By Cailey Rizzo
November 04, 2019

Yet another town in Italy is giving away property for free, if you’re willing to fix it up. But this time, there’s a cash bonus if you have a baby after you move in.

Cammarata in Sicily is a historic village whose buildings have been left to decay as residents move to bigger urban areas.

"I can't stand to see this gorgeous, old historical center empty and turn into a ruin. It hurts me," mayor Vincenzo Giambrone told CNN Travel. "The owners are oblivious to the damage they cause when they ditch their homes and refuse to restyle their ancient dwellings. It leaves a deep scar on the townscape with the risk of dangerous collapses."

Giambrone has spent the last few years convincing the owners of the dilapidated buildings to give them to the local government. Now, he is hoping to fill them up with new families and businesses dedicated to restoring and maintaining the historic buildings.

Andreas Zerndl/Getty Images

While the town will review all applications, priority will be given to families with small children. And if those families have a child after they’ve relocated to Cammarata, they will be given about $1,100 (€1,000).

The town, about 40 miles southeast of Palermo, currently has a population of almost 6,000 people. There are at least 100 buildings that are up for grabs for “free.” In order to move in, you must pay a deposit of about $4,300 (€5,000) and have a clear plan for refurbishment within three years. The buildings can be turned into homes or businesses like restaurants, hotels, and B&Bs. The deposit will be returned upon completion of the renovation.

And there may be an even bigger perk to relocating to Cammarata than just a free house. The town is home to Italy’s largest population of centenarians, according to locals. Those who boast the claim say it is due in no small part to the town’s mild climate and emphasis on local food. Most families make their own oil and wine on their own patch of land.

More information on the homes is available on the town’s website.

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