Foreign property buyers have been buying homes in Italy for more than 30 years, they started from Tuscany buying farmhouses and old stone houses that had been left falling apart by farmers who had fled the countryside to move to big cities to find a better job and a better life. They restored those homes and now are worth millions. Now a days foreign property investors are buying their homes through out Italy and a reasonable question might assert: "Is there any good bargain left? Is there still any property to be completely restored waiting for a motivated buyer who will bring it back to life? "
Well the great news is "Yes!"
Not only this type of property can still be found in popular regions such as Le Marche, Umbria, Abruzzo and through the rest of Italy, but Italy is a plethora of whole villages and towns waiting to be discovered by motivated buyers who want to invest in property in Italy: these are the ghost towns of Italy.
In most of the cases the ghost towns have become as such because of earthquakes, plagues or other reasons, and the refugees simply moved not far away to rebuild their homes and their lives leaving their old homes and old town abandoned. So the image that a ghost town usually offers to its beholders is of a stunning, medieval, plenty of charm and history, empty town close to a much more modern, with all comforts, living town.
There are already good examples of ghost towns brought back to life or in the process of being brought to life. One of the most famous is Salemi, in Sicily. The well known Italian politician and art critic Vittorio Sgarbi, elected mayor of Salemi, announced that the homes in the town, damaged by an earthquake in 1968, were offered at the symbolic price of EUR1. The deal is that the property buyers are bounded to restore the property according to the original features and to hire local restoration companies to the restore their homes
Another town that has been brilliantly brought back to life is Calitri, in Campania. Calitri stayed abandoned for several decades until a new restoration project has lead to the fascinating town that now a days offers a home to many foreign buyers and visitors from all over the world.
The number of ghost towns in Italy is estimated to be around 400 abandoned villas spread through Italy. Although still quite often the ghost towns are considered more as a problem rather than as an opportunity by local administrations, things seem to be changing. Probably because of the good example given by Calitri and the popularity that Salemi has earned through the world plus the ever more popular new holiday concept of "Alberghi diffusi", a new way to consider accommodation not anymore as vertical hotels but as horizontal hotels, spread around the village, where the reception can be the former City Hall and the rooms are within the houses of the locals, ever more administrations of ghost towns are starting to consider to invest in restoration projects for the abandoned hamlets.
I personally hope that all the Italian authorities will be considering the restoration of these towns as they belong to the roots of the Italian culture and, but but not least, there's plenty of business opportunities there. That's why the contribution of foreign property investors is vital to give to these jewels a new life.