Rural communities throughout the post-industrial world have suffered a significant transition, whereby villages lose population and properties fall  into disrepair which causes the amenities available to shrink with the diminishing  population making it less and less appealing to live there.  Amenity Migration is a scheme that has successfully revitalised rural areas that have been long been deteriorating and declining in population.  The scheme provides for empty properties in need of renovation to be sold for little more than a cup of coffee or a loaf of bread, €1, on the condition that they are renovated and occupied.  These schemes have been popping up all over Italy; a project in Sicily being the first in the village of Salemi, followed by Gangi, also in Sicily. Abruzzo and Puglia have also introduced Amenity Migration schemes.

Currently there are two villages participating in such a project in Sardinia, one of which is Ollolai in the Barbagia region.  The houses are freely given to the Municipality by the previous occupants  in order to allow new owners , regardless of nationality, to breathe new life into the area are usually sold through a Municipality Open Notice.  There is significant interest in the schemes, attracting interest from tourists in particular. 

In order to benefit from this opportunity there are certain conditions that the purchaser must adhere to, as follows:

  • Be party to the public notice for sale.
  • Pay the symbolic one euro
  • Must embark on the renovations within 365 days of the purchase.
  • Restructuring costs must amount to between €20-50,000.
  • Be party to a surety policy of €5,000 for three years involving the Municipality – the policy will be reimbursed on its expiration.
  • Pay the notary fees in respect of the property registration and transfer.
  • Once the requisite permits are obtained, to start the works within two months.
  • There is a possibility that specific Municipalities may apply additional requirements and responsibilities to participants of the scheme.  Should this be the case such additional clauses will be on public notice.

There are some additional benefits that participants can take of advantage of, the terms of which are available on application. 

There are several schemes running at the present moment throughout Italy and unsuccessful applicants are not barred from applying in other areas.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.