Who does not want to be royalty? No one is sitting around to give you the money to become one, but a scheme by the Italian government will allow you to live in a castle. Not a fully furnished royal castle, but a castle nonetheless. The government is giving out 103 castles, villas, and other historic buildings on long-term leases free of charge.
A lot of Italians gave up on their villas and castles due to high tax bills a few years ago. Since the historic buildings stand free, the government has come up with a scheme to turn the places into a tourist attraction with restaurants, spas, and what not. That is not new, except that the buildings will be given away for free. The only problem is that you are gonna have to invest yourself and do a makeover.
The 103 buildings available for lease include castles, fortified towers, 19th-century homes, railway stations, and even a couple of monasteries. 200 more buildings will be added to the list by the year 2020.
You can apply for the lease, and if you are selected, you will be given a nine-year contract for renovation and business, and the application process is online. Depending on the brilliance of your restoration plan, the contract can even be extended to a 50-year lease. It will be your responsibility to promote local walking and cycling tours. The application is open until June 26th, and the government will prefer people under the age of 40.
It is unclear if the scheme is open to non-Italian citizens so until a terms and conditions document comes out in English, we can not be too sure.
Images: Agenzia del Demanio