Idyllic hill town in Italy, an hour’s drive from ski areas and beaches, offers abandoned houses for 90p


An idyllic hill town in Italy has become the newest to offer abandoned houses for only 90p (€ 1).

Castropignano, a medieval village just an hour’s drive from ski resorts and beaches, is launching the plan after newcomers to the region have been awarded £ 22,635 (€ 25,000) to live there.

Situated between the peaks of the Apennines and the Adriatic coast, Molise offered the sum to live in his abandoned villages after all his young people had left.

And now Catropiagnano has launched a € 1 housing program that has become popular in other villages in Italy, including Salemi in Sicily and Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo.

Catropiagnano in Molise is the last to offer abandoned houses for only 90p (€ 1)

Catropiagnano in Molise is the last to offer abandoned houses for only 90p (€ 1)

The medieval village (pictured) has launched a € 1 housing program that has become popular in other villages in Italy, including Salemi in Sicily and Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo

The medieval village (pictured) has launched a € 1 housing program that has become popular in other villages in Italy, including Salemi in Sicily and Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo

The medieval village (pictured) has launched a € 1 housing program that has become popular in other villages in Italy, including Salemi in Sicily and Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo

The abandoned houses of the village are now located in the historic center above a destroyed castle that was bombed in World War II.  Pictured: the vaulted entrance to the village center

The abandoned houses of the village are now located in the historic center above a destroyed castle that was bombed in World War II.  Pictured: the vaulted entrance to the village center

The abandoned houses of the village are now located in the historic center above a destroyed castle that was bombed in World War II. Pictured: the vaulted entrance to the village center

But instead of selling homes to the highest bidder, as with other schemes, Catropiagnano’s mayor Nicola Scapillati wants to match developers with the right home for them.

He told CNN: ‘The schedule here works a bit differently.

‘I walk two parallel paths, approaching both potential buyers and old owners step by step to bring supply and demand together.

“I don’t want my city to be invaded by a real estate stampede or turn it into the latest housing speculation.”

Although not in bad shape, the buildings have hanging doors, paint peeling and are partially covered with vegetation.  Pictured: a narrow street between the old houses in Catropiagnano

Although not in a bad condition, the buildings have loose doors, peeling paint and are partially covered with vegetation.  Pictured: a narrow street between the old houses in Catropiagnano

Although not in a bad condition, the buildings have loose doors, peeling paint and are partially covered with vegetation. Pictured: a narrow street between the old houses in Catropiagnano

The village is within easy reach of the Campitello Maltese ski area, as well as the famous beaches of the Adriatic coast.  Pictured: Catropiagnano lit up at night

The village is within easy reach of the Campitello Maltese ski area, as well as the famous beaches of the Adriatic coast.  Pictured: Catropiagnano lit up at night

The village is within easy reach of the Campitello Maltese ski area, as well as the famous beaches of the Adriatic coast. Pictured: Catropiagnano lit up at night

Castropignano's location in the central Apennines of Italy made it useful as a vantage point for the Samnites, who eventually defeated the Roman Empire

Castropignano's location in the central Apennines of Italy made it useful as a vantage point for the Samnites, who eventually defeated the Roman Empire

Castropignano’s location in the central Apennines of Italy made it useful as a vantage point for the Samnites, who eventually defeated the Roman Empire

Catropiagnano has barely 900 inhabitants today, compared to 2,500 in the 1930s.

After the Second World War, families emigrated from the village in search of better opportunities and in the 1960s young people left for larger cities.

Today, 60 percent of villagers are over 70 due to their relocations.

The village was previously known as a center for artisan shoemakers and shoemakers.

The history of the stunningly beautiful Molise

Molise, the second smallest region in Italy, has 305,000 inhabitants.

It is divided between two provinces, Campobasso and Isernia.

The region is steeped in the history of the ancient Samnite tribes that ruled before the Romans, from about 600 BC to 300 BC.

After Roman rule, Molise was part of the Lombard Duchy of Benvento, but it changed feudal owners regularly.

The capital of Molise, Campobasso, is famous for Manforte Castle and its old medieval walls.

Termoli on the Adriatic, also of the province of Campobasso, is known for the colorful fishermen’s houses along the coastline and is a popular holiday destination for Italian families.

Isernia is the mountainous province and home to the national park that straddles the border between Abruzzo, as well as two ski resorts in Campitello Matese and Capracotta.

It is known for its ancient paths, or ‘tratturi’, through which herders have guided their livestock for centuries.

Its location in the central Apennines of Italy made it useful as a vantage point for the Samnites, who eventually defeated the Roman Empire.

The abandoned houses of the village are now located in the historic center above a destroyed castle that was bombed in World War II.

They are characterized by the area’s winding, cobbled roads and gargoyles.

Although not in a bad condition, the buildings have loose doors, peeling paint and are partially covered with vegetation.

Scapillati estimates that renovation would cost between £ 27,165 (€ 30,000) and £ 36,220 (€ 40,000).

The village is within easy reach of the Campitello Maltese ski area, as well as the famous beaches of the Adriatic coast.

Catropiagnano is certainly not the first city in southern Italy to try the one-euro housing project, with Cinquefrondi in Calabria doing the same in July and Mussomeli and Bivona, both in Sicily, which tried it last year.

Interested buyers in Catropiagnano are asked to email Scapillati directly with a detailed plan of how they intend to restyle and what they want to do with the property.

Scapillati said they should also list any requirements they may have, including access for people in wheelchairs.

To buy a home, interested parties must renovate the home within three years of purchase.

A deposit of £ 1,812 (€ 2,000) is also required which will be refunded once the work is completed.

The plan was launched in October when Catropiagnano authorities told local homeowners that their abandoned properties would be taken back by the government if they didn’t renovate themselves.

Most have already agreed to transfer their properties, and Scapillati said he hopes at least 50 property owners will join.

He said dozens of interested buyers have already contacted him and that he hopes the plan will bring the village back to its former glory.

It comes after the region in which Catropiagnano is located, Molise, offered new residents € 25,000 to live in its abandoned villages

Situated between the peaks of the Apennines and the Adriatic coast, Molise is famous for its national parks with ancient trails winding through them.

Located between the peaks of the Apennine Ridge and the Adriatic coast, Molise (shown on a map) is famous for its national parks with ancient trails winding through

Located between the peaks of the Apennine Ridge and the Adriatic coast, Molise (shown on a map) is famous for its national parks with ancient trails winding through

Located between the peaks of the Apennine Ridge and the Adriatic coast, Molise (shown on a map) is famous for its national parks with ancient trails winding through

The glorious village of Scapoli, known every year for its international bagpipe festival, had just 758 inhabitants in 2011.  After the First World War, the village had more than 1,400 inhabitants.

The glorious village of Scapoli, known every year for its international bagpipe festival, had just 758 inhabitants in 2011.  After the First World War, the village had more than 1,400 inhabitants.

The glorious village of Scapoli, known every year for its international bagpipe festival, had just 758 inhabitants in 2011. After the First World War, the village had more than 1,400 inhabitants.

The city of Termoli on the Adriatic coast - it is a favorite tourist spot for Italian families, with a historic fishing port

The city of Termoli on the Adriatic coast - it is a favorite tourist spot for Italian families, with a historic fishing port

The city of Termoli on the Adriatic coast – it is a favorite tourist spot for Italian families, with a historic fishing port

Yet despite its glorious setting, the population has declined by more than 9,000 since 2014, and not a single child was born in 2018 in nine of the cities.

President Donato Toma announced that each village with fewer than 2,000 residents in its territory will offer € 700 (£ 620, $ 770) per month for three years to newcomers who promise to open a business in September 2018.

Toma told it Guardian: ‘They can open any kind of activity: a bread shop, an office supply store, a restaurant, anything. It is a way to revitalize our cities while increasing the population. ‘

In addition, he promised that each of the small towns will receive € 10,000 (£ 9,000, $ 11,000) every month to help improve infrastructure and for cultural activities.

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