For Sale: An entire Italian Alpine village for less than a UK house

Many of the buildings and homes in Calsazio need 'significant' renovation work. Credit: eBAY

An entire alpine village in Italy is for sale for less than the average price of a UK home.

Borgata Calsazio is a small village nestled in the foothills of Italy's Gran Paradiso National Park. An area teeming with wildlife, it was also once part of a royal hunting reserve for King Vittorio Emanuele II - the first king of a unified Italy since the 6th Century.

The collection of 14 homes and 50 outbuildings has been put up for sale by a handful of remaining residents and as house prices in Great Britain soar, its €245,000 (£195,000) price tag looks very attractive.

There is one catch, however.

The mountains of the Gran Paradiso National Park are teeming with wildlife. Credit: Wikimedia\Creative Commons

A condition of the sale is that the houses must retain their distinctive architectural features and that they be restored according to local traditions.

Many of the remaining buildings are in states of virtual abandonment and would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to restore.

Villagers have seen the population fall over the years as young people leave the mountains to seek livelihoods away from the mountains and head for larger towns and cities in search of work.

Any potential new owner must promise to renovate buildings to local standards. Credit: eBay
The village would make an excellent holiday resort, experts say. Credit: eBay

The village is for sale on auction site eBay and is described as 'a strategic location to live, start a business or a tourist restaurant. Fourteen homes combine more than 50 rooms.'

The sale is being championed by the Italian National Union of Mountain Communities who hope that a potential regeneration could help other hillside communties in the country.

“Calsazio would lend itself to being taken over by a private owner who could acquire all the buildings and redevelop them,” Marco Bussone, a representative of UNCEM in the Piedmont region, told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

The online listing for the Alpine village calls it a strategic location to live, start a business or a tourist restaurant.' Credit: eBay

“The dream is to revive these mountain villages, which too often are just abandoned,” he said.

The union has worked over the years with mountain architecture experts to help conserve the character of similar Alpine villages.

Over half of Italy is mountainous but the upland population of around ten million is dwindling all the time. Youth employment in the country is around 40 per cent and there are worries that the country's stagnant economy will mean the sale will not go through.

The deadline for sale is 15 July.

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