If the idea of moving to a European city appeals to you, you may be interested in a proposal offered by the officials of a picturesque Italian city.

Old castle on the sea in Taranto, Italy
The famous 15th century Castello Aragonese in Taranto  © Clodio/Getty Images

Taranto is a port on the coast of Puglia and it's a city of two distinct parts. On a small artificial island protecting the Mar Piccolo lagoon, there's the diminutive Old Town with its famous 15th century Castello Aragonese, officially called the Castel San Angelo. Then there's a larger, busier new city, which is a big commercial hub. It has a population of around 200,000 people, with only 3000 living in the historic centre. To increase that number, the city has decided to begin offering up council-owned buildings for just €1 ($1.11) to people willing to move to the Old Town.

arch bridge over river against sky n Tarantò, Italy
Taranto is one of the oldest cities in Italy  © Massimo D'eri / EyeEm

There are 15 buildings on offer initially, but all are in need of repair and those who manage to nab one for such a bargain price must commit to renovating them and living in them. They must also take the architectural style and aesthetic of existing buildings into account in their own renovations. “We’re aiming to take measures which will result in the repopulation and development of the old city,” council official Francesca Viggiano told Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, adding that they'd already had inquiries from New York, Milan and Rome.

Landscape of Taranto over the canyon in the Terra delle Gravine nature park
You could buy a home in Taranto, Puglia, for €1  © ermess/Getty Images

The Italian government recently awarded Taranto €90m ($99.6m) for improvements to the area, which will include water and sewage infrastructure as well as the reconstruction of the waterfront. Taranto is one of the oldest cities in Italy, and it is the only city so far that is offering this kind of ‘home for €1 scheme.’ There are, however, lots of villages and towns doing the same thing, including Ollolai in Sardinia and others in Tuscany, Piedmont and Abruzzo. If you're interested in snapping up a new home at a bargain price, Taranto listings are due to go live in a couple of weeks and further information is available here.

You might also like:

Why Italy really is the mother of all family-travel destinations

Explore related stories

A beautiful Lower Manhattan skyline view seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with green plants along the East River in New York City


I'm a travel writer in NYC – here are the questions I get asked the most

Jul 11, 2024 • 8 min read