Two Italian Towns Are Selling Homes for $1—Here’s How to Get One

A view of Mussomeli, a town in Sicily
A view of Mussomeli, a town in Sicily
Clemensfranz, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0 (cropped)

If you’ve long dreamed of living in Italy, now is the perfect time to take the plunge. While property prices across Europe continue to rise, the prices on many of Italy’s older homes are doing the opposite. This means you can buy houses and even a private island in Italy at bargain prices. In at least one area, the town will even pay families to move there.

According to CNN, the latest cheap real estate listings come from two Italian towns. Homes are selling for €1 (about $1.13 U.S.) in Zungoli, a rural village near Naples and the Amalfi Coast, and Mussomeli, a larger town in Sicily. The catch is that new homeowners must pay a security deposit and commit to fixing up their properties. On the bright side, many of the homes are already in decent shape.

Websites have been created for both Zungoli and Mussomeli, letting prospective buyers shop online (although the Zungoli site might be a little tricky to navigate if you don’t speak Italian). The application process for homes in both towns can be done online, but you'd still have to fly to Italy to finalize the details.

Zungoli is known for its cobblestone paths, medieval bridges, and colorful farm homes. With a population of 1000 people, it received national recognition as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages in 2015. Paolo Caruso, the mayor of Zungoli, tells CNN that interested buyers should book a plane ticket and “come see for themselves the beauty of the place, taste the great food, and breathe the fresh healthy air.”

Buildings in Zungoli
A view of Zungoli in Italy's Campania region
Giogrande, Wikimedia Commons // Public domain

As for Mussomeli, it’s a bit larger, with a population of 11,000 people. It boasts verdant farmlands and views overlooking the Etna volcano and Valley of Temples. From this vantage point, residents can sometimes see a weather phenomenon called the “Sea of Clouds."

"Looking down you see the valley covered in a dense blanket of clouds as if the town were suspended mid-air,” says heritage councillor Toti Nigrelli. “We want customers to experience all this.”

[h/t CNN]

Here's How You Can Help Rebuild Paris's Notre-Dame Cathedral

 Kitwood, Getty Images
Kitwood, Getty Images

A fire at Paris’s famed Notre-Dame Cathedral raged for nine hours on Monday, drawing the world’s attention to the partial destruction of one of the best-known cultural monuments on the planet. The efforts of more than 400 firefighters managed to preserve much of the 859-year-old structure, but the roof and spire were destroyed.

Financial support for the building has already come pouring in, with billionaire François-Henri Pinault pledging $113 million toward reconstruction and another billionaire, Bernard Arnault, promising $226 million. A total of roughly $1 billion has come in from donations, but a revitalized Notre-Dame is a considerable expense that could cost even more.

For people who would like to assist, donations are being accepted by the nonprofit French Heritage Society for virtually any amount.

Why will expenses run so high? Prior to the fire, Notre-Dame was in dire need of extensive restoration. Buttresses caused instability to major walls, gargoyles were damaged, and cracks had formed in the now-destroyed spire. The cathedral is owned by the French government, which allots roughly 2 million euros (or about $2.26 million) annually to upkeep. Between the existing wear and the fire, it could take years or possibly decades for the work to be completed.

The publicity surrounding Notre-Dame has also motivated people to assist in rebuilding efforts on a smaller scale, and closer to home. Three churches in Louisiana that were recently targeted in allegedly racist arson attacks saw donations climb from $150,000 to over $1 million following the Notre-Dame fire. You can donate to that GoFundMe campaign here.

[h/t CNN]

The Isle of Sark Needs a New Dairy Farmer, But You'll Have to Bring Your Own Cows

Philipp Guelland/Getty Images
Philipp Guelland/Getty Images

If you've ever dreamed of moving to a secluded island to become a farmer, the Isle of Sark is giving you the opportunity. Sark, located in England's Channel Islands, is seeking a dairy farmer to supply milk to the island's population of 500. The only catch is that job candidates must be ready to move there with their own herd of 25 to 35 cows, Atlas Obscura reports.

Sark is a 3-mile long, mile-and-a-half wide island with green pastures, rocky cliffs, and no cars or street lamps. The only way to get there is by boat or one of the ferries that leaves from the nearby Jersey and Guernsey islands.

The last time the island had a dairy farmer was 2017. That year, farmer Christopher Nightingale shut down his business due to issues with costs and land instability. The Isle of Sark held onto feudalism long after the rest of Europe abandoned it, and though the practice technically ended in 2008, it hasn't died completely. Sometimes this works to the community's advantage, like when Nazis invaded in 1940, but it also means that farmers must lease their land for short periods rather than own it.

If you're willing to trade your right to own property for idyllic island living, Sark's dairy farmer gig maybe the perfect fit for you. The island is looking for someone, or a couple, with lots of dairy farming experience, and a herd of Jersey or Guernsey cows, which are native to the Channel Islands. You can reach out to Caragh Couldridge at info@caraghchocolates.com for information on how to apply.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER