Ever thought of getting a piece of the Airbnb action? How about a full-blown bed and breakfast? If you’re willing to take your vision international, now may be the perfect time to get in the business of vacation getaways.
Why? Because Italy is currently offering over 100 historic castles, railway stations, inns, monasteries, and farmhouses for free. You heard me, free.
The push comes from the country’s State Property Agency and is in response to a large number of historic buildings that have been abandoned by former owners. Starting a few years ago, hundreds of Italians abandoned their historic castles because they couldn’t keep up with the high tax bills.
Today, money is no object to the Italian government. Rather than let these relics sit empty, officials have decided to give the properties to tenants who promise to transform the buildings into tourist destinations. Italy wants to breathe new life into these sites by making them “slow travel” destinations, with amenities like spas and restaurants.
Right now, there are 103 buildings up for grabs, with another 200 to be offered by 2020. Available properties span the country, located along eight historic routes running the breadth of Italy and nearby islands Sicily and Sardinia.
If an applicant is deemed a good fit by government officials, they’ll get a nine-year contract to renovate a property and run their businesses. If all goes well, the contract can be extended another nine years. The Italian government could offer up to a 50-year lease for best of business plans.
Folks with wanderlust and a vision may want to say, “Ciao,” to Italian living – especially considering this deal of a lifetime.