This Italian Town, Has Been Long Abandoned By Their Original Owners, But Now This Is What Is Happening

The picturesque city of Presicce

Towns throughout Italy have been racing to launch clever schemes aimed at luring new residents to revive their fortunes in latest years. From dilapidated homes promoting for little more than a greenback, to prepared-to-occupy houses at knockdown prices, there’s been a frenzy of competition.

The picturesque city of Presicce within the sunny region of Puglia is the new place to be part of with a tantalizing offer. officials say they will pay people as much as 30,000 euros (roughly $30,000) to buy an empty dwelling and occupy residency.

Even better, the houses up for sale as a part of the deal are priced from round 25,000 euros. Like other reasonably-priced homes on sale throughout Italy, they have been long deserted by way of their unique owners.

The area is outstanding, surrounded with the aid of the character of the Salento location inside the heel of Italy’s boot and near the powder seashores and turquoise clean waters of Santa Maria di Leuca.

Authorities in Presicce hope the offer of a cash incentive will breathe new life into their depopulating town, where newborns are fewer each year.

According to local councilor Alfredo Palese, there are many empty homes in the historical center built before 1991 which they would like to see alive again with new residents. He says, it saddens them witnessing how their old districts full of history, wonderful architecture and art are slowly emptying or ‘going down’.

Officials say, details of the deal are currently being finalized, but authorities are ready to launch applications in upcoming weeks when information will be available on the town hall website.

Palese says a 2019 merger with an adjoining community to create the bigger city of Presicce-Acquarica has bequeathed it with extra money to ensure the mission can maintain for future years.

After the merger, the Italian law says their wider territory may be blessed with greater public budget, kind of one million euros per year for several years ahead, which they intend to make investments to revitalize the old district.

At the same time, Presicce and Acquarica now have a few 9,000 population but 1/2 of the population live within the older part of the community.

The town hall has already launched other schemes to lure more residents, including tax benefits to set up new business activities and baby bonuses for families with kids.

To qualify for the 30,000-euro incentive, buyers must take up residency in Presicce and purchase one of a selection of properties built before 1991, which have been mapped by authorities.

House prices start at 500 euros per square meter. Around 25,000 euros should be enough to secure a 50-square-meter dwelling in need of some repairs.

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Presicce traces its history to the middle ages, when settlements spread out around a Saracen fortress built by monks who dug crypts and underground olive mills as shelters for pirate raid survivors.

It gained a reputation as Puglia’s “city of green gold” for lush olive groves that yield premium extra virgin olive oil, flourishing during the Renaissance as a prosperous fiefdom also known for its fine wine, cheeses and cattle trade.

Many locals lived underground, digging caves into Presicce’s rocky terrain. Beneath the main piazzas and lavish Baroque palazzos lies a network of 23 secret chambers and olive mills in which farmers, known as trappettari, spent months during harvest season, pressing olives in stone mills pushed by donkeys.

Many historical buildings have private access to underground chambers where massive mills still stand. Guided tours through the subterranean city are a tourist highlight.

In the ancient district, wide elegant streets are crisscrossed by winding narrow alleys. Stately decorated gold-colored buildings with wrought-iron balconies and inner courtyards mingle with simple white dwellings.

There are frescoed palazzos, chapels and votive columns built by the rich rural bourgeoisie out of white-reddish rock. The vecchi curti (old courtyards) are typical dwellings located in two picturesque neighborhoods of the old center called Corciuli and Padreterno with private gardens, subterranean mills, citrus trees and exotic plants.

Presicce’s countryside offers the best of rural Puglia with ancient solitary dome-shaped stone chapels, byzantine crypts, olive groves with massive twisted tree trunks, purplish dry stone walls and fortified masserie rural farms where peasant families once lived under the protection of powerful lords to escape pirate attacks.

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Trekking and biking routes unwind through bucolic scenery dotted with sheep-grazing fields and abandoned stone forts. Salento’s pristine coastline, running between the seaside locations of Gallipoli and Santa Maria di Leuca, is a stone’s throw away.

In addition to the tours of subterranean oil mills and festivals with olive oil and food tastings, attractions include a museum of peasant civilization, which showcases objects from the past.

There are annual festivals featuring Salentina folk music, dances, antique crafts and food fairs. Presicce’s fried fish delicacies, linked to the cult of Saint Andrew, are a gourmand specialty, alongside the iconic handmade pastas, orecchiette and strascinate.

Other local delicacies include pittule leavened pasta pancakes stuffed with shrimps, cod, vegetables — or made alla pizzaiola, with olives, capers and cherry tomatoes.

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