An Italian town in the southern region of Calabria, Italy, is offering homes for 1 euro ($ 1.10) to encourage people to move there and help restore the place into its former glory.
Cinquefrondi a town of about seven thousand inhabitants has a rich history, dating back to Ancient Greece.
It acts as a hinge between the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian.
A highway crosses through its territory overlapping an ancient path traced by the Greeks of Locri when they discovered that this part of Calabria is abundantly rich.
Mayor Michele Conia launched “Operation Beauty” in 2020, a project aiming to stop young people from moving elsewhere in search of work.
One year later, he says that “requests have arrived from all over the world.”
Potential buyers “expressed their desire to see part of our history restored”, he told Corriere della Calabria, earlier this week.
The new owners are going through the last bureaucratic formalities so that the houses become, to all intents and purposes, their property, he added.
The idea is that the cheap property in a beautiful setting will lure people to come and give new life to the town.
Another great advantage of Cinquefrondi is that it has not been touched by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike most of the rest of Italy, Cinquefrondi is a haven of health at the moment.
However, buyers are obligated to restore the house they buy.
Renovations shouldn’t cost too much, though, as the homes on offer are quite small, at around 40 square meters (about 430 square feet).
The mayor estimates that the costs will be between €10,000 and €20,000.
Town’s history dating back to Greece
Other than its rugged, bucolic beauty and the mountainous terrain in the toe of the boot of Italy, Cinquefrondi carries a rich history, dating back to Ancient Greece.
Its residents call themselves the “Last Greeks” and one can hear Ancient Greek words in their regional dialect.
The town was a strategic outpost during the Greek expansion in the 8th and 7th centuries BC.
Ruins of Greek fortresses and a strategic ancient Greek road built to connect the two seas are a remaining testament to that fact.
One of the area landmarks, the Aspromonte National Park, with its trekking paths across dry riverbeds, has its name from both Greek and Italian, literally meaning “white mountain” (aspro in Greek and monte in Italian)
In later centuries the town was colonized by other conquerors. Elders in the area can also be heard using old Spanish and French terms when they speak.