The beautiful country of Italy has long been famous for its cool, peaceful, quiet green lands but… lack of people. In recent years, many towns in Italy have had to implement a series of strategies to “revive” their already small populations. From houses for less than 1 USD to incentives to give more money to start a business if you come to stay… all for the purpose of increasing the population.
The picturesque town of Presicce in the sunny and windy Puglia region also recently had to offer a “fragrant bet” to attract people to settle down and settle down.
A bargain not to be missed
According to CNN, Presicce town officials said they will give people up to 30,000 euros if they come here to buy a house and live.
In fact, the houses here are for sale for as little as 25,000 euros, which means you have 5,000 euros left over to cover the costs of starting a new life. However, like most other low-cost properties for sale across Italy, the homes have long been abandoned.
And what’s more amazing is that this town is located in the beautiful nature of the Salento region, Southern Italy, right next to the smooth beaches with turquoise waters of Santa Maria di Leuca.
Authorities in Presicce hope the bounty will breathe new life into their shrinking town, which has fewer and fewer babies each year.
Local council member Alfredo Palese told CNN: “There are a lot of abandoned houses in the town center that were built before 1991. We want to see them revitalized with new residents. It’s a pity to see the houses of great architecture and art slowly falling into disrepair.”
Mr. Alfredo added: “We will give a bonus of up to 30,000 euros to those who are willing to move here and buy one of these abandoned houses. The total amount of funding will be divided into two: one part will be used to buy an old house and a part to renovate it, if necessary”.
Reportedly, the town of Presicce merged with a neighboring town, Acquarica in 2019, so it is also known as Presicce-Acquarica.
Authorities say the merger makes the area larger, thereby allowing more budget to be allocated, ensuring that projects can continue for many years to come.
“After the merger, according to Italian law, our larger territory will be allocated more public funds, about 1,000,000 euros per year for the next few years. We plan to invest to revive the old district,” said Mr. Palese.
Presicce and Acquarica currently have about 9,000 residents, but only half of the population lives in old houses. Authorities have rolled out other plans to attract more residents, including tax benefits for setting up new businesses and bonuses for children and families with children.
To qualify for the €30,000 offer, buyers must commit to reside in Presicce and purchase one of a number of properties built before 1991, which have been mapped by the authorities. According to Mr. Palese, house prices range from 500 euros per square meter. About 25,000 euros is enough to buy a house about 50 square meters.
The town of Presicce was founded in the Middle Ages. It is known as Puglia’s “golden city” thanks to its lush olive groves that provide a source of premium extra virgin olive oil, which flourished during the Renaissance. In addition, Presicce is also known for its trade in fine wines, cheeses and livestock.
Many locals live underground, burrowing to live in by taking advantage of Presicce’s rocky terrain.
Beneath the main squares and lavish Baroque mansions lies a network of 23 secret rooms and olive workshops. In it, farmers, known as trappettari, spent months during the harvest pressing olives with stone mills pulled by donkeys.
Many historic buildings have access to underground rooms that were once used as factories. Guided tours through the underground city are a tourist highlight of the town.
In the old quarter, the wide streets are crisscrossed by narrow zigzag alleys. The richly decorated yellow buildings with wrought-iron balconies interspersed with simple white houses.