Have you heard about the 1 euro houses in Italy?

Well, it’s true.

Italy is giving away houses.

You can buy a house in Italy right now for 1 euro.


I’m going to tell you how to score one.

Why is Italy giving away houses for 1 euro?

You’ve probably seen the headlines about the hundreds of homes being flogged for pennies in Italy recently. They were even unloading castles last year for practically nothing!

Sounds too good to be true, right? Some fake news making the rounds?

Whether it’s too good to be true is something I’ll get into in a minute, but fake? Nope. This is a hundred percent actually happening.

So the big question is: WHY?

Houses in Italy for $1

The main reason is Italy’s rapidly shrinking native population. Italians used to have more kids, but now they have the lowest birthrate in Europe. That means people are inheriting “extra” houses from Auntie Gina and Grandpa Roberto that once would have gone to siblings or cousins. Or the elderly are finding themselves with no one to leave their houses to. Their kids don’t want them — they’ve already moved to bigger cities with better opportunities.

Owning houses means paying taxes, and so liquidating surplus homes can be a huge financial load off. Often these “extra” houses are donated to city hall, and many municipalities have had to get creative about what to do with them.

Mayors already scrambling to backfill their dwindling populations have come up with an innovative way of killing two birds with one stone — sell the houses for super cheap to anyone who is willing to commit to restoring them, with the long term goal of bringing life and tourism back to these areas.

The trend started a decade ago when the mayor of Salemi, a small town in Sicily, came up with the idea of selling homes that had lain in ruin since a 1968 earthquake to anyone who would agree to renovate them for just one euro. For reasons ranging from the buildings not being earthquake-safe to the homes being repossessed because of mafia infiltration, the Salemi project was ultimately a failure. But it inspired other communities to create similar initiatives that have been quite successful — nearby Gangi received 1000 applications and had sold 100 houses by 2016.

Of course the international media — including CNN and Travel + Leisure — has been all over this news. After all, owning a vacation property in Italy would be a dream come true for a lot of us!

So how does it all work?

How can I buy a house in Italy for 1 euro?

You’ll need to fill out an application to buy a house in Italy. Applications can be found on individual municipalities’ websites.

A list of the towns currently participating in this initiative can be found here. The applications and all of the info are, of course, in Italian, but you can do some preliminary browsing by googling some of the areas taking part, like Patrica near Rome, Lecce di Marsi in the Abruzzo region, and the Tuscan towns of Fabbriche di Vergemoli and Montieri.

The latest Italian town to give away houses is called Ollolai on the amazing island of Sardinia — it’s about an hour away from this stunning beach I visited last summer. Also in the last few days, the town of Sambuca in Sicily announced it’s deal and the mayor has been shocked by the response, his offer has gone viral and they’ve been inundated with requests.

The recent success that towns like Ollolai have had (120 requests by late 2017 from all over the world) have spurred other villages around the boot to start their own 1-euro projects, so it’s worth checking the Case a 1 Euro website often to read up on the ultime notizie (latest news).

So what’s the catch?

When I received the third text in a row from a client asking for advice on how to get in on the deal, I knew I needed to outline some realistic expectations for anyone actually thinking of doing this.

We’re a team of Italy experts who either own property in Italy or live and work there full time, so we’re not only able to read the Italian fine print, but we’ve experienced Italian bureaucracy, permissions and wait times first hand.

While it wouldn’t be entirely accurate to say this offer is too good to be true (it is a pretty sweet incentive!), to suggest that all it will take is some reno money and it’ll all be easy peasy is just not true either.

It’s a bit like buying a horse. The actual animal might be relatively cheap. It’s the vet, hay and barn that can do a number on your finances!

(Not that that deterred me from begging my mother for a horse for six straight years, but that’s another story.)

These are the hard facts many news outlets are leaving out:

You’d better be insanely good at bricklaying, painting and roof installation.

And managing a general contractor in another language.

And have many months to do only that.

And be able to tackle Italian red tape (which is so long and sticky it would make your head spin around a Tuscan hillside).

And have alligator-style thick skin.

When I was telling my husband about this initiative, he immediately pictured some poor foreign souls at the whim of the Italian tradesman, engineers and surveyors he knows. He shook his head and muttered something eloquent like, “Ahhh ha ha e farsi inchiappettare” — the Italian translation of which involves rear ends and getting shafted and… you get the picture.

But… oh, I GET you!

Even knowing about the red-tape torture chamber… a girl’s gotta dream, no?

A pile of stones with an epic view could have so much potential, amiright? 😉

How about we all pitch in 100 bucks and get ‘er done, no?

Seriously though, if you do want to buy a home in Italy, there are other ways to go about it. And you don’t need to wait for news of Italy giving away houses.

Plus, you can still travel to Italy every year and stay for a few months as a tourist. Just rent an apartment long-term and ditch all of the headaches associated with owning the home.

If you REALLY want to own a home in Italy and can see yourself making that lifestyle choice, you can see what’s available on immobiliare.it.

Or better yet, spend some time road tripping around the country, keeping your eyes open for places for sale in the cute spots you visit. Listings are everywhere, peeking out from behind those iconic Italian green shutters.

P.S. Just in case you think we can help you turn this Italian dream into a reality, pronto…

Know that we’re just a travel company, not real estate agents.

AKA we’re just doing our part to spread the word (because it’s so awesome!) but we are in no way your go-to people to help you purchase an Italian home on this crazy discount. We’ll leave that in the hands of the pros.

Leave a comment! Have you ever thought about buying foreign real-estate? If you could buy anywhere, where would you buy?



Thanks for checking out our blog!

Are you interested in travelling to Italy with us?

Check out our Day Tours HERE!

We’d love to see you in Italy!


142 Responses

  1. Hi Bianca, great blog, I really enjoy reading your newsletter, Can you tell me what I need to do to open a bank account in Italy, I will be in Florence early July and want to find out all I need to know to open a bank account whilst I am there, best wishes Tracey

    1. I would be interested in renting a long term place in the Dolomites during ski season. Any recommendations? I’ve made two trips to Val di Sole and had a great time. Also, I have distant relatives in Abruzzo, near Chieti, and on a recent visit discovered this is a relatively ignored area of Italy. My wife and I loved the area and hope to visit again soon.

      1. Hi John,
        Yes, Abruzzo is a very under-appreciated part of the country! So nice that you have family to visit there 🙂
        As for the Dolomites, check out Vacation Apartments for long-term rentals there. They have a nice selection.
        Happy skiing!

    2. Hi Tracey 🙂
      You can definitely open an Italian bank account as a non-resident, but will have to have a codice fiscale to do so, which is the Italian version of a social insurance number. So you will have to contact your Italian consular office or embassy about that first. Also, different banks have different levels of familiarity with non-resident accounts, and different procedures/requirements for opening accounts, so you would have to contact the ones you’re interested in individually to find out what’s needed.
      Hope that helps!

      1. You don’t actually need a codice fiscael to open a bank account you just need a Bank that has the facility to open an account for Foreigners not living in Italy, not all can do this, so I found. But you do need to have an interview with the bank manager.

      1. This is not our area of expertise to comment, but there are thousands of ex pats living all over Italy.

      2. Good morning sir
        Do you have any name of the bank that I can contact?
        Thank you

    3. You need identification and a codice fiscale (a tax code.) There is a monthly bank account tax of about €6. Unless you’re going to live there, it’s probably better opening a euro bank account in your British bank – Barclays will do that and they have a reasonably large presence in Italy if you want to remit funds there.

  2. Thanks for the info Bianca!
    What website would you recommend to look at to rent a long term apartment?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Leslie,
      For long-term rentals throughout Italy we use the big sites like immobiliare.it, casa.it and idealista.it. In bigger cities like Rome, 1-month to 2-year rentals are also available via sites like AirBnb and Homeaway/VRBO. Another great idea is to join some ex-pat communities on Facebook for referrals and ideas.
      Hope that helps!

  3. Thank you Bianca,
    Very interested in spending 2 weeks- 1 month in Italy either this, or next summer.

    1. Thanks for being here, Tzvetanka!
      Please see our full blog article for all of our best ideas on this topic 🙂

  4. Great information.. very interested in this. How can I talk to you people in private? I need more information and would like to know the process as well

    1. Hello Saee,
      While we don’t have any direct content with realtors and contractors, we are a website that reports on trending news for Italy lovers. We will continue to repost on this story and other stories like this one.
      For more information about current offers you can follow our advice in the post to current websites and towns with listings.

  5. Hi this arif from uk, I want know what are risks involve and which one is better place from all of them

    1. Hi Arif, thanks for being here!
      While we don’t have any direct content with realtors and contractors, we are a website that reports on trending news for Italy lovers. We will continue to repost on this story and other stories like this one:


      If you would, at some point in the future, like to get involved in an Italian land or home purchase, but you’re not an Italian resident, our founder is actively looking at these options and if you’re on our newsletter you’ll be the first to hear

      Click here to add yourself to the mailing list

    1. Hi Khalil,

      While we don’t have any direct content with realtors and contractors, we are a website that reports on trending news for Italy lovers. We will continue to repost on this story and other stories like this one.

      If you’d like to follow our updates, you can join our newsletter for the latest real estate and travel news.

    1. Hi Manhaujul,

      If you would, at some point in the future, like to get involved in an Italian land or home purchase, but you’re not an Italian resident, our founder is actively looking at these options and if you’re on our newsletter you’ll be the first to hear.

      Click here to add yourself to the mailing list

  6. Hi, we are intresting buy House from Italy (1€). Can you send offer to me? Can you Tellervo me what is include prices?

    1. Hi Ari, Thank you for your message!
      While we don’t have any direct content with realtors and contractors, we are a website that reports on trending news for Italy lovers. We will continue to repost on this story and other stories like this one. You can follow the links throughout the page for more information about current offers.


  7. I m from India I want to buy this property plz send me whole process and expenses information about this

    1. Hi Pardeep,
      Thanks for being here. We report on the latest news for travelers and Italophiles about the best of Italy.
      Our company is not involved in the process of giving away houses for a euro, you can find more information in the article.

  8. I am very interested in having a property in Italy, particularly Sicily. Please send me details, if possible. Oceans of love and thanks. Simin

  9. I would love to purchase one of these homes. My husband had his own construction company for 30 years so he knows a few things about construction and home building. What ever the catch I’m going to send this to my husband and we’ll see. Fingers crossed.
    Emily Kliemt

  10. Dear Sir,
    Good Evening, Can you please tell me how can I buy a home by 1 Euro? Or give me the link where I could register.

    1. Hi
      i m ayesha i want to buy a house in Italy plz guide me how can i buy a house here and plz share me the detail nd links about these houses.
      thank u

  11. Hi Miss,
    How r u 🙂 .. can u tell how can I pay 1 euro to buy a property in italy’s this beautiful village .. I mean we have to go italy or can pay online too and if yes then how n whrre).. very long na < lolz..

    1. Ciao Mahmood,
      Our best advice is listed in the post for you. Check out those links to see more information about current listings and offers.

    1. Hi Nidhan, Thanks for your comment.
      We have all the most current information listed here in the post for you.
      We hope you can make your Italian dreams come true!

    1. We have it outlined for you to the best of our knowledge, Shimul. Best of luck to you!

  12. Hi.this is sarfraz from Uganda I am interested buying house in Italy. Plz giude me

    1. Hi Sarfraz, Thank you for being here with us!
      This article contains all of our best current information about special offers from various “commune” or towns around Italy for purchasing houses for cheap.
      Of course there are many stipulations so it’s best to click through the appropriate links in the article to get detailed instructions on how to proceed.
      All the best to you!

  13. I interesting this property I want to buy one euro house how can I buy right now I m in india

  14. Sounds good, but I need more details to how is the process. Whats important is how to choose the house and where.

  15. Hi

    I am interested in availing this offer. how much amount I can expect for a small house renovation ?

    I am a freelancer by profession so moving is not a problem for me.

    1. Hi Jawad,
      Yes it sounds like a great opportunity for remote workers, and in fact many of those taking up the offers are those who are able to work their business from anywhere in the world, like our team here at Italian Fix 🙂
      If you click through the links in the article you can find current offers and more details about the contract stipulations and renovation costs.
      Best, Bianca

    1. Hi Sanam,
      The article contains all our best up to date info, if you’d like to know more we recommend clicking through the links to find current offers.
      Best of luck.

  16. It is fascinating that they are selling homes for $1 in Italy. It would make sense as a way to incentivize people to move there. I would be interested to look at the properties for sale.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Absolutely, these are “dieing towns” looking to be revived by a new and younger population. Lot’s of great opportunities out there, let us know what you find 🙂


  17. Hi Bianca
    Love your sense of humour!!!! Lol
    I’m Australian on an Australian passport
    My father is italian my mother Australian
    Having a difficult time getting an italian passport or dual citizenship
    Doing more enquiries now again!
    There’s that red tape ha ha
    I’m in the UK
    But want to live in italy
    UK will only give me 6 months but Italy 3 out of every 6 months in the schengan zone
    Have a little savings
    Any suggestions per favore
    A girl’s gotta dream right?????
    Kind regards
    Tracy Gregori

  18. This is a great article! I knew if the mayor is involved, this would be some kind of govt scheme to revitalize their communities. The only requirement I don’t possess from your list is the willingness to deal with bureaucracy! I get enough of that in Indonesia. I’ve been in construction for 12 years, 3 of it overseas for the USA, and I can see the cost and overall requirements for what they want, even if done personally, would substantially reduce the incentive. They want you to hire local contractors! I’m sure there isn’t a hardware store in the village to get what you need. Transportation, labor costs, living there while working on the place, visas for foreigners, local bureaucracy, what else? No thanks…it is TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE (unless you are rich, and want a property in the boonies of Italy)

  19. Awesome blog Bianca and thanks so much for being so honest. Of course there is a practical side to this venture BUT I would be in like a robbers dog BUT my hubby’ s head is not so much in fairyland like mine ? All the same I will investigate further. I have been all over Italy and whilst I am half Greek and wish villages would initiate the same challenge I could easily go for Italy as my 2nd choice …. I love Italy. Warmest Wishes Alison Pike from New Zealand

    1. Please wake up
      If you can’t supervise
      Have patients,speak
      Italian, better Sicilian dialect, stay away from such undertaking, you are dreamers, need at
      Half a million euros
      And patience of a saint
      Unless one is 30 years old, sufficient funds and time, walk as far as you
      Can, drink espresso on the way
      Tutti mati

  20. Hi
    Thank you for this great blog post.
    My Grandparents were Italian and it’s been a dream of mine to have a home in Italy preferably where they came from in Tuscany.
    I have very little to invest which of course is why I was drawn to this idea of the towns.
    Not such a great id a I guess.
    Any advice would be gratefully received

  21. Hey,has anyone actually done this if so would they like voluntary help from a carpenter who wants to work abroad for a bit

  22. My husband and I and our 2 grandkids plan on vacationing there the end of July to find work and a home! Were from Elko Nevada.

    1. I am Rasel living in Bangladesh and interested to buy a house in italy. What is the formal procedure to purchase the property there?I have a little buying house. Wife and two sons. With thanks Rasel-(+8801722011756)

  23. Hey Drew, this is such amazing news. Who wouldn’t buy a home when one houses are priced only for 1 Euro. I so wish to buy one for myself. It would be great if you share me the detail step to step guide. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Hi, we are very interested in buy a house to renovate, could you please let me know what we have to do.

  25. look up juris sanguinis .. that the only you you’re ever going to be able to stay beyond 90 days.

  26. Hi

    I am very much interested to buy a house in Italy looks like a dream can come true in lifetime when always dreaming of visiting Italy because of its culture and beautiful scenery.

    I am from beautiful Fiji Island.


  27. Please send me brief information how can I buy house in Italy I m a Canadian citizen can I buy their property please send me offer to sign 1uro price property thanks

  28. I think this could be a possible deal. I would contract with an Italian tradesman from the area and create a partnership with the renovation. Supply the money for material but no labour charges. after completion a 50/50 split or some sort of percentage deal that would be equitable to all involved. All billiings would pass through the banker for payment and confirm that there is no kickback to the renovator. Labour payment is paid to sub contractors after permits are signed off from local building inspectors. Say the rosary faithfully every morning and most likely the rebuild will go somewhat smoothly.

  29. Hi i realy whants to move to Italy and work there with my family can you help with contack people that side thanks

  30. I am from Pakistan and want to migrate to Italy along with my family. I have decided if Italian government support me I shall be very thankful to them.
    I am respectful citizen of Pakistan and want to shift my business & family.

  31. Hello, I have dreamed of changing my life and living in Italy as long as I can remember. Two years ago I finally crossed an item off my bucket list and I spent a week in Rome, what a magnificent city so much history I loved it. I went all by myself, didn’t realize how brave I really was. I had a couple of bad experiences but I did not let that stop me from taking it all in, enjoying the much-needed laid-back feeling, The history, the beautiful streets, The culture and I hated to come home. It’s still my dream to live in Italy, I want to learn the language, live somewhere close enough to walk and catch a bus to take me to town, perhaps a train station. A view would be great and a garden would be a bonus, finding the money would be another issue unless a great deal. A fixer-upper is not out of the question but maybe the answer for me is long term rental, unsure. I found it so interesting that while in Rome I did not see one insect of any kind even out on the streets having lunch or dinner. No screens on any windows, you just had to watch out for those huge seagulls LOL. That truly was the most beautiful city I have ever seen. I have even thought of trying to obtain citizenship, I need to put a call in to The Italian embassy here in Detroit to see if that is possible. I hope there are others out there that are able to fulfill their own dreams. I’m not giving up on mine just yet.


  32. Hello i am very intrested in buying a house in Italy! I would like to discuss this furthermore with someone who knows abit more about this.

  33. hi – yes I would like to buy a property in Italy .am busy getting my Italian pass[port together .how do I go about this .my grandfather comes from atripalda – avellino province .I saw his old house and its in ruins .

  34. I would like to get some information on this I would like to come and see the houses that are available

  35. I’m from South Africa. How would residency work then? Do I apply for a residence permit? Do I apply for citizenship? How does this of it work?

  36. Hi, I’m Anneli from Sweden.
    In Bulgaria its really cheap to buy houses, however just like many properties in Italy, many of them are in a really bad condition, so you must be able to do a lot of fixing and repair of the house yourself as it many times can be hard to find good craftsmen.
    I bought a farm in the Balkan mountains in the Vratsa region two years ago. Its been a lot of work, but its been so worth while. I had some things done by craftsmen, but a lot I’ve been repairing and fixing myself and I also had some “Work awayers” coming and volunteer working for me. I still have a lot of work in front of me and every time I’m learning new skills according to what has to be done. The latest thing I learned was tile cutting and tile fitting and it was so much fun.
    Now I’m thinking of maybe buying something in Italy and that’s why I bumped in to this blog while researching.
    Good luck to all of you who wants to take the step and buy something in a new country, with a positive mind, hard work, determination, but also a realistic point of view you can make it 🙂
    Thanks for interesting reading and the tips in this blog.

  37. I am from India, can i buy a house in Italy? I mean what’s the process?

  38. I am HARI MOHAN GHOSH. I am married and have a kid. I would like to take a house in kamarhata city in Italy. So let me know details please.

  39. Very interesting. But how much money should you invest in home renovation? I understand that repairs are “perpetual motion”, but are there any prices? At least for the essentials? For example, I have 10,000 euros. Will I have enough of them to restore the house by buying it for 1 euro?

  40. I don’t want to buy a house as I could not deal with all the problems and financial burdens however I do want to rent for two months at a time until I can rent 6 months at a time in a few years I have bad knees so I need to rent with no big stairs and then take organised tours all over Italy next year

  41. Hello, I would like to know where to find these houses for sale at 1€ diesn’t matter the region or the state if the house. Thank you

  42. Tempting. I would if the person who told me we could wasn’t the same person who asked me to buy the house here with the same promises never kept. I don’t think I could handle that stress now. Would be nice to get out of the crazy here, though.

  43. I love this article particularly for how honest you have been. Articles that take the rough with the smooth and vice versa seem to be decreasing in number. Whilst the likes of CNN, and other news tabloids have spun this into a fairy tale idea your article goes into the reality of getting into bed with a $1 house. Great writing and honesty, thank you

  44. Well described post. Thanks for sharing this useful information. As always awesome content, I love reading your articles, much appreciated!

  45. I appreciate your article and thanks for sharing valuable content on your website. I bookmarked your website for further article to read.

  46. I am glad that there are people out there who have the determination to do something for others and not just look at what they can get from doing so. It’s an admirable trait and should be celebrated more often than we do.
    Thanks for sharing the news.

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