Cinquefrondi is selling homes in the village for the princely sum of one euro.
Who hasn’t thought about what it’d be like to own a home in a small Italian village in the countryside? Whether for retirement, or the potential to have a summer home — where you could spend holidays and vacations unbothered by the burdens of city life? A place that ensures a change of pace and a simpler way of life. This vision may seem wayward, an impossibility, yet in the Italian town of Cinquefrondi, you can buy your own home for less than what you’d spend at Starbucks. [Featured image: comune.cinquefrondi.rc.it]
Cinquefrondi is a small village in the Calabria region, right down in the southeastern part of the country. On a map, the village appears to be located on the toe of the Italian ‘boot’. In an effort to attract more long-term residents to the town, Cinquefrondi is now offering homes in the village for the low cost of one euro (approximately 89p at today’s exchange rate). If the costs aren’t low enough, new residents would be apprised to know that the village is ostensibly “COVID-free”.
The cheap homes plan, called ‘Operation Beauty’, was put forth to replace the young residents who often move off to larger cities after getting their academic degrees. “Finding new owners for the many abandoned houses we have is a key part of Operation Beauty that I have launched to recover degraded, lost parts of the town,” Mayor Michele Conia told CNN. “Too many people have fled from here over the decades, leaving behind empty houses. We can’t succumb to resignation.”
Cinquefrondi is located a little over an hour’s drive from the picturesque coastal and cliffside town of Tropea. A longer drive, five hours give or take, would land you in the vicinity of Sorrento, Pompeii, Capri, and the lovely towns of the Amalfi Coast. As to Cinquefrondi itself, Conia describes its glowingly: “We rise between the refreshing hills and two warm seas, a pristine river runs nearby and the beaches are just 15 minutes away by car.” Sounds pretty dreamy, right?
Operation Beauty is asking buyers for a €1 euro downpayment, with an annual €250 policy insurance until the buyers renovate the “cosy and tiny” homes. There’s a little bit of a time crunch for the renovations (you can’t simply buy the house and then forget about it for five years, for example), with a likely fine of €20,000 in the offing if you fail to complete them within three years. However, Mayor Conia notes that the houses, which lie in the ancient part of Cinquefrondi, are cosy and quite cheap to renovate, which should assuage most fears. Plus, several of them have balconies, and if there’s one thing London definitely doesn’t have enough of, it’s balconies.
Making this an even more attractive proposition is the fact that since the onset of the pandemic, Cinquefrondi hasn’t seen a single case of coronavirus, in contrast to the rest of Italy, which saw the earliest European outbreak of the virus. While some parts of Italy were hit harder, Calabria was one of the less-affected areas, and with the whole country now seeing a big drop off of cases, Italy has already opened its borders to EU countries for tourism. If you’re planning a longer stay, however, Cinquefrondi might just be the place for you…