This Empty Town in Italy Is Giving Away Free Homes to Anyone Who Wants One

If you’ve ever watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, you know exactly what it feels like to want to purchase an antiquated villa in Italy and renovate it to its former glory. And now’s your chance.

The local government in Gangi, Sicily, recently offered people an extraordinary deal. They’re giving away vacant homes to businesses interested in transforming the vacant area with hotels and boutiques as well as individuals who’ve always dreamed of owning a vacation home in Europe. Their main goal is to revive the once thriving town.

When hordes of residents began moving to America and Argentina, the town took a nose-dive, reducing the population from around 16,000 to 7,000 today.

So far, about 100 abandoned houses have already been given away, mainly to Sicilians. Although there are still about 200 up for grabs, as you can imagine, the waiting list has become quite massive. Since the 102-word press release was made public, people all over the world have expressed their longing for an Italian dream home of their very own.

Who wouldn’t want a three-story farm house with panoramic views of Mount Etna?

However, there’s a catch. The release explains:

Those who will be assigned the free houses have to bear the expenses for the transfer of ownership.

This mean, of course, means all those outstanding taxes. The requirements also specify that in order to be given a home, new owners must present a proposal for its renovation within one year, and those improvements must be complete within three years. That means buyers have a total of four years to transform their property into something that both aesthetically pleasing livable.

Due to overwhelming demand, the City Hall has become increasingly selective about who they’re handing the houses over to. So, if you’re in search of that remarkable summer vacation home, you better be pretty damn creative.

“We don’t want people just because they have money,” the mayor of Gangi, Giuseppe Ferrarello, said. “We want to know what you’re going to do with the houses.”

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