Italy giving away more than 100 castles for free to reframe its tourism

Published on : Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Castello di MontefioreItaly government has come up with a strange plan and is giving away a total of 103 historic sites, including castles, monasteries and towers all across the country for free.



Of the major highlights are Castello di Blera in Lazio, an 11th century castle not far from Rome, and Castello di Montefiore, a 13th century castle in the Marche region of eastern Italy.



However, here is the catch – it will only be given to those who can show concrete plans of how they will renovate and rejuvenate the sites to help boost tourism in the local area.



It could be converting one of these buildings into a hotel, restaurant or even a spa. Any other ingenious tourist attraction idea is also welcome. Prospective owners have to demonstrate how they are going to bring visitors flocking to what will hopefully be Italy’s next must-see destination.



This new idea is part of Italy’s Strategic Tourism Plan, which is an initiative designed to alleviate the overcrowding at Italy’s most popular spots, such as Venice. If this plan works out, it will help to redistribute tourists to lesser-known destinations around the country.



“The goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists, and cyclists.” All the buildings that are part of the giveaway lie on historic pilgrimage walking routes or cycling paths, and the State Property Agency hopes this will encourage more walkers and cyclists off the beaten track.



Young entrepreneurs and businesses are the major target of the government. The successful owners will get the rights to the property for nine years following which they have to renew the contract. Special lease of 50 years will be given to those who will have particularly good ideas.


A further 200 buildings are scheduled for inclusion in the project over the next two years.


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