Castropignano: the 1 Italian village selling houses

(CNN) – Practically you wait a bit for the house given to you and then the three come together.

Yes, the € 1 houses in Italy are back – and this time, there is a collection of houses in the southern region of Molise.

Castropignano – a village topped by a devastating medieval castle 1 miles0 miles southeast of Rome – is a thriving community offering its abandoned houses for new festivals.

However, unlike most plans that auction off the dilapidated building for € 1 or $ 1.20, Castropigna is doing something different.

There are about 100 abandoned buildings here, but instead of selling them to the highest bidder, Mayor Nicola Scapilti wants interesting parties to match the building right for them.

“The plan here works a little differently,” he says.

“I am moving forward with two parallel paths, reaching out to both potential buyers and older owners at the same time, step by step to meet demand.

“I don’t want any property in my city to be destroyed or turned into the latest housing speculation deal.”

A corresponding operation

Castropigna sells homes for 1 euro

The village sits on the foothills of Apenna

Bruno Sardella

In fact, Scapilty wants interested parties to email them directly.

“I welcome anyone who wants to buy a new house to email directly (Nicola.scapity).[AT] with a detailed plan of how they intend to restore and what they want to do with the property – make it a home, B&B, store or craft shop.

“They should also make a list of any requirements they have, such as access for people in wheelchairs. The village is small and cars cannot navigate the narrow alleys and steps.”

The more specific the request is, the easier it will be to find the right residence and contact with the current owner.

“This is a targeted, tailored operation,” he adds. “People need to know they’re signing up for it.”

So what’s the catch? Of course, there are conditions. Buyers must renovate the property within three years of purchase and cough up a down payment guarantee of 2,000 2,000 (2,378), which will be refunded upon completion of the work.

Making the village safe

Castropigna is selling homes for 1 euro

Owners have been asked to renovate their abandoned homes, or the council will take them

Nicola Scapilti

The project began in October, when officials told owners of abandoned properties that if they did not renovate themselves, the city would take ownership of them for safety reasons.

Yet, many owners have already agreed to hand over their properties, eager to let the money be spent to demolish the houses.

Scapilty is confident that at least 50 will join. If they do not, the town council will vacate the homes of those who do not respond and put them on the market.

Meanwhile, dozens of interested people from Europe had already approached him, asking to buy houses. And he hopes that, with their help, the village will not only regain its Joey Day Weaver, but become safe.

“I am saddened by the beauty of our ancient historical center, surrounded by crumbling houses,” says Meyer.

“It’s tragic and dangerous. These buildings are a threat without renovations. They could fall at any moment – it’s also a matter of making the village safe.”

Scapilti – whose family has migrated to work in the most aristocratic north of Italy – experienced its origins stretch into adulthood. He returned to the mission of preserving the architecture of the village, in the hope that he might continue his traditions.

“I want to stop the decline of its belt, keep the flame of the village alive. I walk with passion and love for my homeland,” he says.

And even though Castropigna isn’t exactly a lively place – it just has a restaurant, a bar, a pharmacy and a few B&Bs – he thinks it’s sleepy.

“Here we find nothing but peace, silence, ancient nature, oxygen-rich air, excellent views and the ideal to detox from daily stress. It’s not buzzing with life, I must say, but it’s peaceful and easy,” he adds. .

Today, there are barely 900 inhabitants, down from 2,500 in the 1930s. After World War II, families migrated in search of a better future; Then, in the 1960’s, young people began moving to the big cities to study and find work.

Today, 60% of residents are over 70 years old.

A starry past

Castropigna is selling homes for 1 euro

‘Dodda’ or annual dowry festival

Nicola Scapilti

But Scapilti has chosen to regain the glory of days gone by when Castropigna had a prosperous feudal center, surrounded by artisans, merchants and tourists passing through Italy, protected by a powerful duke. In fact, the village was once famous for its artisan shoemakers and cobblers.

Situated on a rocky hill in the Central Apennine Mountains of Italy, Castropigno is built on an ancient settlement of the Samanids, an ancient Italic people who used it as a defensive stand against the Romans – who eventually defeated them.

The Samanis built garrisons and settlements in the surrounding countryside. In the valley below the village, along with the ruined ancient Roman villas, is a huge stone monument built by the Samanis. Half an hour further inland is the magnificent ruins of Sappinum, a city founded by the Samanids and then taken over by the Romans, whose city walls, theaters and temples still exist.

This is the largest part of the Molise, an area of ​​Italy that is largely unknown to tourists, between Abruzzo and Puglia on the east coast of Lazio and on the south Adriatic coast.

The lack of visitors has helped maintain its rural honesty, making Molise one of Italy’s best secrets.

Castropignano’s abandoned houses are located in the historical center, which had no roof over the medieval castle – it was bombed during the war and many of its stones were used to build the houses that are now sold.

A winding road, cobble streets, gargoyle-covered arches and passageways connect the fort to the upper residential levels of the village.

The other group of homes for sale is in RockesPromante’s Cliftoft clothing, set on a bluff two miles away. Nearby is the Santoria della Madonna del Paceo, a ruined forest church that will now open its roof and oak trees like walls for elements with the sky.

Nuts and bolts

Castropigna sells homes for 1 euro

One resident says the stones are ‘alive’ here

Bruno Sardella

So what’s in it for Grabs? Scapilty says most of the buildings for sale are the right size, yet they have unhinged doors, bark paint and are partially covered in vegetation.

He estimates that full renovations will start at around 30 30,000-40,000 (,000 35,000-48,000). Italian taxpayers receive tax credits for eco-friendly and anti-seismic work.

But there are many possibilities. Architecture is a place of styles – richly decorated portals at the entrances of simple huts. And many homes have panoramic views of the Translucent Biferno River, which runs through the valley.

Cecilia Vempa, a pensioner from Rome, who fell in love with Castropigna during her university years, adjusted to a few residences here. He says the stones are alive.

“It’s a poem woven in the way they’ve been chiseled by artistry and hard work. These stones tell a story, I’ve fallen in love with them. They evoke emotions.”

Vampa says he welcomes the tight-knit simple community and locals. In Castropignano, she says, she has found “the lost rural peace of adolescence.”

Ghosts and parades

Castropigna sells homes for 1 euro

Moles is one of the most untouched areas in Italy

Bruno Sardella

Even today, the village is back in the past. In the past, families slept on the upper floors while the kitchen and living areas were on the second floor. Domestic animals such as hens and donkeys – the only means of transportation – were kept on the floor below.

Ancient shepherd’s trail for moving livestock between their summer and winter pastures – it is still used today to graze sheep and cows, as well as to travel on bikes, walk and ride horses.

And every summer, the villagers celebrate the “Dodda” – the re-enactment of the custom of offering dowry to the husband to marry young women. Women dressed in traditional white robes, linen baskets made by their grandmothers, blankets and other knots to tie the knot parade in the streets. It is a symbolic gesture that is believed to bring good luck.

There are also spooky tales of sorcery forests full of dwarves and fairies that sing a sad song at midnight.

Gastro treats and beach retreats

The Tremiti Islands are within reach of the village

The Tremiti Islands are within reach of the village

Init photo archive

Today, it’s the food that will persuade people on the fence to go to Castropigna. Local specialties include juicy greasy sauerkraut sopressata sausage, cold cut and cotena (pork rind) – fresh air is considered the edge thanks.

Cav Vetli is a screw-shaped pasta served with pork ragu sauce, while Mabenixia is a special soup cooked with corn “pizza” (a piece of stale bread). The typical cheese in this area is the oo zi kav ciocavallo, which is tied with a knot and hung from a rope, giving it a distinctive shape of tears.

Premium black and white truffles are found in the surrounding countryside, while local vineyards make Molise’s most famous red wine, Tintilia.

Got a sweet tooth? Prepare a feast on savory jam, wrap the Christmas cake in candied fruits and almond and honey biscuits.

Day trips are possible for both Rome and Naples, as Castropigna is located between the two. It has access to the famous coastline of the Adriatic coast as well as the snow-capped mountains of the ski resort Campitello Maltese. An attractive destination for Italian tourists – ferry boats to the unpolished Tremity Islands – an hour’s drive from Thermoli.