On the 1st July 2021 I finally met with officials from the Commune di Zungoli to discuss my €1 house purchase, at their modern offices just some 500 metres from the town centre.
I had called in the previous day after seeing the actual house, and a very kind official from the Commune arranged for an English-speaking member of staff to see me the following morning.
On the evening of the 31st June I had dinner at the Ristorante L’Angolo Verde near to the centre of Zungoli. After starters of char-grilled octopus (it is boiled for a long time prior to grilling so that it’s not tough) we had main courses of fritto misto (fried seafood and fish), grilled seafood and fish and mixed grilled meats. Deserts were traditional tiramisu and panna cotta. The meal was one of the best we had in our month-long trip to Italy. The local white wine was aromatic but crisp and dry and only €7 a bottle (incredibly good value) as recommended by our host. The final bill for 3 starters, 3 main courses, 2 deserts, a bottle of wine and water was only €70 – a bargain!
Our meeting with the commune went well- they confirmed our security deposit of €2,000 had been received. Interestingly, they do not issue receipts for such payments – I guess you need to get used to things like this, Italy is perhaps quite old fashioned in certain practises compared to other European countries!
Our house was in the third “tranche” of €1 houses offered by the Commune di Zungoli. The third tranche consisted of only 8 houses, but they had in excess of 5,000 applicants that applied and entered the “lottery” for this small number of houses.
The application forms for entering the Lotto consisted of several questions whereby you were “scored” – these included whether you would live at the property full-time, how many family members, and how quickly you would complete renovations to the property.
I was told that as the old town of Zungoli is a UNESCO World Heritage site there are a number of committees that have to meet and approve the potential renovation of any properties. This now made sense to me, and sort of explained why I had heard nothing since sending my €2k security deposit. The next committee meeting in connection with my house would be the 5th July 2021 and following this there is a three month period whereby anyone can raise an objection to the property being renovated (I can’t imagine anyone will?). So, I am not expecting to hear anything further until October 2021 where no doubt there will be further paperwork.
After hearing how many applicants had entered the lottery for such a small number of houses, I felt incredibly lucky to have been successful to secure one! I guess this just reconfirms how it can be a long – drawn out process to acquire a €1house in Italy – up to this point it had taken me over 2 years from when I first started applying for €1 houses and other schemes, which I will cover in the coming weeks……