Fancy an Ancient Italian Villa or Castle? Here’s Your Chance!

More than 100 historic properties are being given away in Italy subject to recipients renovating them as tourist destinations, such as restaurants and spas. (Image: SpiderMonkeyDerp. Illustration purposes only)

If you’ve ever fancied your own Italian castle, ancient monastery, inn, villa or farmhouse, now’s your chance! The Italian government is giving away 103 historic sites as part of its Strategic Tourist Plan. But, of course, there’s a catch! In order to be granted a historic property, applicants must pledged to renovate them as tourist destinations, such as restaurants, hotels and spas.

A forgotten stone cottage in rural Italy. (Image: Pekka Tamminen)

The initiative comes as the State Property Agency and Ministry of Cultural Heritage attempt to ease the strain on some of Italy’s most popular and crowded hotspots. Officials hope the move will help transform less visited areas into tourist destinations and boost local economies, while taking the pressure off better-known sites.

Inside an abandoned building in Italy. (Image: Roberto Pani)

Roberto Reggi of the State Property Agency said: “The project will promote and support the development of the slow tourism sector. The goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists, and cyclists.”

(Image: Roberto Pani)

Many of the 103 historic sites up for grabs are located along the Appian Way, the ancient Roman road linking Venice to Brindisi. It’s understood that 200 more sites across the country will also become available over the next few years, as the first batch of properties are renovated and more tourists begin to explore more the Italian countryside.

Forgotten Italy. (Image: Roberto Pani)

(The images in this article are used for illustration purposes only and do not represent buildings offered for renovation by the Italian state.) Find out more at Italy’s State Property Agency website. Hat tip: inhabitat.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated.



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