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]

Chernobyl Creator Craig Mazin Urges Visitors to Treat the Exclusion Zone With Respect

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Following the success of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, one tour company reported that bookings to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone located in Ukraine rose 35 percent. Now, series creator Craig Mazin is imploring the new wave of tourists to be respectful when snapping selfies at Chernobyl, Gizmodo reports.

A 2500-square-kilometer exclusion zone was established around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant shortly after its reactor exploded in 1986 and flooded the area with harmful radiation. The abandoned towns are still too radioactive for people to live there safely, but they have been deemed safe to visit temporarily with the supervision of a guide.

Chernobyl has supported a dark tourism industry for years, but thanks to the miniseries, photographs taken there are gaining new levels of attention online. News of influencers posing for irreverent selfies at the site of the nuclear disaster quickly went viral. Mazin tweeted:

Regardless of why people are visiting the site, being respectful in the presence of tragedy is always a good idea. It's also smart to resist leaving a tour group to snap the perfect selfie in some abandoned building: Tour companies warn that breaking rules and wandering off approved paths can lead to dangerous radiation exposure.

[h/t Gizmodo]

A Traveling Harry Potter Beer Festival Is Coming to Several U.S. Cities

If you’ve ever wondered what the alcoholic version of a butterbeer would taste like, you’ll soon have the chance to find out. A series of ongoing Harry Potter-inspired beer festivals are coming to cities across the U.S. in the next couple of months.

According to Rock Star Beer Festivals, which is organizing the event, Muggles and wizards alike will get unlimited samples of 20-plus beers. There will be plenty of adult butterbeer to go around, and for more daring souls, there’s Snape’s Lair of Secret Cider Potions. Is it actually cider, or could it be a polyjuice potion? Attendees will soon find out.

In June, the festival will be coming to Fresno, California on June 21 and New Orleans on June 29. In July, it will head to Philadelphia (July 13) and Boston (July 20). Tickets to the festivals can be purchased through Eventbrite or booked on Rock Star Beer Festivals’ Facebook page under the Events tab. Act fast, though, because tickets—which generally sell for $40 to $45 apiece—regularly sell out.

What else can you expect to see at such a magical event? Rock Star Beer Festivals says the venues hosting the festival will be “transformed into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” with guests being transported to the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and, of course, the Leaky Cauldron. You’ll also get to snap photos with Hagrid and dance to music by the Sorceress Sisters and DJ Dumbledore. Just be careful not to drink and do magic, or you could end up having an accident à la Neville Longbottom.

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