Italian town of Biccari in Puglia sells ready-to-occupy homes at bargain prices

(CNN) — Should you’ve been tempted to select up one of the dilapidated homes provided on the market in Italy for little greater than $1 however had second ideas in regards to the trouble of renovating it, one town has a suggestion that may simply tempt you.
Biccari, deep in the southeastern area of Puglia, can also be promoting off dilapidated homes priced at €1, however in contrast to different destinations, it additionally has bargain offers on ready-to-occupy locations.

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

The sale is an element of Mayor Gianfilippo Mignogna’s mission to avoid wasting his ailing hometown from the grave after years of folks 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 in the Nineteen Fifties.

“We’re barely 2,000 residents,” he tells CNN. “Depopulation is an open wound, a gentle phenomenon. Locals preserve leaving and whereas most used to come back again through the summer season to go to, now they now not accomplish that. Many liveable homes are empty and are falling into oblivion.”

He says he now desires to get well the buildings they left behind.

Cute homes

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

Courtesy Comune Biccari

“Sooner or later I used to be wandering by the outdated middle, and it struck me how so many cute little homes in an ideal form had been shut for years, tucked away in silent alleys, with indicators ‘for hire or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

“I believed the easiest way was to contain these no-longer homeowners to promote them proper off.”

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

Photographs and maps of the properties will quickly be put on-line on the town hall website however individuals are invited to contact Mignogna (

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

Those that accept a dilapidated €1 dwelling should stump up a assure sum of €3,000 to be returned as soon as the works are accomplished, presumably inside three years. However in contrast to different Italian cities which have launched related schemes, the completion deadline can be prolonged if work is properly underway and there is a good motive the work is not executed.

The ‘roof’ of Puglia

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Biccari is situated 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 about at 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 realm is called “the roof of Puglia.”

Biccari’s identify 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 in the Center Ages. Not a lot is left of its outdated fortified partitions however one single tower that also stands at the village entrance and hosts artwork reveals 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 geared up picnic areas. It is a wild patch of Puglia roamed by wolves, foxes and wild boars.

“We’re a nook of paradise, preferrred for slow- ourism,” says Mignogna. “The recent mountain air and pure environment supply 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 picket doorways, damaged window panes and peeling wall paint are juxtaposed with picture-perfect homes with ornate stone arches, little courtyards and painted home windows with flower pots.

The €1 and dearer homes on sale are all situated in the traditional 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 homes of emigrant households, properly saved however now not utilized by their descendants.

New homeowners may need to make minimal modifications 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 worth might be decrease than the associated fee of renovating a extra dilapidated constructing.

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

“I’ll expropriate the properties of outdated homeowners 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 town’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 climbing trails and picnicking spots.

Courtesy Comune Biccari

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

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

Biccari has a darkish previous, some of which is portrayed in unusual photographs that enhance the village’s partitions. Portals of outdated homes bear indicators of battles and assaults by outlaws and secessionists combating towards the “tyrannical” Italian state again in the 1800s. Murders and hangings are mentioned to have taken place in the general public piazza.

Fiery locals are proud of their bandit heritage. Villagers used to shelter wished outlaws and nonetheless have fun them as heroes. A “bloody” vacationer guided path leads guests to key locations of rebellion with sculptures of traditionally important 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 in 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.

Common Photographic Company/Getty Photographs

The area is understood 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 historical approach. Chili powder is sprinkled on prime.

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

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

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

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