While the picturesque towns of Italy were hit badly with the coronavirus pandemic this year, it didn’t seem to break the spirit of the people living there. For instance, some Italians hung baskets filled with food for the homeless during the lockdown, and how an opera singer serenaded his city every night from his balcony.
As per a report in Times Now, a small Italian town named Salemi is offering abandoned houses at €1 (Rs. 86) only. The sale is aimed at reviving the town as it as been suffering from the problem of depopulation for many years now.
Italy had announced Ite 3rd emergency decree in 2 weeks as covid cases keep surging. It’s resulting in extreme headlines where homes in Salemi, Sicily are being auctioned off for eur1 hoping to attract new residents. Reminds me of the dark days of the euro crisis. pic.twitter.com/9HLcSm5EqE
— Anneka Treon (@AnnekaTreon) October 27, 2020
Reportedly, locals were finding it hard to sell off these dilapidated properties, and that the COVID-19 situation has made it worse. Consequently, the town management has decided to put up these homes for sale at throwaway prices.
Domenico Venuti, who is Salemi’s mayor, explained to CNN, “All buildings belong to the city council, which speeds up the sale and reduces red tape. Before launching the scheme we first had to recover the old parts of Salemi where the houses are located, upgrading infrastructures and services from roads to electric grids and sewage pipes. Now the town is ready for the next step.”
Sicily's Salemi is the latest depopulated Italian town to offer up dilapidated properties for less than the cost of an espresso in a bid to attract new residents. https://t.co/3fdQIrb2gB
— CNN International (@cnni) October 26, 2020
The Salemi town is a historic location situated on the south-west side of the island of Sicily. Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, some of its homes are enclosed by ancient town walls dating back to the 1600s. Due to the tragedy of the Belice Valley earthquake in 1968, more than 4,000 of the town’s residents had fled. Since then, Salemi has reportedly been a deserted place after suffering not just physical but also cultural aftershocks.
In the past few years, several small Italian towns like this one, are offering homes at prices that are dirt cheap. Previously, southern Italy’s hilltop town named Sambuca sought to sell dozens of houses for $1 (Rs. 73), reports Business Insider.
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Historic town of Salemi, Sicily pic.twitter.com/0pEzEqlWxu
— Amitav Ghosh (@GhoshAmitav) October 9, 2017
For Salemi’s recent offer, the application forms will be made available on the city council’s official website along with the photographs and other details of each property. Interested buyers are also required to send a renovation plan to show their actual interest and deposit £3,000 (Rs. 2,88,800 approx.) which would be refundable provided their project reaches completion in 3 years.
Additionally, the council would evaluate each project on the basis of its economic benefit and ‘urban impact’. For example, converting these homes into B&B services or other businesses might fetch you extra points and tax credits.
— TRAVEL Esquire 😷🥂✈️ (@TravelEsquire) July 3, 2020
Long story short, who’s ready to leave their old life behind and start afresh with me? 😛