Wait, Italy Is Giving Away Castles For Free?!

Photo: Cemre Isiksal/Getty Images.
Intrepid entrepreneurs with a penchant for Italian and flipping property are in luck, because Italy is giving away a slew of properties for free. Of course, what sounds too good to be true generally is, so these medieval castles come with a catch.
Elle Decor reports that a total of 103 buildings, including historic castles and villas, are being given away to applicants willing to transform them into tourist attractions.
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Roberto Reggio, a representative from the State Property Agency, told Italian paper The Local, "The goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists and cyclists [...] the project will promote and support the development of the slow tourism sector."
The agency notes that suggestions include restaurants, hotels, and shops, but also adds that a lot of the buildings are in disrepair. That's where flipping know-how comes in. Anyone interested in a property will have to submit a proposal and an application, but Italy is focusing on young entrepreneurs and new ideas, so those with big dreams and a can-do attitude are encouraged to apply.
The project is part of Italy's Strategic Tourist Plan, which sets out to encourage tourism in its off-the-beaten-path locales. That means the available buildings aren't in tourist-heavy areas and are likely on old pilgrimage routes and bike paths. The available locations include the 13th-century Castello di Montefiore and the Castello di Blera in Lazio, which is an 11th-century fortress built by nobility. It sits perched on a steep cliffside and has many of its original medieval features.
Approved applicants will get leases that range from nine years (with a chance for renewal) to 50 years, depending on the individual property. Proposals are due to the Italian government on June 26, but if that's not enough time to get everything together, don't fret: An additional batch of 200 properties will become available over the next two years.
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