Going on holiday in Italy has never been so convenient, in spite of the current coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the world. In the summer that follows the strict COVID-19 lockdown in Italy, in addition to the help of a holiday bonus, Italians and those travelling to Italy from abroad can count on a number of initiatives in some of Italy's villages, such as free accommodaton for 4 years and 1 euro houses. After the free holiday initiative of a small town in Molise, the latest Italian village to come up with an initiative to attract visitors is San Mauro La Bruca, a small village in Cilento that is offering accommodation for just 2 euros. To find out more, idealista/news interviewed the mayor Francesco Scarabino.
"San Mauro La Bruca has suffered strong depopulation in recent years," explains the mayor Scarabino. "There have been several administrations in the past that have not allowed the village to live up to its potential, resulting in a depopulation rate of almost 70%".
The town council in the province of Salerno, therefore, understood that it was time to do something to reverse the trend: "So we thought it was necessary to invent something that could bring a bit of tourism to the area, the only engine of development for future years, and also because San Mauro La Bruca has a lot to offer".
Soon they came up with the right idea: "We thought we would use our municipal accommodation facility to encourage tourism in the town and make ourselves known in Italy and abroad". The mayor continues to state that, "the only way to bring people here, right now is to offer somewhere to stay at a ridiculously low price, just 2 euros a night, basically a minimum contribution towards expenses".
You read correctly, from 25th July to 30th September, 2020, the village of San Mauro La Bruca will host tourists (who will have to bring their own sheets, pillows and blankets) at a cost of only 2 euros a night for 7 consecutive nights so that they can get to know the beauty of the area. "In addition to being located a few steps from Palinuro and Marina di Camerota", explains the mayor, "we have a lot of greenery thanks to the many olive trees that make up the surrounding Mediterranean vegetation".
Since the first moments after the announcement of the initiative, the mailbox of the municipality has been taken by storm, so much so that the availability ended up being sold out in a very short time. The scheme, "Vacanze a 2 euro" is aimed at both Italians and foreigners, who must be residents outside the Campania region or live abroad, and who do not have relatives in the municipality of San Mauro La Bruca.
"The aim of bringing people into the village", mayor Scarabino specifies, "is not only to help businesses in the area, but also to see if tourists are interested in buying empty apartments. There are also other houses in the village used as B&Bs that remain vacant and we must try and keep the village alive. The last thing that we want is that in a few years, instead of the road signs to San Mauro La Bruca, there is an epitaph".
To give an idea of how much real estate assets of San Mauro La Bruca have been devalued, the mayor of the municipality gave an example: "An English family recently bought a renovated apartment in the centre for only 25 thousand euros".
Even for those who have missed out and have not been able to take advantage of this summer accommodation initiative, there could be more chances according to the mayor: "We are thinking of extending this initiative to Christmas", explains the mayor. "This would be a way to differentiate tourism, and show that our village is beautiful and characteristic during the Christmas period, as well as during other holidays, considering the seasonality of our typical gastronomic offer".
Another point which the mayor of San Mauro La Bruca emphasises is the great hospitality of the people in the village: "Like many municipalities in Cilento, here there are many elderly people and seeing people come to the village is always exciting for them. So much so that, two years ago, archaeology students arrived for excavations and every evening they were invited to eat in a different house".