An abandoned two-bedroom home is being sold for a euro.
Municipality of Mussomeli

  • A small town in Sicily is selling abandoned properties for a euro (R16), but buyers must agree to renovate them within three years.
  • In addition to being relatively close to Naples and the Amalfi coast, the 11,000-person town of Mussomeli has ancient churches, Byzantine caves, and a medieval castle.
  • Many of the abandoned properties are crumbling or decaying, but they're steps from gorgeous scenery.

Italy's small towns may be scenic respites from touristy cities like Rome and Venice, but they're struggling to hold on to residents.

Across the country, quaint villages and rural hamlets have taken to selling their abandoned properties for a single euro or less in hopes of boosting their populations.

One of the largest of these programs is in Mussomeli, a southern town in Sicily hours from Naples and the Amalfi coast. The local government is selling 100 abandoned properties online (a few of which have already been purchased), with another 400 expected to join the program.

Though many of the properties are in desperate need of renovation, the town itself has plenty of local charm. In addition to ancient churches, Byzantine caves, and a medieval castle, Mussomeli has culinary delicacies like hanging caciocavallo cheese and bread baked in wood-burning ovens.

See also: Millions of Japanese homes are abandoned, and owners are giving them away for free

The town is 760 meter above sea level, so there's less concern about it being washed away by the next big flood.

Take a look at the abandoned stone properties that the government is selling for 1 euro, the equivalent of about R16.

Mussomeli has 11,000 residents, but many of its homes have been deserted as people move to urban areas.

Municipality of Mussomeli

The government has posted signs on the doors of homes to indicate which ones are for sale.

Municipality of Mussomeli

Many homes are in dire need of repair, like this three-bedroom property with an exterior that's chipping away.

Municipality of Mussomeli

Renovations are expected to cost about R3,000 per square meter. Additional costs such as notary and secretarial fees amount to between R40,000 and R63,000, depending on the property.


A few of the homes have already been sold, but this two-bedroom property is still up for grabs, according to the town's website.

Municipality of Mussomeli

Buyers must agree to renovate the homes within three years of signing a deed, or they lose their R80,000 security deposit.

Municipality of Mussomeli

The town has engineers and architects to assist with the renovations, but buyers are allowed to assemble their own renovation crew.


Many of the properties are the size of a small apartment, but there are multiple rooms inside.

Municipality of Mussomeli

This 75-square-metre home comes with three bedrooms and a bathroom.


The interiors aren't much to behold. They're abandoned buildings, after all.

Municipality of Mussomeli

But some of the views are spectacular.

Municipality of Mussomeli

Intricate fixtures on the doors and balconies give the homes an old-world charm.

Municipality of Mussomeli

This two-bedroom home on Via Generale Cascino comes with a balcony but no air-conditioning.

Municipality of Mussomeli

Many of the homes have wooden doors and stone facades.

Municipality of Mussomeli

This house on Via Architetto Costanzo has five bedrooms.


At 100 square meters, this property is one of the smallest of the bunch.

Municipality of Mussomeli

But it's just steps from incredible scenery of the town's hilly landscape.

Municipality of Mussomeli

To purchase one of the homes, interested parties must visit Mussomeli, where they'll be given a tour.

Municipality of Mussomeli

Along the way, they'll stop off at landmarks and local restaurants. The tour costs R6,300, but visitors only have to pay if they wind up purchasing a home.

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