Hilltop town in Sicily hopes to attract new blood by offering old stone houses for €1

With its terracotta-tiled stone houses perched on a rocky crag overlooking rugged countryside, it might seem like the perfect Italian hill town.

But San Piero Patti has been losing inhabitants to ageing and migration for decades and has now decided to offer its empty houses for sale at €1 (90p) each in a bid to inject new life into the community.

New owners will be obliged to restore the often dilapidated homes, using traditional stone, timber and terracotta roofing and employing, where possible, local artisans.

On the plus side, they will be a 15 minute drive from the nearest beach and on the edge of the Nebrodi national park, a protected zone of lakes and forested mountains.

The council of the tiny town, known as “the pearl of the Nebrodi”, voted unanimously this week to embark on the project, which was first mooted earlier this year.

San Piero Patti has taken its lead from another town in Sicily, Gangi, which attracted worldwide interest in 2014 when it started selling off its abandoned houses for one euro.

“It all started with the example of Gangi, which has been a great success – a lot of their houses have been sold,” Salvatore Fiore, the mayor of San Piero Patti, told The Telegraph.

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