Italy Is Offering up Castles, Villas and Monasteries for Free

The old country unveiled the plan to spur new tourism; however, there's a catch.

The move to give away Italian castles, towers, villas and monasteries is two-fold: create a collection of off-the-beaten-path landmarks to grow travel opportunities, and in turn, alleviate the strain on some of the country’s most overcrowded tourism districts.

According to The Sun, Italy’s State Property Agency and Ministry of Cultural Heritage announced the project as part of an ambitious Strategic Tourist Plan; however, there’s just one catch: those who opt for the program would be responsible for restoring the centuries-old structures and converting them to tourist attractions.

“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.”

Entrepreneurs, co-ops and businesses that are mostly made up of younger people would be of particular interest to the State Property Agency.

“The concept isn’t new for the country. It has already seen success auctioning off historic lighthouses to investors willing to convert them into hotels and other tourist facilities,” The London Free Press reports. 

Eligible applicants will get the rights to the property for nine years, with the option to renew for another nine years, but they must present a clear vision and plan on creating tourist destinations through the transformation of the empty yet historic properties.

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