Food, Travel and Tech

This town in Italy is giving away free houses — but there's a catch

City of Cammarata in Central Sicily. Mediterranean Medieval City, built in the mountain of Cammarata.
Giuseppe Elio Cammarata / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

It could cost between $133,000 and $2.8 million to purchase a home in Sicily, Italy, according to Realtor.com. But now, in Cammarata, an ancient town located in central Sicily, homes are being offered for free.

However, there is a catch.

In order for new residents to land a free home, they must present a clear renovation proposal for the property and renovate it within three years. Though there is no information on how much a renovation in Cammarata might cost, in Mussomeli, a town about 11 miles away that gave away 1 euro homes in June, renovation costs were estimated to range from 100 to 700 euros per square meter ($110 to $773 per 10 square feet), according to Case 1 Euro.

In Cammarata, each homeowner must pay a deposit of about 5,000 euro ($5,500), which will be returned once the renovations are complete.

City of Cammarata in Central Sicily. Mediterranean Medieval City, built in the mountain of Cammarata.
Giuseppe Elio Cammarata / EyeEm | EyeEm | Getty Images

Cammarata is located about 37 miles southeast of Palermo, the capital of Sicily, and is set at an elevation of about 3,281 feet. The town has just under 6,300 residents.

"I can't stand to see this gorgeous, old historical center empty and turn into a ruin. It hurts me," Mayor of Cammarata, Vincenzo Giambrone, told CNN about the giveaway.

As of Nov. 8, there are eight homes listed to be given away, according to the town's website. But Giambrone stated there are at least 100 other abandoned homes.

Young couples with children would receive priority to own one of Cammarata's abandoned homes. Giambrone even offered a bonus of 1,000 euro (about $1,100) to couples who move to Cammarata and have a baby.

Newcomers can use the free buildings as private homes or for businesses, like a bed-and-breakfast or restaurant.

City of Cammarata, Italy
Moment | Getty Images

Other homes in Sicily have previously been on sale for only 1 euro in an effort to get new homeowners to restore dwindling communities. Some of these Sicilian towns include Sambuca, located in western Sicily, and Mussomeli, located near the center of the island. Renovation costs were required in Sambuca and Mussomeli, as well.

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