Every year in Italy there is a competition between towns and villages to decide which one is the Borgo Più Bello d’Italia (the Most Beautiful Village in Italy).
This year 134,000 people voted the town of Gangi, located about 80 km southeast of Palermo. in the Madonie Mountains, as the winner. Artistic qualities, culture, local handicraft, traditions and good food were all taken into account.
Gangi has a population of less than 8,000 and a history of mass emigration at the beginning of the 20th century towards North and South America as well as Northern Europe.
Now the Council in Gangi , has come up with an original way to prevent the progressive depopulation selling the houses of the old town for only 1 € practically the cost of a cup of coffee if the buyer will restore them within 5 years. The initiative – launched by Mayor Joseph Ferrarello – has been very successful not only in Italy but also abroad thanks to the curiosity that the news has aroused in the foreign media The conditions for the purchase are very simple: once the token payment, buyers must pay a deposit of five thousand euro to ensure their budgets. The restoration work – whose total cost is around 35,000 Euros – must then be made within five years period within which the houses must be habitable in accordance with the rules laid down by law. The homes for sale are still about a dozen, mostly in ruins, but they seem to go like hot cakes: the last buyer is a well-known anesthesiologist of Italian descent, from years before transplant in the United States .