New Delhi: You will be surprised to find that abandoned houses in a small town in southwest Sicily are being auctioned for less than a cup of coffee.
According to a CNN report, struggling cities in Italy are selling abandoned homes at low prices to reverse the trend of population decline. Sicily’s picturesque village of Salemi is offering old real estate for less than espresso prices.
It is reported that the next month, dozens of houses falling apart will have a starting price of just over 1 euro (86 rupees) or a dollar.
Salemi’s mayor, Domenico Venuti, learned that the plan would bring new life to cities that have witnessed a population decline. At least 4,000 inhabitants fled in 1968 in a terrifying earthquake that shook the Belice Valley in Sicily.
Sameli’s Mayor Domenico Venuti told CNN Travel: “All buildings belong to the city council, so we can speed up sales and reduce practices. Before starting the plan, it was necessary to first upgrade the infrastructure and services from the road to the electric grid and sewer by repairing the old part of the Salemi where the houses were located. Now the village is ready for the next step.”
In the past few years, several small Italian towns have provided housing at prices that are difficult to identify with population decline problems.
A historic site on the island of Sicily, Salemi is surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. Some of the houses are surrounded by ancient walls dating back to the 1600s.
The town is known to have experienced both physical and cultural aftershocks following the 1968 Belice Valley earthquake. More than 4,000 inhabitants have fled, and Salemi is now a desolate place.
Last year, Sambuca, a hilltop town in southern Italy, also sold dozens of homes for just a dollar.