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Historic Italian Town Will Pay You $30,000 to Move There – Near Turquoise Seas and Olive-Clad Hills

Piazza di Presicce, Lecce, in Italy – Photo byLupiae CC license, Wikimedia

Last year, GNN reported that many towns across Italy were selling houses for $1.00 in order to stem the tide of migration to the major cities.

Now in Puglia, the region of Italy’s heel, the town of Presicce is doing one better—it will pay you $30,000 to move there.

In this picturesque and near-the-sea town, historic houses can go for as little as $25,000, and the government hopes that new arrivals can perk up the town’s social side and business offerings.

“There are many empty homes in the historical center built before 1991 which we would like to see alive again with new residents,” local councilor Alfredo Palese tells CNN. “It is a pity witnessing how our old districts full of history, wonderful architecture and art are slowly emptying.”

Presicce was founded as a collection of villages that spread out around an old Saracen fortress. The city grew thanks to the wealth of a renowned olive harvest which the Presiccese turned into oil largely through a series of 23 underground chambers dug into the rock under their homes.

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In the dim light, they would employ a donkey to turn a stone mill and grind the olives into oil, a trade which created a rural aristocracy that poured money into the decorative chapels and frescoed plazas in the city.

SantAndrea-di-Presicce, Italy – By Lupiae, CC license 3.0, Wikimedia

Nearby are the rocky hills of Puglia dotted with Medieval ruins, rugged hiking paths, and Byzantine crypts, as well as underground shelters meant for hiding from pirates.

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Recently, in order to secure more financial and governmental support for the town, it merged with nearby Acquarica to become Presicce-Acquarica, and the expanded size increased the amount of funds the municipality has to finance these sorts of restorative projects to about €1 million per year.

“We will be offering up to 30,000 euros to people willing to move here and buy one of these abandoned dwellings,” Alfredo says. “The total funding will be split in two: it will go partly into buying an old home and partly into restyling it, if needed.”

RELATED: A Town Near Rome is Selling Old Homes for $1, a Trend Across Italy in Many Beautiful Villages

As wild as it sounds that towns like Presicce, or others in the 1-Euro House Project are being abandoned, one must reason it’s the case that if you grow up in these historic towns, it loses its charm over the years.

Watch a video showing the local sites…

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