The Italian town of Ollolai wants to sell hundreds of homes that have been abandoned for one euro (about $1.25) each in an attempt to revitalize the emptying town.
The town is on the island of Sardinia in the mountain region of Barbagia and boasts both beauty of location and history, CNN reported. It has gone from a population of about 2,250 to 1,300 as family size has shrunk and fewer babies are born than needed to replace the population in Italy and much of Europe.
There is a catch to buying a home for one euro, however. Homeowners must commit to refurbishing the rundown home, which will cost about $25,000, CNN reported.
The mayor of Ollolai, Efisio Arbau, said that the town had “prehistoric origins” and added, “My crusade is to rescue our unique traditions from falling into oblivion,” CNN reported.
To rejuvenate the town, Arbau tracked down the former homeowners of the abandoned homes and asked them to sign them over to the town. Three of the homes have been sold so far and more than 100 purchase requests have been received from as far away as Russia and Australia, CNN reported.
Retired homebuilder Vito Casula was the first buyer, and has used sustainable materials to update the home while keeping the original look and décor. He said the town is perfect for those who are “sick with too much stress.” “The fresh air, zero smog, and great views have a healing power. My bones and back don’t hurt anymore,” Casula told CNN.
Several other towns in Italy are also offering homes for one euro in areas like Sicily and Tuscany, Time reported.
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