1 Euro Italian Villa is part of Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report.
I was going a little crazy sitting on the beach in Puerto Rico for the last 17 months (see The Lost & Found Year(s): COVID Trip Report). I had read about the 1 euro houses in Italy for the past few years and thought that if there was a time to buy one, it would be now (see Nothing to Rent in Tuscany, But Maybe I’ll Buy a House in Italy). This was especially true because Castiglione, a town near Mr. Etna, Sicily where I had previously been and rather enjoyed (see Mount Etna, Sicily Wine Tour: Fun & Games Until Police Stop) had places for sale.
Simultaneously, I had grown tired of hiding in the basement and needed a way to transition from the Lost & Found Year(s) to the Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report that had many false starts up to this point (see No Vegas for TPOL).
The first step in the process was sending in my application for consideration. I received an automated response and over the course of a few months continued to receive automated responses.
I contacted my friend in Milan, an Italian lawyer, and asked him to call the town. The only feedback he received was that everything is on the website. Periodically, I would check the website and of course, there was nothing useful on there.
After months of talking both about buying a villa and about traveling, I decided to stop talking and start doing (see Leaving My Basement ). The plan was a few days in Ribera del Duero, near Madrid, for wine tasting (see Guns & Butter: Ribera Del Duero, Madrid Travel Guide (Vino Edition)), followed by a flight to Catania, Sicily to tour the area. As a procrastinator, I didn’t book my flight to Sicily ahead of time. When I landed in Madrid, I checked the flights to Catania. They were expensive and inconvenient. I decided to change the plan and hop from city to city until I found a cheap flight to Italy. With each stop, I ended up further away from my prospective new hometown: Denmark, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales.
At the same time, the inconvenience of traveling during Covid began to take its toll. From scam testing (see Scam Covid Test #1: Entering the UK & Scam Covid Test #2: Leaving the UK) to arduous passenger locator forms, I began to think that the universe was telling me to give up on this idea. Indeed, it wasn’t until I randomly decided to go to Wales (see Guns & Butter: Conwy, Wales Travel Guide) that I found a cheap flight to Italy. Of course, this required another Covid test and another form.
Persistent or hard-headed, I finally made it to Milan and met with my Italian lawyer. We went to lunch where he advised me that this was a stupid idea. While he confirmed that homes were being sold fold next to nothing, he warned that I would be living in a town stuck in the past. He described a slow, laid-back lifestyle where urgency was not a priority. He added that the process of buying a place would be anything but simple. Since this sounded exactly like life in Puerto Rico, I was not intimidated. I decided to press forward.
Thanks to my sleuthing, I found the contact information for the mayor of Castiglione. My lawyer called him and made the arrangements to meet with me upon my arrival. Perhaps I had misread the cards. Perhaps it was my destiny to own a villa in the Mediterranean after all.