Italy: How To Buy A House In Italy For 1 Euro

Last Updated: 22 February 2018
Article by Giambrone Law ILP

Most Read Contributor in Italy, September 2018

If you happen to have any friends or relatives living in Paris, London, Milan etc., you could have heard of living solutions known as chambre de bonne, studios, monolocali, which is to say tiny apartments from 9 square metres where you basically sleep, have breakfast and work in the same room. These kinds of accommodation are very common in big cities and especially in their city centres.

The phenomenon that brought millions of citizens to live in small rooms, often stacked like bees in a hive, is known as depopulation: "a situation in which many people leave a place to live somewhere else".

The obvious consequence of these migrations is an increasing number of semi-desert areas and of regions with worryingly low birth rate. The reasons are difficult to enumerate in an exhaustive way, but it is certain that bigger cities attract citizens from all peripheral regions looking for better opportunities, higher salaries, more services and so on. In 1950, an European citizen out of two was living in the city, now we have three out of four, and it is estimated that we will reach a 80% after 2030. Unfortunately, according to a survey carried out by the Eurostat, people living in big cities (especially in Paris and Rome) are the unhappiest, because of stress, smog, traffic, high costs of living and social inequality.

However, there is also a phenomenon trying to buck the trend: amenity migration, or migration to pleasant and quiet areas. A small part of the population is leaving the city and moving to semi-desert villages, surrounded by nature and silence.

In order to promote a homogeneous repopulation of the territory, the European Union and Italy have developed several project to re-bring population in rural areas: one of these projects is a business support project called Philoxenia, which offered businessmen a combination of grants and subventions to create start-ups in rural areas of Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Slovenia and Malta.   

Another project involves selling houses for only 1 euro to save rural areas from becoming real ghost towns.

In Sardinia, there are two villages participating in the project. The first is Ollolai, in the Barbagia area, where the first house for one euro was sold last winter. The houses are sold through a Municipality open notice and are freely given to the Municipality by the old tenants, in order to allow new tenants, be them Italian, foreigners or companies, to go to Ollolai and revive the centre, be it Italian, foreigners or companies.

Similar projects have been financed in Abruzzo, Puglia and Sicily: the village of Salemi has been the first in Italy and has been followed by Gangi, in Sicily too, where a hundred houses were offered for sale.

Many tourists got interested in the project as the idea of buying a house in the Belpaese for only  1 euro is tempting to many (notwithstanding the restructuring costs, which by the way are between the 20thousand and 50 thousand maximum).

In order to benefit from this opportunity, it is sufficient to respect the following general rules, which can be applied in all regions of Italy:

  1. Provide a restructuring and valorisation project to begin no later than 365 days after the purchase;
  2. Participate in the public notice for sale;
  3. Pay the municipality the symbolic euro;
  4. Terminate a surety policy of 5thousand euro for three years with the Municipality involved; the policy will be reimbursed at its expiration;
  5. Undergo the expenses for notary fees, e.g. registration in the property registers and transfer;
  6. Undertake to start restructuring works within 2 months after obtaining the required permits.

Lastly, there can be additional rules required by specific Municipalities participating in the project; for these ones, the specific public notices should be consulted.


The only point that could give rise to doubts is the charge for the restructuring works, which could discourage the less fortunate investors; anyway, benefits for building renovation have been extended to 31 December 2016, thanks to Stability Law 2016, and this can alleviate such burden (that never goes beyond 50 thousand euro).


They consist in tax deductions for a percentage of:

  1. 65% of costs incurred, from 4 August 2013 to 31 December 2016, for anti-seismic measures on buildings for residential use or production activities in seismic areas highly at risk;
  2. 36% of income tax (Irpef)  for building and energy renovation and 50% for the costs incurred between 26 June 2012 and 31 December 2016;
  3. 50% on a maximum expenditure of 10 thousand euro, incurred between 6 June 2013 and 31 December 2016, for the purchase of furniture and household appliance with energy class not lower than A+.


Benefits for the purchase of a first home can be added if the following conditions are respected:

  1. Not owing other property suitable for residential use in the same Municipality, (not even in communion with the spouse);
  2. Not being entitled to usufruct, use or residence rights on any other property in the same Municipality;
  3. Not owing other property, on the national territory, for which such benefits have already been received;
  4. Residing in the Municipality of reference at the moment of purchase of property;
  5. The property must not be classified as "luxury" pursuant to cadastral labels (so A1, A8 and A9 categories are excluded).

To sum up, 2016 is the right year for investing a coffee for a corner of paradise in Sardinia, for new couples, tourists, businessmen or exhausted inhabitants of big cities.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions