London - Ever dreamed of owning an entire medieval hilltop hamlet set on the edge of a national park in Tuscany?
Well, if you have £2-million to spare then you might just find what you are looking for on eBay.
Listed for sale among the everyday electrical gadgets, household essentials and clothes is the 800-year-old village of Pratariccia – complete with 25 properties and adjoining farmland.
The catch? It has been uninhabited for 50 years and its traditional Tuscan stone homes are ramshackle at best and collapsed at worst.
Currently owned by an undisclosed monastic order, it was placed on the auction website earlier this month by an estate agent who describes it as “in need of restoration”.
Pratariccia has been uninhabited since the early 1960s. As time took its toll on the elderly in the village, youngsters moved out in search of work and it now resembles a ghost town. Set in beautiful rolling hills 2,400ft above sea level, Pratariccia is only 25 miles east of Florence and close to the region of Italy dubbed “Chiantishire” for its abundance of British residents and holidaymakers.
Estate agent LPQ Immobiliare said that so far it had received “a number of interesting bids”.
Carlo Magni, who is handling the sale, said: “It’s a unique opportunity to own your very own Tuscan hamlet – and the price is a complete bargain. Where else would you get all those buildings, land, panoramic view, plus all the history for the price.”
He said the hamlet was once home to about 120 residents, but as the older generation died out and the economic boom gripped Italy, the younger inhabitants moved on and never returned. Luca Santini, mayor of Stia, the nearest inhabited town, said: “It’s a wonderful hamlet with beautiful views across the Tuscan countryside but it could do with some work.
“If someone with the money to spare invested in the village and rebuilt it they would have a fantastic development and it would generate work for the local economy. Putting the hamlet on the internet is the best way to get publicity, so hopefully it will sell quickly.”
Two years ago the cash-strapped Italian government put up for sale 9,000 properties, worth £3-billion, via its land registry website, with palaces, castles, islands and palazzos being offered for sale in an effort to cut the country’s £1-trillion public debt. - Daily Mail