $1 homes

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