(CNN) – The global pandemic has stopped many travel experiences, including the rush to break Italian homes at bargain prices, but now that some places are emerging from restrictions, the $ 1 country bonus seems to be returning.
And the offers seem to be better than ever.
Cinquefrondi, a community in the southern region of Calabria, has been dubbed the “Village without Covid” after breaking virus viruses and hopes its situation will sweeten the attractiveness of homes it puts on the market for 1 euro or just over a dollar.
The goal, like other destinations that make similar offers, is to reverse the tendency of the younger generation to look for work. In Cinquefrondi, Mayor Michele Conia considers the project so serious that it gave it a code name: “Operation Beauty”.
“Finding new owners for the many abandoned homes we have is a key part of Beauty [mission] that I have started to regain degraded, lost parts of the city, “Conia told CNN.
“I grew up in Germany where my parents had emigrated and then I came back to save my land. Too many people have left here for decades, leaving behind empty houses. We cannot succumb to resignation. “
Despite being surrounded by the natural beauty of Aspromonte’s rugged National Park and overlooking both the Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts, the Cinquefrondi urban landscape is marked by temples, Conia says.
“We go up between the refreshing hills and the two warm seas, a pristine river runs close by and the beaches are just a 15-minute drive away. But an entire district of my city is abandoned, with empty houses that are also unstable and dangerous. “
Like many Italian villages and towns, Cinquefrondi has suffered from desolation.
At the national level, Italy has begun to open its borders to visitors as it has made significant progress in reducing pollution.
The accommodation deal here works a little differently compared to other cheap deals in Italy.
While all other cities that sell homes for one euro require a down payment of up to 5,000 euros ($ 5,635) that the buyer loses if he does not renovate the house within three years, Cinquefrondi simply asks for an annual contract insurance fee of 250 euros until the work is completed. .
The city hopes it can entice people to stay with cheap homes.
The new owners are only subject to a fine of € 20,000 in the unlikely event that they do not complete the redeployment within three years. In other cities offering similar schemes, new buyers tend to complete work ahead of schedule, within one to two years.
“We’re just asking for some kind of certainty when a new buyer commits to the project. The policy charge is very low and the cost of a restyle here is from € 10,000 to € 20,000, as the homes are comfortable. [and] microscopic.”
The available one-euro houses are about 40-50 square meters wide, a size that reduces renovation time. They are located in the historic ancient part of Cinquefrondi. Some even have a small balcony with views.
Cinquefrondi is known as “Zipper Town” as it stretches at the crossroads between the Ionian coast and the Calabrian Tyrrhenian at the end of the Italian boot. It has stunning views of the Aeolian Islands included in UNESCO, easily accessible from a nearby port.
The city is located between two seas on the fingers of Italy.
Its unusual name in Italian means the “five villages”, which refer to early settlements of Greek and Byzantine origin that were united in a community during the Middle Ages. Remains of the city’s old fortifications can be seen in its arched alleys.
Cinquefrondi has suffered natural disasters and foreign invasions, but has survived for centuries, protected from pirate raids from the heights at the top of the hill above the seas.
Brilliant traces of older cultures are everywhere. Ancient Greek words are preserved in the local dialect and in the names of places, roads and arches.
Its history dates back centuries.
Cinquefrondi was a strategic outpost during the Greek expansion during the 8th and 7th centuries BC. and was later colonized by other conquerors. Older people in the city still use old Spanish and French terms when talking.
The bucolic landscape of the olive groves is strewn with ruins of Greek fortresses, a strategic ancient Greek road built to connect the two seas, a Roman villa, ruined monasteries and pagan temples.
The locals proudly call the “last Greeks”.
“It’s a country of cultural contamination and interculturalism,” says Conia. “A melting pot. We welcome people. The door of my office is always open to anyone who comes knocking.”
The city has recently undergone some improvements in its infrastructure. The streets, squares, old fountains, public parks and even a church have been beautifully renovated and painted with rainbow colors.
A renovated area known as “The Future of Hamlet” hosts social and cultural events, while a symbolic “rights ladder” is there to remind visitors that locals have embraced the rule of law in a country often plagued by crime and robbery.
The wild Aspromonte National Park offers stunning hiking trails on dry riverbeds, rocky peaks with fossilized rocks and cavities where Italian criminals used to hide.
The mayor of Cinquefrondi says the city escaped any Covid-19 case.
The houses that are currently in circulation for one euro once belonged to farmers, shepherds, craftsmen and tanners. There are currently about a dozen available, but there are potentially more than 50 vacant homes that Conia plans to hand over to new owners.
“If we get huge demand, I can expropriate all the other buildings that have been empty for decades and the old owners are nowhere to be found.”
Fully renovated houses are also available at low prices.
A colorful “rights ladder” symbolizes that locals have embraced the rule of law in an area often plagued by crime.
Cinquefrondi is a sleeping place outside the radar, unknown even to most Italians. Its old abandoned areas are partly covered by lush vegetation.
The city is a labyrinth of cobbled streets and houses with pastel colors associated with narrow alleys, arched passages and spiral irregular stone steps, where pieces of ruined old city walls protrude.
Flowers, ferns, moss and tiny palms grow on its walls, green windows, opening wooden doors and balconies of forgotten houses. In its inhabited streets, rusty aristocratic gates contrast with leaves and clothes hanging to dry in the sun.
The city is surrounded by a bucolic countryside.
Unusual folklore and graphic festivals are among the advantages of Cinquefrondi.
The main event is the religious procession of the so-called bare “spinach” or “thorn”, dedicated to St. Rocco, who wear huge bell-shaped twigs on their heads that symbolize the thorny crowns that make them look like walking.
The macabre funerals take place at the end of the local picturesque carnival to say goodbye to the festival.
An annual festival sees locals wearing unusual bell-shaped twigs.
The fun is guaranteed, Conia assures. Food fairs and festivals are held throughout the summer. Every night there is a special event.
There are exhibitions of farmers with creative potato cooking and sweet pepper dishes, craft exhibitions with handmade chairs and pots and hunting exhibitions where juicy wild boars are served to visitors.
It’s a food paradise.
Among the top gourmet specialties of Cinquefrondi are the spicy, reddish nduja red salami made with tons of chili peppers, cold dry sappressata sausage with huge pieces of lard and a special kind of fried semolina and fried pasta called struncatura made anchovies.
Desserts include donuts with zest and potatoes and sugar, and handmade biscuits with twisted nacatol.
To find out more about the homes on offer, email: [email protected]