April 20, 2011
An ancient village in Italy’s Abruzzo region is up for sale at a price of about $775,000 (and that’s in Canadian dollars).
The village, named Valle Piola, first shows up in records in the year 1059 and now consists of 11 crumbling stone buildings, one of which is a church that dates back to the 13th century.
Valle Piola lies in the middle of the Gran Sasso national park and is surrounded by the Apennine mountains.
The village, which is currently co-owned by a local council and an elderly man, has been deserted for about 30 years, according to reports. The entire region has been depopulated as sheep farming, one an economic engine, has largely ceased to be a viable industry.
The London-based Telegraph quoted Daniele Palumbi, who is the mayor of the nearby town of Torricella Sicura:
“It’s a beautiful spot, a real jewel, and the buildings are all made of local stone. We’re not giving an estimate of how much it would cost to make the houses habitable – it will be up to the buyer to come up with a plan. There’s been a lot of interest from potential buyers in Italy, though nothing from abroad so far because it has not been widely publicised.It could be turned into private homes or some sort of tourist development.”
Lying at an altitude of more than 3,000 feet, the village is buffeted by snowstorms in the winter and then baked by long, hot summers – so, in other words, Canadians would be right at home.