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by Grace Wilson University of Arkansas in Fayetteville Majoring in International and Global Studies with a minor in Legal Studies. Currently (2021) attending the university’s Rome Center. Intern at Family Law Italy- Rome: a boutique law firm shortlisted by the US and UK Embassy in Rome

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Italy has started a project to try and repopulate small towns and villages. After the many migrations out of Italy and the decrease in child births, a lot of properties have been left abandoned for many years. These properties are often very historic and dilapidated. “The idea is, having these homes improved and occupied in the next few years is worth more to the towns than selling them off at full price.[1]” You can now buy these properties for just one euro but be careful, this might not be the bargain you think it is. There is a major catch to buying the homes or land. You have to have it renovated within three years of purchase, which can be very costly. This project has mainly lured in foreigners who are eager to snatch up these homes, however many Italians are able to see this for the hassle it is. “The potential hassle of having to renovate a dilapidated property within a limited timeframe … dealing with excessive red tape and paperwork, and then having to look after another house in Italy aside from their main home can be discouraging.[2]

There are many rules in Italy about how you can build and renovate homes. These rules are usually regulated by the Fine Art Division of the Italian Ministry. Having to abide by these rules and regulations can be very costly. It is not always possible to know the exact amount that the renovations will cost before you purchase the home. Your one-euro home may need tens of thousands of euros put into it. And again, this all has to be done by the agreed upon time frame. Buying these homes are not as simple as they appear and if you are not careful you can be trapped into the agreement and having to spend thousands.

I do not want to frighten anyone away from purchasing a euro home in Italy. It can be a very interesting and rewarding experience but it is important to know what you will be getting into. If you understand the rules and have the time and money that will be necessary, you will be able to say you own a home in Italy, a home that may very well be dripping in history.

[1] Thackray, Lucy. “How Can I Buy a €1 House in Italy?” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 29 Sept. 2021,

[2] Marchetti, Silvia. “Opinion: Why Italians Aren’t Snatching up Their Country’s One-Euro Homes.” The Local Italy, 5 Sept. 2021,

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