If you are looking for a utopian respite from the global pandemic in which we are currently living, look no further than Cinquefrondi, a self-declared “COVID-free village” in Italy which is selling homes for a mere €1. Having reported zero cases of coronavirus, local authorities are hoping to entice new buyers to help rejuvenate the region as Italy emerges from its lockdown.
Located in the southern region of Calabria, Cinquefrondi boasts the surrounding scenery of “refreshing hills”, “two warm seas”, a “pristine river”, close to Aspromonte National Park. It is additionally a 15-minute car ride away from the nearby beaches. At first glance, selling any home in this area for €1 appears as an inordinately low price, however, the offer is not entirely as good as it seems.
The reason for such meagre prices is because Cinquefrondi’s council hopes to entice new buyers to move into, and help rejuvenate the village, as part of a plan dubbed “Operation Beauty” by Mayor Michele Conia. “Operation Beauty” was devised by local authorities as a way to increase the population of their village. As young people tend to leave their hometown behind in the search for work in larger cities, many properties in the region have been left abandoned and crumbling, with “Operation Beauty” seeking to fill the gaps behind by welcoming new residents into the region.
Speaking to CNN, Conia detailed his hopes to save his dwindling village:
Finding new owners for the many abandoned houses we have is a key part of the Operation Beauty [mission] that I have launched to recover degraded, lost parts of town.
I grew up in Germany where my parents had migrated, then I came back to save my land. Too many people have fled from here over the decades, leaving behind empty houses. We can’t succumb to resignation.
However, the cost-effective deal is not as simply as it initially seems. We must remember that the houses are being sold for €1 for a reason, this being that they require extensive renovation. After paying the starting price of €1, the fortunate homeowners are required to pay an annual policy insurance fee of €250 until the work and renovations are complete. If the renovation isn’t completed within three years, the homeowners are liable for a fine of €20,000.
So, if you’re looking for a great place to start a new home renovation project, head to the picturesque Cinquefrondi (once travel restrictions are eased, of course). If you just want an excuse to buy a house for €1, perhaps try and find it in toy version on ebay.
Meanwhile, if you are interested in a less fanciful buying offers, click here to read about one seller’s bluntly honest description of his car on Craiglist.