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Free Chateaux in Italy - Be the King (or Queen) of your own Castle

Did you ever think that you could fulfill your cycling and villa remodeling fantasies in one fell swoop? Now, thanks to the Italian government, you actually can. A new program, dubbed Cammini e Percorsi, which roughly translates to “paths and routes,” will allow people to apply to receive a historic castle or villa that has fallen into a state of disrepair. Typically, the available structures are off the beaten path of the traditional tourist circuit. In fact, many of them are on biking and pilgrimage routes. From the perspective of the Italian government, the program will both alleviate the overcrowding of popular cities like Venice and Florence, and allow for historic properties to be restored in a way that they would otherwise be unable to afford. In that sense, the efforts somewhat echo Fendi’s recent funding of the Trevi Fountain’s restoration, which resulted in the fashion house being able to use the destination to stage their anniversary show. However, when it comes to Cammini e Percorsi applicants, there are a couple catches. Building recipients are expected to make their structures accessible to the public, thereby increasing tourism. Additionally, Italy isn’t giving away these castles and villas ad infinitum. The leases will last nine years, with an option to extend the agreement for another nine years upon its expiration. However, truly stellar applications may end up receiving a 50-year lease instead. Unsurprisingly, the government is hoping to attract young entrepreneurs with this program, so if you’ve ever thought that you could start the next AirBnB, perhaps this is the springboard for you. The applications, which are already live, are due June 26.


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