Food & Drinks

Got Two Bucks? Buy a Home in Sicilian Wine Country

Another day, another dollar. But this time, it could buy you a Sicilian home.

It’s no secret that small Italian towns have been selling properties for as little as $1 in recent years Now, the Sicilian town of Salemi is hopping on board, according to CNN Travel. A 40-minute drive from the vineyards of Marsala, the town boasts a population of around 10,000 people.

Most of the villages that filed these initiatives in the past did so because they’d seen their populations halved by young flight and the loss of an aging generation. This often meant towns of only 3,800 or even 115 people trying to lure new, entrepreneurial blood.

Conversely, Salemi’s depopulation is mostly tied to a 1968 earthquake, which led 4,000 residents to flee the town. Left with dozens of crumbling homes, the town’s mayor Domenico Venuti now hopes to lure in new, business-forward planners who can invest in renovating the homes.

The town has done its part to expedite the process by upgrading roads, electric grids, and sewerage pipes near the homes. Most of these houses date back to the 1600s and are built with sandstone from nearby caves. Many require significant repairs but Venuti hopes that starting the auction at just over $1 (1 euro to be precise) will lure in the right buyers.

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Applicants must submit a “detailed restyle plan” showing the renovations they hope to complete. They’ll be judged on urban impact and those that can be adapted to include lodging or another type of business will gain priority. On top of the final auction price, buyers must also submit a $3,545 deposit to ensure they complete their promised renovations.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the process will be held online, and unlike similar initiatives in the past, there is no citizenship requirement to apply.

With another chaotic winter on the horizon, it might be time to settle down in Italy.


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