Cinquefrondi, a community in the southern region of Calabria, calls itself a "Covid-free village" after swerving the ravages of the virus, and hopes its status will sweeten the appeal of homes it's putting on the market for €1, or a little over a dollar.
The aim, like other destinations making similar offers, is to reverse a depopulation trend caused by younger folk heading off in search of work. In Cinquefrondi, Mayor Michele Conia considers the task so serious he's given it a code name: "Operation Beauty."
"Finding new owners for the many abandoned houses we have is a key part of the Operation Beauty [mission] that I have launched to recover degraded, lost parts of town," Conia tells CNN.
Time Out describes the location quite appealingly:
Cinquefrondi is a small community in the southern region of Calabria, which is right at the toe of Italy's 'boot'. Up in the hills, it's surrounded by the Aspromonte National Park and set between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts. (That's around a 15 minute drive to dreamy Italian beaches in either direction, fyi.)
In case you're concerned about a deal that sounds too good to be true, Cinquefrondi has indeed had zero reported coronavirus cases, and is located in region with one of the lowest overall contagion levels in the country.
Otherwise, the only real catch — besides, ya know, having to renovate and safety-proof your adorable 50 square meter Italian mountainside house — is that the local government requests an annual €250 policy insurance fee every year until you've finished the work. Still not a bad deal at all! If you don't finish renovations within three years, you will be liable for a €20,000 fine — which, in the grand scheme of things, still isn't all that crazy.
If you decided to take the Italians up on this offer, please let me know so I can come visit. Thanks.
Cinquefrondi: the 'Covid-free' Italian town selling $1 houses [Silvia Marchetti / CNN]
This town in southern Italy is selling houses for €1 [Ellie Walker-Arnott / Time Out]
Image: Jacopo Werther / Wikimedia Commons (CC 4.0)