If you’ve ever dreamed of leaving it all behind and starting anew in some cozy Italian village, you may be in luck. The village of Cinquefrondi is now offering houses for the competitive price of $1 — but there’s a catch.
If you buy a house in the self-described “COVID-free” village, you have to be willing to renovate it yourself. Mayor Michele Conia says that the initiation, which he calls “Operation Beauty,” aims to attract new residents willing to renovate abandoned homes that have fallen into disrepair.
“Finding new owners for the many abandoned houses we have is a key part of the Operation Beauty that I have launched to recover degraded, lost parts of town,” Conia told CNN.
“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,” he said.
But the Cinquefrondi does have its share of draws. The village has not had a single confirmed case of COVID-19, and it sits in the southern region of Calabria, which itself flaunts one of the lowest levels of reported cases in all of Italy.
Houses cost only a dollar to purchase, but buyers must pay an annual policy insurance fee of about $280 until renovations are finished. Additionally, any owner who fails to complete renovations within three years is subject to a $22,000 fine.