If you're someone who fantasises about owning a picturesque home in the Italian countryside, you could see your dream fulfilled for the price of a $32 (£25) raffle ticket. A British couple is hosting a raffle for their $517,000 (£400,000) vacation home in Garfagnana, an unspoilt, rural and non-touristy area in northern Tuscany.
The winner can choose to live in the four-bedroom detached house, keep it as a holiday home, rent it out to holidaymakers or sell it. It is owned by Jon and Annmarie Nurse from Dorset, who bought it 11 years ago and have added details like windows made with local chestnut wood accents and vaulted ceilings. They plan to donate up to $64,600 (£50,000) from the raffle proceeds to The Children's Society, a charity based in England and Wales.
"It provides a truly peaceful and tranquil setting for switching off straight away," Annemarie tells Lonely Planet. "There's amazing local food and wine and views of the alpine mountains, but the coast and stunning cities are also within easy access. It's great for walking and for the more adventurous mountain climber. You really do get back to nature, and you could be walking and come across a family of wild boar - babies as well - and bump into Bambi around the next corner. In the local national park, you can see brown bears in a very natural habitat."
The house has three bathrooms, a living room and a fully-fitted kitchen with integrated appliances including an oven, hob, fridge/freezer and dishwasher. The dining room has seating for eight and there's a feature fireplace there. There is a dining area in the courtyard, and the winner can unwind in the 9.5m x 4m swimming pool with Roman stepped area in the garden. The prize includes the house, legal fees and local taxes, as well as two flights from anywhere in Europe for the signing, two nights’ accommodation and two days’ car hire.
Only 20,000 tickets will be sold for the raffle, which takes place on February 1 2021. Further information is available on the website here.