If you've ever dreamt of living in a castle in Italy, now's your chance.
It’s not everyday that a tourist hotspot starts giving out prime real estate—in fact, it’s hard to even come by castles you can enter for free while visiting the countries lucky enough to have them. That’s why it’s especially awesome and surprising that the beautiful country of Italy is offering 103 free castles to whomever submits an application and is accepted.
The buildings range from old schoolhouses, defense towers, monasteries, farmhouses, and full-fledged castles that are all in varying conditions and areas, some of them very remote. There is, of course, one catch.
The catch is that anyone who accepts the castle must also agree to restore the building and offer it, even just a part of it, to tourists for visits and educational opportunities. With your application, you must submit your plan for restoring the building, which will be a key factor in whether the government accepts your application.
“The project will promote and support the development of the slow tourism sector,” Roberto Reggi from the State Property Agency told The Local. “The goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists, and cyclists.”
Aside from the obvious benefits of attracting more tourists worldwide, the country is also looking to dramatically decrease the amount of tourists visiting their most frequented areas, like Venice and Rome. Venice has already taken measures to reduce tourism numbers in an effort to keep the canal city pleasant for all who live and visit, but more needs to be done to make significant changes throughout the nation. By restoring these properties, more tourists will be drawn to these areas and the popular cities will be less congested, leading to better experiences for all involved.
Applications are being accepted until June 26, at which point the government will consider all options and offer 9-year leases to those accepted, who can then renew for another 9 years after their lease is up. For those whose plans for buildings are really amazing, they will off a 50-year lease. If you’d like to submit an application (or just see what everyone is talking about) you can visit the website here.