Small villages are dying as young people flee to the opportunities of cities has become a problem many European countries. The efforts of these governments to save their villages is starting to create a lot of really interesting opportunities for the adventurous of heart. Check some of these out.
Couple wanted to run Great Basket Island Inn and Coffee Shop
Ireland’s Great Blasket Island, with over 1,100 acres of unspoiled, largely mountainous, terrain, is on the hunt for a couple to run its quaint coffee shop and manage the island’s accommodation for seven months. The job runs from 1st April 2020 – October 2020 with accommodation and food provided. Contact Alice on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The fishing island shrank to about 20 inhabitants, but the government has stepped in and the population is slowly rising. Great Basket is part of a six island archipelago and is only reachable by boat from the surrounding islands.
€1 homes in Italy
Sambuca is a hilltop town on Sicily with views of the Mediterranean. It’s also seen its population decline as people leave for bigger cities. To combat this, houses are being offered for an astounding 1 Euro. The catch? You must commit to refurbishing their 40 to 150 square meter dwelling within 3 years at a cost of at least €15,000 (about $17,200). Update: these offerings became so popular, that the last 16 homes put up were auctioned with the highest going for 25,000 Euros. Only one went for 1 Euro.
This was quickly followed in 2019 by many other announcements. Other dying Italian towns and villages from the northern Alps to Sicily started similar programs. These offerings quickly drew large crowds, reporters, overwhelmed local mayors, and surprised locals.
As of late 2019, Bivona, Gangi, Ollalai, Cammarata, Zungoli, Sambuca, Nulvi, Cantiano, Fabbriche di Vergemoli, Mussomeli had similar programs. Each of these cities has different offerings, rules, and opportunities. Some allow you to reclaim 60% of refurbishment costs in under-developed areas. Others require you commit to having at least 1 child.
Locana had one of the most amazing deals – not only sells you a house for 1 Euro, but was offering $10,000 to move there, and $1000 per child born there by a couple. Nearby Borgomezzavalle is selling abandoned mountain cottages for €1 and offering €1,000 for each newborn and another €2,000 to anyone willing to start a business and register for VAT.
How has it gone for those that did it?
CNN caught up with 4 different buyers and interviewed them. Their responses – positive experiences all around. Most are looking at these properties as vacation homes or retirement locations for later life. They’re all definitely putting a good bit of money into the properties, but the notorious Italian bureaucracy hasn’t been as bad as many expected.