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Elle Decor Italia


di Elledecor.it editorial staff

The daily diary of Elledecor.it kept by the editorial staff. To discover previews, protagonists and trends in the world of design and interiors. 

01 May 2018

The Sardinian village where buying a house costs 1 euro

In the Barbagia area of Sardinia, a tiny town that risks emptying up puts for sale hundreds of abandoned houses

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There is a village in Sardinia where houses cost 1 euro; its name is Ollolai, and right now it is the talk of the web: everyone is speaking about it, from local sites to the foreign press, CNN included.

This choice was made to preserve the town’s run-down historic buildings: despite the quaint charm of this mountain hamlet, its population has decreased from 2,250 to 1,350 over the past century, with a rate of generation replacement that is close to zero.

At one point the capital of the Barbagia region, Ollolai is one the most pristine and authentic areas of Sardinia, featuring a maze of alleyways and walled squares now quiet: many stone houses, abandoned by their original owners, have been empty for decades, and now lie in ruins and covered in cobwebs.

Despite all this, Ollolai has remained the custodian of a few traditional ways of life, with the local shepherds continuing to produce the famous pecorino cheese Casu Fiore Sardo, for which this area is famous, whereas local artisans still weave basket of exceptional workmanship.

The town’s mayor, Efisio Arbau, announced this initiative as a way to attract new residents and preserve the town’s architectural heritage. “My intent is to save our traditions from oblivion”, Arbau explains. “As many provincial towns, Ollolai has seen its younger citizens move to larger centres and its birth rate plunge”.

Arbau then resolved to ask the town residents to hand over their dilapidated houses — many of which have been empty for decades — and put them on the market for a nominal fee. It looks as though the initiative was pretty successful, with three houses sold already and over 100 interested buyers, from as far as Australia and Russia.

The new owners of these abandoned houses can get an excellent deal, on one condition: they have to commit to restoring the building within three years, with an estimated investment between 20 and 30 thousand euros.


by Carla Amarillis / 1 May 2018


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