There are 200 historic stone homes for sale along the picturesque coast of the Mediterranean isle of Sardinia. In the quaint village of Ollolai, the population has decreased from 2,250 people to 1,300 with just a small population of new births, and the village’s mayor has a plan. Efisio Arbau is offering to sell homes for a $1.25 each.
“We boast prehistoric origins. My crusade is to rescue our unique traditions from falling into oblivion,” Arbau stated. “We need to bring our grandmas’ homes back from the grave. They’re picturesque old buildings made with Sardinia’s typical gray granite rock that grows on mountain peaks and shores.”
According to MsmNews, the homes are for sale and are in all stages of disrepair. It is estimated the homes would require about $25,000 each to renovate, and that is one of the requirements for purchasing one, however the buyer is given three years to do the work.
So what does Ollolai have to offer? Retired builder, Vito Casula purchased one of the two story homes and transformed it into an environmentally friendly structure, but still keeping the original design and furniture. He recommends the village to anyone who is “sick with too much stress and needs a break.”
“We live nearby and frequently visited Ollolai. Then one day my wife saw the ad in the newspaper. It was an opportunity,” says Casula. “This quiet town is frozen in time. It offers a peaceful, healthy life.”
In addition the village has access to sheep cheese, artisan baskets, delicacies produced in the region as well as traditional celebrations to give lots of reasons to dress up and dance.
So far three houses have been sold and there have been 100 additional requests from all over the world to purchase one of the homes. Time is quickly running out; a surge in interest has led to a deadline of February 7 being set for applications. After that, applications will be assessed in order in which they were made.
And welcome to capitalism as a reality show featuring a Dutch family moving to Ollolai and restoring their home is expected to premier in May.
This isn’t the first time Italian towns have run similar inducements including Montieri in Tuscany, Patricia in Lazio and Lecce de Marsi in Abruzzo. Bring your parents, bring your pets and who knows? Ollolai could be the place to live happily ever after once you brush up on your Italian.
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