Monti Scìaga, Switzerland
Tiziano Ponti / YouTube
  • Monti Scìaga - an Italian-speaking village on the Swiss border - has announced plans to sell homes for one Swiss franc (R14.44).
  • The mountain hamlet is remote, but just a stone's throw from Lake Maggiore, 65km from Lake Como, and 113km from Milan.
  • The village is proposing to give away nine homes for R14, so long as the buyers commit to renovating them.
  • The proposal has to be voted on by the local council in autumn before any offers can be made.
  • It's one of a number of rural European settlements to experiment with selling off homes for R14 in a bid to revitalize the community.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.


A rustic hamlet on the Swiss border is the latest in a series of small towns and villages to consider offering homes for R14 in a bid to revitalize their communities.

Italian-speaking Monti Scìaga is proposing to sell nine of its homes for just one Swiss franc (R14.44).

According to SWI, a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Monti Scìaga is one of the most remote inhabited villages in the region. Nevertheless, residents have access to running water - a draw for foreign investors - and are located just 113km north of Milan, and a stone's throw from the stunning Lake Maggiore.

Similarly, Lake Como, where the Clooneys own a luxurious villa, is only around 65km away.

There's a catch if a R24 mountain retreat in the vicinity of George and Amal sounds like your kind of deal - the properties are little more than ruins, according to The Local, and buyers would be expected to renovate them back to living condition within a reasonable timeframe.

Some ruins in Monti Scìaga.
Tiziano Ponti / YouTube

While there has already been some interest in the villages scheme, the proposal has to be voted on by the local council in autumn before any offers can be made.

"It is a mountain nucleus almost completely abandoned since the 1970s, but has maintained its original structure with traditional architectural elements," the online plan says in Italian, according to Fox News.

"Many buildings are now in ruins, but in spite of this, it's a charming village worthy of protection."

Monti Scìaga's plan is reminiscent of a number of a similar plans already underway in rural parts of Italy.

Sambuca in Sicily recently announced that it had successfully sold its first series of abandoned homes after auctions started at just one euro (R16).

According to The Guardian, 16 properties were sold by the municipality at prices averaging between €5,000 (roughly R79,600) and €10,000 (roughly R160,000).

In January 2018, the Sardinian town of Ollolai announced that it was selling 200 houses for €1 (R16) to attract new residents.

Locana, in northern Italy, went a step further and actually offered to pay people €9,000 (R144,000) to move there - as long as they had a child and a salary.

Finally, Zungoli in the Campania region, and Mussomeli, in Sicily, also announced they would be selling homes for just R14 if residents were committed to refurbishing their properties.

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