The Sardinian town of Ollolai is taking a novel approach to conserving its crumbling historic buildings: it’s selling them off for just €1 each.
Ollolai sits in the mountains of Sardinia but despite its picturesque appeal, it’s got a dwindling population of just 1,300 people – and a cache of over 200 dilapidated building. Major Efisio Arbau announced the initiative as a way to bring new residents to the town and preserve its architectural legacy.
‘My crusade is to rescue our unique traditions from falling into oblivion,’ says Arbau. ‘Like many small towns, Ollolai has seen its younger population move to larger cities and a falling birth rate.’
Arbau asked the town’s residents to hand over their dilapidated homes – many of which have been empty for decades – and put them on the market. According to Arbau, three have already sold, with more than 100 buyers interested from as far and wide as Australia and Russia.
New homeowners can scoop a bargain… but there is a catch. They must commit to restoring the building within three years, with estimated costs of between €20-30,000.
Ollalai’s initiative follows in the footsteps of Lecce nei Marsi in Abruzzo, which sold a stock of ruinous homes in 2015 for a euro each.