If you’ve always dreamt of owning a holiday home but have never had the cash to buy one, then you might just be in luck.
Because the Italian government are giving away a load of historic castles and villas for free.
They’ve got 103 buildings across the country that they’re looking to give to people who are in a position to save them from becoming ruins.
So, what do you have to do to get your mitts on a pile of grand proportions?
Prospective owners must agree to transform the buildings and surrounding lands into something that drives tourism up.
Suggestions include using part of the properties to open hotels, restaurants, shops, spas or luxury villas.
So this is your golden opportunity to quit your job, get yourself a banging house and make yourself a nice little earner from the comfort of your new, Italian sofa.
Dubbed the Strategic Tourist Plan, the country hopes that the initiative will promote a development of tourism away from the already tourist-heavy areas like the Amalfi Coast and Venice.
‘The goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists, and cyclists,’ Roberto Reggio from the State Property Agency, told The Local.
‘The project will promote and support the development of the slow tourism sector.’
The properties on offer are scattered all around the country in remote areas, with everything from old schoolhouses, ex-convents and defence towers on offer, overlooking coastlines and countryside.
Close to Rome, for example, you can bag yourself the Castello di Blera in Lazio – an 11th-century house built by a local noble family, which is perched on a cliffside and still includes many of the original, medieval features.
To get yourself a free castle, all you have to do is submit a proposal outlining your plans to transform the heritage site.
You’ll own the rights to your property for nine years, after which you’ll able to renew your contract for a further nine years.
Really stellar proposals will be given a 50-year lease.
You’ve got to submit your application before 26 June, but if you miss the deadline, don’t fret. Apparently, the country is set to add another 200 buildings to the project over the next two years.
Bye, see you in Italy.
H/T The Local