The Sicilian city of Cammarata offering free properties to overseas property investors wishing to make a new life in the area.
The city mayor, Vincenzo Giambrone, says it ‘hurts’ to see gorgeous, old homes being abandoned in his hometown, Cammarata, in Sicily.
Therefore, he is offering free properties to new buyers willing to rescue them and bring them back to life.
Cammarata is located in the mountains, about 40 miles southeast of Palermo and 22 miles north of Agrigento.
It’s an area praised on TripAdvisor by holidaymakers for offering an ‘absolutely beautiful view from the heavens… with stunning architecture and food.’
The mayor told CNN that he has spent the past three years getting owners of the long-abandoned properties to hand the keys over to new residents for free.
Giambrone said: ‘I can’t stand to see this gorgeous, old historical centre empty and turn into a ruin.’
At present newcomers have their choice of about 12 empty stone properties in Cammarata. But Giambrone hopes a further 100 long-abandoned homes will also be rescued and brought back to life.
However, there are conditions. Buyers will need to pay a £4,300 deposit – to be returned once the revamp is finished.
The mayor is particularly looking to attract young couples with children to Cammarata, who will be given priority. They will also get a ‘bonus’ of £865 if they move to Cammarata and have a baby.
Cammarata is not the first Sicilian area to make offers to new residents. Earlier in the year the local government in Mussomeli in southern Sicily were selling 100 abandoned properties online with a further 400 homes up for grabs, for just €1 (85p).
Other parts of Italy are also plying to draw new residents, including Sambuca in Sicily, and Zungoli near Naples.
For overseas property investors looking for a new life in the picturesque mountains of Sicily, this could be the opportunity they’ve been waiting for.