Entire medieval village in Italy on sale for just €550,000
It sounds almost too good to be true: an entire medieval village in Italy on sale for the price of a semi-d in Dublin.
But for anyone tired of Irish property prices, €550,000 will buy the village of Valle Piola, in the heart of the Apennine Mountains.
The village consists of 11 crumbling stone buildings, including a half-ruined 13th Century church and two shepherds' houses, with a dirt track providing its only link with the outside world.
It lies in the middle of the Gran Sasso national park, in the central Abruzzo region, an area that has been severely depopulated by a decline in sheep farming.
Potential buyers should be prepared to be buffeted by snow and gales in winter, but the village is baked by the sun during long, hot Italian summers.
The settlement was first mentioned in records in 1059 and some of the houses have distinctively-shaped wooden balconies, believed to have been influenced by Lombard invaders from Italy's north.
The local council and an elderly man who owns some of the buildings have put Valle Piola on the market for €550,000 because there are no public funds to protect it from vandals, let alone restore the village.
"It's been deserted for about 30 years," according to Daniele Palumbi, the mayor of the nearby town of Torricella Sicura.
"It's a beautiful spot, a real jewel, and the buildings are all made of local stone.
"We're not giving an estimate of how much it would cost to make the houses habitable -- it will be up to the buyer to come up with a plan." (© Daily Telegraph, London)