If you ever thought of yourself as a king or queen, now’s your chance to actually live like one. Okay, not really, but this might be as close as it’s going to get for you, especially if your name’s not Meghan Markle. The Italian government is giving away more than 100 castles, towers and monasteries — all for the low, low price of zero dollars. For real.
There’s a catch, of course, but it’s not completely unreasonable. If you find yourself interested in one (or more) of the 103 historic buildings that are available, you need to submit a plan to renovate them and turn them into popular tourist destinations to drive up visitor numbers.
It’s all part of an initiative called the Strategic Tourist Plan. And while some of the villas, inns, castles and towers are located in some of Italy’s more remote areas, the country believes they’re worth saving.
“The project will promote and support the development of the slow tourism sector,” Roberto Reggi from the State Property Agency explained. “The goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists and cyclists.”
It would also help to ease the crowds in the more popular tourist hubs like Venice, Rome and Milan. So if feeling like a sardine isn’t your thing, walking, hiking or biking along some of the lesser-known trails the country has to offer sounds way more appealing.
If you like flipping houses, why wouldn’t you be all over this? It’s an amazing opportunity to not only work your magic, but to do it in Italy. Another 200 buildings will be added to the project over the next two years, but if you’re interested now, you have until June 26 to submit a proposal. All details can be found on the State Property Agency’s website (which you’ll probably need to translate to English). Just think, in a couple years, you could be speaking Italian fluently.