Italian city of Biccari in Puglia sells ready-to-occupy properties at cut price costs

(CNN) — If you happen to’ve been tempted to select up one of many dilapidated homes provided on the market in Italy for little greater than $1 however had second ideas in regards to the problem of renovating it, one city has a proposal that may simply tempt you.
Biccari, deep within the southeastern area of Puglia, can be promoting off dilapidated properties priced at €1, however in contrast to different locations, it additionally has cut price offers on ready-to-occupy locations.

Costs of empty turnkey dwellings begin as little as €7,500 ($9,000). Most are within the vary of €10,000-€13,000.

The sale is a part of Mayor Gianfilippo Mignogna’s mission to save lots of his ailing hometown from the grave after years of individuals leaving to pursue jobs in Italy’s cities or overseas, primarily to the US. The sluggish exodus has taken a toll on a inhabitants that peaked at 5,000 within the 1950s.

“We’re barely 2,000 residents,” he tells CNN. “Depopulation is an open wound, a gradual phenomenon. Locals hold leaving and whereas most used to come back again throughout the summer time to go to, now they not achieve this. Many liveable homes are empty and are falling into oblivion.”

He says he now needs to get better the buildings they left behind.

Cute properties

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Biccari’s mayor says lots of the properties it has on the market are able to occupy.

Courtesy Comune Biccari

“At some point I used to be wandering by way of the outdated middle, and it struck me how so many cute little properties in an ideal form had been shut for years, tucked away in silent alleys, with indicators ‘for hire or sale’ that no person sees.

“I assumed the easiest way was to contain these no-longer house owners to promote them proper off.”

There are roughly a dozen €1 and 20 “upper-scale” properties accessible however doubtlessly greater than 100 empty buildings in Biccari are in want of latest occupants.

Pictures and maps of the properties will quickly be put on-line on the city corridor web site however individuals are invited to contact Mignogna (

The web platform will probably be divided into two sections: €1 properties and low cost homes.

Those that accept a dilapidated €1 dwelling should stump up a assure sum of €three,000 to be returned as soon as the works are accomplished, presumably inside three years. However in contrast to different Italian cities which have launched comparable schemes, the completion deadline will probably be prolonged if work is nicely underway and there is a good motive to for the delay.

The ‘roof’ of Puglia

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Biccari is positioned in deepest Puglia, in southeastern Italy.

Courtesy Comune Biccari

Biccari boasts a powerful location. Straddling the border between three areas — Puglia, Molise and Campania — it is surrounded by the pristine Daunia Mountains, thick forests, herd-grazing fields, olive groves and a lake.

Biccari is ready on the foot of the area’s highest peak, Monte Cornacchia (aka the Carrion Crow’s Mount). From the highest, there is a view stretching to the Adriatic Coast, the Gargano Promontory and the Tremiti Islands. The world is named “the roof of Puglia.”

Biccari’s title is believed to stem from the Italian phrase “bicchiere,” that means glass, because the village has the form of an upside-down cup.

The countryside is dotted with ruins of prehistoric settlements and outdated farms.

Based by the traditional Romans on the ashes of a primitive village, Biccari went on centuries later to flourish within the Center Ages. Not a lot is left of its outdated fortified partitions however one single tower that also stands on the village entrance and hosts artwork exhibits and museum exhibitions.

A land of shepherds, monks and as soon as even outlaws, Biccari is surrounded by a community of outdated trails and trekking paths winding throughout hills outfitted picnic areas. It is a wild patch of Puglia roamed by wolves, foxes and wild boars.

“We’re a nook of paradise, very best for slow- ourism,” says Mignogna. “The recent mountain air and pure environment provide a detox, unplugged keep removed from metropolis chaos, air pollution and noise.”

Securing the long run

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Like many Italian cities, Biccari has suffered from depopulation through the years.

Courtesy Comune Biccari

Biccari’s cobblestone alleys are lined with outdated and brightly coloured newer homes. Crumbling stone dwellings with cracked wood doorways, damaged window panes and peeling wall paint are juxtaposed with picture-perfect properties with ornate stone arches, little courtyards and painted home windows with flower pots.

The €1 and costlier homes on sale are all positioned within the historic district surrounding the majestic tower. The turnkey homes are smaller, roughly 50-70 sq. meters unfold over two flooring, some with views of the inexperienced rolling hills dotted with wind generators. Shut for years, most are second properties of emigrant households, nicely stored however not utilized by their descendants.

New house owners may need to make minimal adjustments relying upon preferences however the mayor says a budget homes are already liveable, and maybe a greater deal than these on sale for €1, as their value may very well be decrease than the price of renovating a extra dilapidated constructing.

Mignogna says that reaching out to the heirs of the dilapidated properties, who are sometimes unfold the world over, will be troublesome however reviving the outdated district can be a matter of security.

“I’ll expropriate the properties of outdated house owners who do not reply to our name to restyle their unstable household home or alternatively hand it over to us. Roof tiles usually fall off and that is a hazard for passersby. The city’s city structure have to be secured.”

Bloody previous

Biccari is surrounded by countryside with hiking trails and picnicking spots.

Biccari is surrounded by countryside with mountaineering trails and picnicking spots.

Courtesy Comune Biccari

Whereas the village could also be in want of an intensive makeover, the surroundings is idyllic. The encircling woods provide “nature-adventure” stays and experiences together with classes on environmental consciousness, archery and survival abilities periods.

There are treehouses the place vacationers can sleep suspended above the bottom and acrobatic “tree walks” on ropes.

Biccari has a darkish previous, a few of which is portrayed in unusual pictures that enhance the village’s partitions. Portals of outdated homes bear indicators of battles and assaults by outlaws and secessionists preventing in opposition to the “tyrannical” Italian state again within the 1800s. Murders and hangings are stated to have taken place within the public piazza.

Fiery locals are pleased with their bandit heritage. Villagers used to shelter wished outlaws and nonetheless rejoice them as heroes. A “bloody” vacationer guided path leads guests to key locations of rebellion with sculptures of traditionally vital individuals who misplaced their lives.

One other Biccari hero is native Ralph de Palma, a well-liked Italian-American race-car driver who received the 1915 Indianapolis 500 after migrating to the States. A museum on the town is devoted to him.

Cheese and sausages

American racing driver Ralph De Palma was born in Biccari.

American racing driver Ralph De Palma was born in Biccari.

Basic Photographic Company/Getty Photos

The area is thought for its waistline-stretching meals. On the annual pizze e furne aperte truthful, vacationers are handled to a particular sort of flat white pizza made in open ovens utilizing an historic method. Chili powder is sprinkled on prime.

It is a cheese heaven. “U’ Mascjuottele” is a premium laborious cheese made with native goat’s milk. It may be eaten recent or dry and grated over dishes. Goats in Biccari are often called “the cows of the poor” and have all the time been the principle supply of proteins.

The additional virgin olive is one in every of Puglia’s most savory and the primary bushes are believed to have been introduced by historic Greek colonizers.

Sausages made with wild child black piglet, which has a tastier meat, are one other prime delicacy. Households dangle salami and sausages from ceiling hooks. And there are various pasta plates with premium native truffles and wild mountain flowers and herbs.

And in case you are worrying it could be too quiet, folklore dance festivals are repeatedly held within the outdated district with conventional singing deep into the evening.

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