For the 50+ Traveler

For less than it costs to buy an espresso at Starbucks, you could be the proud owner of your own property in Italy. Yes, last year’s phenomenon that was the $1 Italian home is back as another village has joined the fun.

CNN first reported in April 2019 that the tiny village of Zungoli, near Naples in the Campania region, and the larger Sicilian town of Mussomeli were hoping to revive their communities and attract new residents by selling abandoned and dilapidated buildings for about one American dollar.

Now, there are even more options than before.

The town of Castropignano can be found in the province of Campobasso, in the region of Molise, about 250 miles southeast of Rome. Per Italy Magazine, “it is home to a medieval castle, the Castello d'Evoli, built in the mid-14th century, perhaps over the remains of a Samnite fortress.”

But unlike the offers made in Zungoli and Mussomeli, the mayor of Castropignano, Nicola Scapillati, isn’t selling to just anyone, but instead looking to match parties for the betterment of all.

"I don't want my town invaded by a property stampede or to turn into the latest housing speculation deal,” Scapillati told CNN. "I welcome anyone who would like to purchase a new home here to email me directly ([email protected]) with a detailed plan of how they intend to restyle and what they would like to do with the property -- make it a home, B and B, store, or artisan shop.”

The idea stemmed from the more than 100 abandoned buildings in the small town. In October, the building’s owners were informed that if they did not fix up their properties, they would become the property of the town for safety reasons.

“Scapillati is confident that at least 50 will join. If they don't, the town council will expropriate the houses of those who don't respond, and place them on the market,” reports CNN.

There are, of course, a few of the conditions all potential owners should know before reaching out to Mayor Scapillati. Buyers must renovate the property within three years from the purchase and be ready to make a down payment guarantee of €2,000 (around $2,400), which will be returned once the renovations are complete.

Mayor Scapillati admits Castropignano is no Venice or Milan, but he thinks the small town still has its own charm.

"Here we've got nothing grand to offer except peacefulness, silence, pristine nature, oxygen-rich air, great views and fantastic food, ideal to detox from the daily stress,” Scapillati told CNN. “It's not buzzing with life, that I must say, but it's peaceful and simple.”

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