On eBay, a whole village appeared in the Italian Dolomites, with an initial cost of € 245,000. The few remaining local residents hope that the wealthy owner will be able to save the village from extinction
The picturesque village of Calsazio in the Italian Alps is up for sale on the eBay online auction with an initial cost of only € 245,000. However, the potential buyer should consider that most of the 14 stone houses and 50 outbuildings are in abandoned condition, which means , their recovery will take more than one hundred thousand euros. The only condition for the sale of houses is the obligation to preserve their unique architectural value and reconstruction, taking into account local traditions.
The village is located on the outskirts of the Gran Paradiso National Park - a huge protected area with vast valleys and high mountain peaks. Initially, these were the hunting grounds of the first king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II, but in 1922 the first Italian national park arose here.
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On eBay, the village was put up by its few residents in the hope of finding an interested buyer. Its trouble, like all modern villages, is in young people who have lost the desire to work on the land and left for cities in search of a better life. The idea of selling the village is to turn it into a tourist village, rebuilding old stone houses and barns into hotels and restaurants. Residents emphasize that a quiet and clean village, surrounded by a picturesque natural landscape, is located only 50 km from Turin.
Helps residents in the sale of the village of the National Association of Mountain Settlements of Italy UNCEM - an organization representing Italian mountain villages. More than 50% of Italy is located in a mountainous area, and about 10 million people live there, but their number is rapidly declining every year. "Calzacio sells herself to find a private owner who can take care of the buildings and repair them," commented Marco Bussone, UNCEM representative in the Piedmont region. “Residents contacted us about a year ago when we began to select villages that could be revived in the alpine part of Piedmont. The buildings here have their own architectural style that needs to be preserved. We will not be able to agree on a project for their reconstruction that does not take into account local traditions of housing construction, because the village is located in close proximity to the national park. But for anyone who buys it in property, we will provide a reconstruction project plan. " This is a good offer, given that the organization has been cooperating with specialists from the Institute of Mountain Architecture in Turin for many years to preserve the unique spirit of small alpine settlements.
The last day of the auction is July 15, 2014. "We dream of giving new life to such alpine villages that too often have recently been abandoned," added Marco. Many residents left here in the 19th century in search of a new life in the United States, Australia or South America. But the outflow of the population continues to this day: young people are leaving their homes in an attempt to find work elsewhere. After all, the unemployment rate among young people in Italy is now about 40%.
In this situation, tourism has become the path to salvation. It was in Italy that the concept of "extended hotel" (albergo diffuse) appeared, implying the transformation of an entire village into a tourist resort. Now in the country there are about 40 such hotels where guests live in different village houses, and the reception and restaurant are located separately in the central building.