The possibility of working remotely, one of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, is facilitating the rediscovery of small villages in Italy's countryside. For this reason, more and more municipalities are deciding to put buildings, usually found in the historic centre, up for sale at a symbolic price. This is also now the case in Pietramelara, the latest Italian village that has decided to sell its houses for 1 euro. To find out more, idealista/news interviewed Pasquale Di Fruscio, mayor of this small village in Campania.
Just like the village of Oyace in the Aosta Valley, in Pietramelara, the local council has decided to launch a 1 euro house project with the aim of grabbing the attention of buyers ready to invest in the area, especially favouring any entrepreneurial activities that could be brought to the village.
This is explained by Pasquale Di Fruscio, a lawyer and the mayor of this beautiful town in the Campania region which is nestled between lower Lazio and Molise: "We have no objection to people wanting to buy for residential purposes, but we would also like to receive requests from people who want to set up production activities in our area," explains the mayor, "I'm thinking of a B&B or restaurants for example".
Pietramelara is currently a village inhabited by around 15 local families who are experiencing the problem of depopulation in the historic centre, a problem common to many other small Italian municipalities. "Many people prefer to build outside the centre because they find living in the centre more inconvenient, especially because of parking," explained Mayor Di Fruscio. As a result, more central buildings are left in a state of neglect, creating degradation and also real danger in some cases.
Promoting the 1 euro house project in Pietramelara is an initiative capable of offering a solution to both parties (municipality and owners). As Di Fruscio explained, the situation had to be communicated to the owners of the properties: "We explained to them that the time had come to make the buildings safe," said the mayor, "and that the only other alternative was to take part in the 1 euro house scheme".
This is a solution capable of satisfying everyone, not only the municipality (which can finally make the historic centre safe) and the owners (who can "get rid" of an asset on which they pay taxes and which in many cases does not interest them), but also potential buyers who can acquire a property (whether for residential, investment or commercial purposes) for a symbolic sum of money.
Mayor Di Fruscio also pointed out the excellent tourism potential of the area, stating that it is has 'everything it takes to attract more tourism than it currently has'. He added that 'the sea at Gaeta and Formia is just 20 minutes away, and Pietramelara is also close to the Maltese Regional Park. Not only that, this area is very characteristic, so much so that it is also known as the valley of the 5 castles, each municipality, like ours, is structured in the same way: with a central tower that dominates the village downstream". The mayor of Pietramelara is also the president of the mountain community, which is working to recover the tourist potential of this beautiful area, insisting on the care and restoration of paths, trekking routes, picnic areas and more.
The mayor identifies 2 factors that could facilitate the success of the 1 euro houses for sale in the Campania municipality: "On the one hand, smart working has become an almost ordinary practice and our town could be an ideal place to work (the town has a fibre optic broadband connection), and on the other hand, those who buy a house can now take advantage of tax breaks for renovation such as the Ecobonus, which would make the purchase a zero-cost investment.
All the houses on sale for 1 euro in Pietramelara are privately owned and the municipality guarantees the success of the operation. On the one hand, it checks that buyers carry out renovation work within 3 years, and on the other, it assists sellers in the buying and selling phase, relieving them of the costs of safety work.