Italy is famous for its history, espressos, and now, its 1 euro homes.
The latest Italian city to join the list of those offering homes for $1.60 is Bivona, a small town in the heart of the southern island of Sicily.
And, it’s stunning. [pic]
The village is famous for its music and food, and is located an hour’s drive from the city of Agrigento, and the beaches of Sciacca.
So why are Bivona’s properties on the market for less than a cappuccino?
The town said it was seeking to recover and enhance its uninhabited and abandoned properties, in a bid to breathe new life into the village.
Bivona’s young residents have been fleeing the city in search for greener - and more populous - pastures, leaving the city with just 3,800 residents.
“In the last 40 years, our population has halved,” Bivona’s culture councilor, Angela Cannizzaro said.
"We want to recover the lost grandeur of our greatest time in history, back in the Renaissance, when 8,000 people lived in Bivona and it was a flourishing feudal duchy blessed by Emperor Charles V."
And it’s not the first city to do so: another Sicilian town, Mussomeli, was selling hundreds of ancient homes for 1 euro earlier this year in an attempt to revitalise the area.
What’s the catch?
There’s no major catch in terms of cash, but buyers are expected to invest in repairing and restoring the property - and quickly.
Within three months of the acquisition, buyers give the City Office their plans for the execution of any works on the property - and they have three years to complete it.
Buyers will also have to fork out a bond of €2,500, which they’ll get back at the end of the project. If they don’t complete the works, the town will keep the bond.
What can I do with my 1 euro home?
If you think it sounds like a tonne of work, it is. But French couple Morgane Guihot and her husband are proof that it’s the best 1 euro you could possibly ever spend.
They completed most of the restorations themselves, and are using their new Sicilian terrace home as a holiday house.
“Everyone has been real kind and the girls working at the real estate agency followed us every step of the way, helping us with the paperwork and the translation of the deed.
“It went better than expected. And even our home – we thought it would be in a worse shape.”
And they’ve got no regrets. “Oh, we'd do it over and over again.”
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