Italy gives away castles, farmhouses and historic sites to attract tourists to country's lesser-known destinations

If house prices are getting you down, and there is no chance of getting on the property ladder anytime soon, Italy might be the place for you.

Just days after an Italian mayor offered cash and cheap rent to boost the population in his picturesque village, the Government is giving away more than 100 historic buildings and sites.

Launched by the State Property Agency and Ministry of Cultural Heritage, the project hopes to attract overseas visitors and boost the tourism industry in smaller towns.

There's only one catch. To bag one of the 103 inns, farmhouses, monasteries or ancient castles, you have to commit to restoring the property and turning it into a tourist facility.

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"The project will promote and support the development of the slow tourism sector," Roberto Reggi from the State Property Agency told The Local.

"The goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists, and cyclists."

Among the 103 buildings up for sale is an 11th century castle near Rome, and a 13th century castle in the Marche region. More than 40 of the sites are along historic or religious walkways and 59 are along cycle paths.


Italy's Strategic Tourism Plan is a government project aimed at alleviating the overcrowding at Italy's most popular spots and promoting the lesser-known destinations.

A further 200 properties will be listed over the next two years, The Local reported.

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