By Silvia Marchetti, CNN
Image Source: icanhasgif.com
(CNN) — Ever dreamed of owning a home in a appealing Italian village? The account you’ve been cat-and-mouse for has assuredly arrived.
You can now buy one for aloof over a dollar.
Ollolai, a destination in the abundance arena of Barbagia on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, is affairs hundreds of alone homes for aloof €1 ($1.2).
It’s not the aboriginal Italian boondocks to try the gimmick, but it seems to be the aboriginal to alive up to the promise. It’s additionally got the adorableness and history bare to draw bodies in.
The absolute acreage bonanza comes with a catch, though. The 200 stone-built dwellings up for grabs are in poor action and buyers charge accomplish to a face-lifting aural three years — which will acceptable amount about $25,000.
Behind the sell-off is a plan to rejuvenate a association at accident of acceptable a apparition town. In the accomplished bisected century, Ollolai’s citizenry has diminished from 2,250 to 1,300, with alone a scattering of babies built-in anniversary year.
“We avowal aged origins,” says Efisio Arbau, Ollolai’s mayor. “My cause is to accomplishment our different traditions from falling into oblivion.
“Pride in our accomplished is our strength. We’ve consistently been boxy bodies and won’t acquiesce our boondocks to die.”
Formerly Barbagia’s capital, Ollolai charcoal the best clear and accurate application of Sardinia.
Once buzzing, its bewilderment of alleys and mural-covered piazzas are now silent, as adolescent association accept been absorbed abroad to bigger cities.
Abandoned by the families who already active them, abounding bean dwellings accept been lying in ruin, covered in cobwebs, for decades.
Some acceptable means of activity survive. Bounded shepherds abide to accomplish the admirable exceptional sheep cheese, Casu Fiore Sardo, that the breadth is accepted for, while artisans still braid accomplished baskets.
Arbau likens the town’s struggles to its antiquarian day battles, from an era aback surrounding caves were acclimated by separatists and bandits to bundle their kidnap victims.
“We already had a ablaze king, Dux Ospitone, who affiliated all agnostic tribes in a league,” he adds. “Our agnostic ancestors never succumbed to the age-old Roman conquerors, who dubbed us ‘barbarians.’
“These hills are Italy’s ‘Highlands’ and we are sons of ‘Bravehearts.'”
Now Ollolai, which takes its name from an age-old action cry of “alalé,” is angry aback already again.
In a bid to breathe new activity into the town, Arbau contacted above home owners — shepherds, farmers and craftsmen — allurement them to assurance the homes over to boondocks authorities.
“They’re arresting old barrio fabricated with Sardinia’s archetypal gray granite bedrock that grows on abundance peaks and shores,” says Arbau.
“We charge to accompany our grandmas’ homes aback from the grave.”
He accustomed a appropriate decree and placed the backdrop on the market, at arrangement prices, in 2017.
Despite their poor conditions, three houses accept already been awash and Arbau says he’s accustomed added than 100 acquirement requests from beyond the world, including Russia and Australia.
The ambassador hopes the face-lifting of the homes will advice actualize new jobs and animate the bounded economy.
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Vito Casula, a retired builder, was the aboriginal to breeze up a two-story abode for beneath than the amount of a cappuccino.
He adapted his new home application environmentally affable materials, but kept the aboriginal decor, recycling old furniture.
“We alive adjacent and frequently visited Ollolai. Then one day my wife saw the ad in the newspaper. It was an opportunity,” says Casula. “This quiet boondocks is arctic in time. It offers a peaceful, advantageous life.”
He recommends the apple to anyone who “is ailing with too abundant accent and needs a break.”
“The beginning air, aught billow and abundant angle accept a healing power. My basic and aback don’t aching anymore,” he adds.
Casula says Ollolai’s adequate vibe, adorable cuisine and affable locals are amid its top affairs points.
“Residents are so accessible and affable they accomplish you feel at home. They never acquiesce me to pay for annihilation at the bar and consistently allure us over for cafeteria and dinner,” he adds.
Homemade specialties accommodate su area vratau, fabricated of layers of collapsed brittle carasau aliment blood-soaked in water, amazon sauce, poached eggs and grated Fiore sheep cheese.
There’s additionally su pistiddu, an autumn block fabricated of coffee, nuts, almonds, semolina, hazelnuts, raisins and sapa grape syrup.
Local airiness porceddu (roasted babyish piglet), is adapted on a bonfire, skewered on huge vertical spits and placed on afire charcoals.
In fall, cortes apertas (open courtyards) sees stables and age-old granite-and-turf taverns accessible to the public, alms crazily acceptable wine, ham, cheese and a few added delicacies.
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Other boondocks contest accommodate a carnival area participants abrasion apparel including goat-style masks with horns, fur and dangling accretion or white abstract face veils that betoken the abutment of afterlife and life.
Newcomers can additionally analyze ballad contest and ancient rituals such as the “s’istrumpa,” a altercate area players charge bung their adversary to the arena to win the town’s respect.
Steeped in superstition, Ollolai is a abode area women accomplish amulets to area off bad luck and residents’ cars backpack accounting prayers to accumulate angry at bay.
The apple consistently attracts travelers attractive for a quiet, brilliant retreat,
The 1,200-meter-high aiguille Nodu de S’Aschisorgu (the Treasure Rock) boasts a amazing 360-degree appearance of the island, while Ollolai’s surrounding lakes, rivers, adequate parks, oak and beech timberline forests are dotted with cone-shaped archaic settlements alleged nuraghi.
And while it may be a continued way abroad from Sardinia’s affluence beaches, Ollolai is still abutting to ablaze aboriginal seas.
A one-hour car drive takes you to the amazing cliffs of Cala Gonone, with beauteous sea grottoes absolute for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Arbau is additionally introducing activities like cheese, pasta and bassinet authoritative courses, alongside accent acquaint to accumulate newcomers busy.
“Our accent is adamantine to understand, alike for Sardinians, but we apperceive foreigners adulation to mingle. This is additionally a amusing experiment,” he says.
Only time will acquaint if the mayor’s action has paid off, but locals are aflame and absorption in the boondocks is growing.
In fact, a absoluteness appearance centered about a accumulation of Dutch families as they set up in Ollolai and restore some of the houses is accepted to barrage in May.
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The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable Account Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
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