Town offering $1.20 the homes of draw in brand-new locals

By Silvia Marchetti, CNN

(CNN)– Ever imagined owning a house in a pretty Italian village? The news you’ve been waiting on has lastly arrived.

You can now buy one for simply over a dollar.

Ollolai, a location in the mountain region of Barbagia on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, is selling numerous deserted homes for simply EUR1 ($1.2).

It’s not the first Italian town to try the trick, but it seems to be the very first to measure up to the guarantee. It’s also got the appeal and history had to draw people in.

The real estate bonanza features a catch, however. The 200 stone-built homes up for grabs are in poor condition and buyers need to commit to a repair within 3 years– which will likely cost about $25,000.

Behind the sell-off is a plan to rejuvenate a community at threat of ending up being a ghost town. In the previous half century, Ollolai’s population has actually avoided 2,250 to 1,300, with only a handful of babies born each year.

“We boast prehistoric origins,” states Efisio Arbau, Ollolai’s mayor. “My crusade is to save our special traditions from falling into oblivion.

“Pride in our past is our strength. We’ve constantly been tough individuals and won’t allow our town to die.”

Disappearing town

Formerly Barbagia’s capital, Ollolai remains the most unblemished and authentic spot of Sardinia.

As soon as buzzing, its labyrinth of streets and mural-covered piazzas are now silent, as more youthful locals have been lured away to bigger cities.

Abandoned by the families who when inhabited them, lots of stone homes have been depending on mess up, covered in cobwebs, for years.

Some traditional lifestyles endure. Local shepherds continue to make the charming premium sheep cheese, Casu Fiore Sardo, that the area is understood for, while artisans still weave fine baskets.

Arbau likens the town’s battles to its olden day fights, from an era when surrounding caves were used by separatists and outlaws to stow their abduct victims.

“We as soon as had a fiery king, Dux Ospitone, who joined all heathen tribes in a league,” he includes. “Our pagan ancestors never succumbed to the ancient Roman conquerors, who dubbed us ‘barbarians.’

“These hills are Italy’s ‘Highlands’ and we are sons of ‘Bravehearts.'”

Regeneration process

Now Ollolai, which takes its name from an ancient fight cry of “alalé,” is fighting back once again.

In a bid to revive the town, Arbau contacted former homeowner– shepherds, farmers and craftsmen– asking them to sign the homes over to town authorities.

“They’re attractive old buildings made with Sardinia’s normal gray granite rock that grows on mountain peaks and coasts,” says Arbau.

“We need to bring our grannies’ houses back from the grave.”

He authorized an unique decree and put the residential or commercial properties on the marketplace, at deal rates, in 2017.

Despite their bad conditions, three houses have actually already been sold and Arbau states he’s received more than 100 purchase requests from across the world, including Russia and Australia.

The mayor hopes the repair of the homes will assist produce brand-new tasks and revive the regional economy.Frozen in time Vito Casula, a retired

builder, was the very first to get a two-story house for less than the expense of a coffee.

He changed his new house utilizing eco-friendly products, but kept the original decor, recycling old furnishings.

“We live close-by and often checked out Ollolai. Then one day my other half saw the advertisement in the paper. It was a chance,” states Casula. “This quiet town is frozen in time. It provides a peaceful, healthy life.”

He recommends the village to anyone who “is ill with too much stress and requires a break.”

“The fresh air, absolutely no smog and excellent views have a recovery power. My bones and back do not injure anymore,” he adds.

Casula states Ollolai’s relaxing vibe, tasty cuisine and friendly locals are amongst its leading selling points.

“Homeowners are so open and friendly they make you feel at home. They never permit me to pay for anything at the bar and constantly welcome us over for lunch and dinner,” he adds.

Homemade specializeds include su pane vratau, made of layers of flat crispy carasau bread soaked in water, tomato sauce, poached eggs and grated Fiore sheep cheese.

There’s also su pistiddu, an autumn cake made of coffee, nuts, almonds, semolina, hazelnuts, raisins and sapa grape syrup.

Local delicacy porceddu (roasted child piglet), is cooked on a bonfire, skewered on substantial vertical spits and put on burning charcoals.

In fall, cortes apertas (open yards) sees stables and ancient granite-and-turf taverns open up to the general public, providing crazily great wine, ham, cheese and a few other specials.

Other town events include a carnival where participants wear costumes consisting of goat-style masks with horns, fur and dangling bells or white embroidered face veils that signify the union of death and life.

Newbies can likewise check out folklore events and archaic routines such as the “s’istrumpa,” a tussle where gamers should toss their challenger to the ground to win the town’s respect.

Steeped in superstitious notion, Ollolai is a location where ladies make amulets to ward off misfortune and residents’ vehicles bring composed prayers to keep wicked at bay.Sardinia’s’primitive heart’

The town routinely attracts tourists trying to find a quiet, bright retreat,

The 1,200-meter-high peak Nodu de S’Aschisorgu (the Treasure Rock) boasts a spectacular 360-degree view of the island, while Ollolai’s surrounding lakes, rivers, secured parks, oak and beech tree forests are dotted with cone-shaped primitive settlements called nuraghi.

And while it might be a long method far from Sardinia’s high-end beaches, Ollolai is still near to shimmering beautiful seas.

A one-hour car drive takes you to the awesome cliffs of Cala Gonone, with stunning sea grottoes perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Arbau is likewise presenting activities like cheese, pasta and basket making courses, together with dialect lessons to keep newbies hectic.

“Our language is difficult to understand, even for Sardinians, however we understand foreigners like to socialize. This is also a social experiment,” he says.

Just time will tell if the mayor’s gamble has settled, but residents are thrilled and interest in the town is growing.

In reality, a reality show focused around a group of Dutch households as they set up in Ollolai and bring back some of your homes is expected to release in May.

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