Tuscany Offers Houses for 1 Euro: Fabbriche di Vergemoli and Montieri

The 1 Euro house initiative in Tuscany, exemplified by towns like Fabbriche di Vergemoli and Montieri, aims to revitalize rural areas experiencing depopulation and economic stagnation. This innovative scheme offers abandoned or dilapidated houses for a symbolic price of one euro, with the stipulation that buyers commit to renovating the properties within a specified timeframe, typically around three years. The goal is to attract new residents, stimulate local economies, and preserve historical architecture​ (Toscana Ovunque Bella)​​ (1 Euro Houses – Cheap Houses in Italy)​.

How It Works

To participate in the 1 Euro house program, interested buyers must submit a detailed renovation plan to the local municipality, often including a timeline and budget for the restoration. Some municipalities may require a security deposit to ensure the buyer’s commitment to the project. Once approved, buyers are granted ownership of the property and must begin renovations, adhering to local building codes and regulations​ (Toscana Ovunque Bella)​​ (1 Euro Houses – Cheap Houses in Italy)​.

Potential Pitfalls

Despite the appealing prospect of owning a home in Tuscany for one euro, several challenges and hidden costs can complicate the process:

  1. Extensive Bureaucracy: Navigating Italian bureaucracy can be daunting, especially for non-Italian speakers. Securing the necessary permits and dealing with local regulations can be time-consuming and complex​ (Toscana Ovunque Bella)​.
  2. Renovation Costs: While the initial purchase price is low, the cost of renovating an old or neglected property can be significant. Buyers should be prepared for expenses related to structural repairs, utilities, and compliance with modern building standards​ (Toscana Ovunque Bella)​​ (1 Euro Houses – Cheap Houses in Italy)​.
  3. Hidden Structural Issues: Many of these properties have been abandoned for years and may have hidden structural problems. Thorough inspections and assessments are crucial to avoid unexpected repair costs​ (Toscana Ovunque Bella)​.
  4. Limited Availability: The high demand for 1 Euro houses and the limited number of suitable properties can make it challenging to secure a desirable home. Often, properties in better conditions or more attractive locations are quickly snapped up​ (Toscana Ovunque Bella)​​ (1 Euro Houses – Cheap Houses in Italy)​.
  5. Commitment and Timeframe: The requirement to complete renovations within a specified period (usually three years) can be stressful, particularly for those managing the project from abroad. Failure to meet the deadlines can result in penalties or loss of the property​ (Toscana Ovunque Bella)​.

Tuscany, renowned for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and cultural heritage, has initiated a unique real estate opportunity that has garnered international attention: the 1 Euro house initiative. This program, aimed at combating depopulation and revitalizing rural areas, offers abandoned homes for just one euro. Two notable towns participating in this initiative are Fabbriche di Vergemoli and Montieri, each offering distinct attractions and benefits.

Fabbriche di Vergemoli

Location and Accessibility

Fabbriche di Vergemoli is nestled in the province of Lucca, in the Garfagnana region of Tuscany. This serene town is approximately 25 km northwest of Lucca, about 60 km from the Tyrrhenian Sea, and roughly 80 km from Pisa International Airport (Galileo Galilei Airport)【21†source】【23†source】. The town is accessible via regional roads that connect to the A11 motorway, linking it to major cities like Florence and Pisa【21†source】.

Historical Background

Established in 2014 from the merger of Fabbriche di Vallico and Vergemoli, the area has a rich history dating back to the pre-Roman era. The town saw significant development during the medieval period, primarily due to its ironworking industry【23†source】. Historical landmarks include the Colandi Bridge (Ponte della Dogana) and several ancient churches like St. Anthony’s Church and St. Quirico and St. Giulitta’s Church【21†source】【24†source】.

Natural and Cultural Attractions

Fabbriche di Vergemoli is near the Natural Park of the Apuan Alps, home to the famous Wind Cave (Grotta del Vento), which offers spectacular karst formations and guided tours【23†source】【24†source】. The town also boasts various naturalistic destinations such as the Parco del Levigliese and the Hermitage of Calomini, a historic sanctuary carved into the rock【21†source】.

Community and Lifestyle

With a population of around 800 inhabitants, Fabbriche di Vergemoli fosters a close-knit community atmosphere【23†source】. The local cuisine features traditional dishes like Pitonca (a type of polenta with lard and vegetables), local cheeses, sausages, and mushrooms, reflecting the rich gastronomic heritage of the Garfagnana region【24†source】.


Location and Accessibility

Montieri is located in the province of Grosseto, Tuscany. It lies approximately 90 km south of Florence and 45 km from Siena. The town is about 50 km from the nearest coastal towns, making it roughly an hour’s drive to the sea【21†source】【23†source】. The closest major airport is Florence Peretola Airport, around 100 km away, and it is accessible via the SS223/E78 highway connecting to the Siena-Grosseto road【23†source】.

Historical Background

Montieri has a rich medieval history, prominently known for its ancient silver and copper mines. The town’s medieval architecture and historical sites reflect its prosperous past. Key sites include the Church of San Giacomo, the ruins of the medieval castle, and various historical mines【21†source】【23†source】.

Natural and Cultural Attractions

Surrounded by dense forests and nature reserves, Montieri offers numerous hiking and nature trails, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts. The town’s proximity to natural parks and picturesque landscapes adds to its charm and appeal【21†source】【23†source】.

Community and Lifestyle

With a population of approximately 1,200 residents, Montieri provides a serene and tranquil environment. The local cuisine features traditional Tuscan dishes, focusing on game meat, mushrooms, chestnuts, and other locally sourced ingredients【21†source】【23†source】.

Who Might Be Interested?

Remote Workers and Digital Nomads

The tranquil, picturesque environment offers a serene lifestyle away from urban chaos, ideal for remote work. Increasing internet connectivity and local government support make these areas more accommodating for remote professionals.


The peaceful surroundings, low cost of living, and beautiful landscapes make these locations attractive for retirees seeking a quiet and affordable place to live. The close-knit community provides a supportive environment, enhancing the quality of life for older adults.

Vacation Home Buyers

The opportunity to own a property in the scenic Tuscan countryside for a minimal investment is highly appealing for those looking to purchase a vacation home. Proximity to natural parks, historical sites, and local gastronomy provides a rich and fulfilling vacation experience.

Investors and Entrepreneurs

Investors looking to renovate and resell properties or turn them into holiday rentals can benefit from the low purchase price and growing tourist interest. The unique historical and natural attractions of both towns offer significant potential for tourism-related businesses.

History and Culture Enthusiasts

The rich history, medieval architecture, and cultural heritage of Fabbriche di Vergemoli and Montieri attract those passionate about history and culture. Enthusiasts can engage in the restoration of historical buildings, preserving and celebrating local heritage.

Families Seeking a Rural Lifestyle

Families desiring a simpler, nature-oriented lifestyle with a strong community bond might find these locations ideal. The safe, rural setting provides an excellent environment for raising children away from the stress of city life.


Fabbriche di Vergemoli and Montieri offer unique opportunities through the 1 Euro house initiative, combining historical charm, natural beauty, and a peaceful rural lifestyle. This initiative not only aims to combat depopulation but also invites a diverse range of individuals and families to become part of these vibrant communities.

For more information on the 1 Euro house projects, visit:

The Process of Buying a House in Italy: Italian to English Terminology

Buying a house in Italy can be a rewarding experience, offering a chance to own a piece of history and enjoy the country’s rich culture and beautiful landscapes. However, the process involves several steps and requires understanding specific Italian terminology. Here is a detailed guide to help you navigate the process.

Step 1: Property Search (Ricerca Immobile)

The first step is to find a suitable property. This can be done through:

  • Real Estate Agents (Agenti Immobiliari): Professionals who help you find properties, arrange viewings, and negotiate prices.
  • Online Listings (Annunci Online): Websites like Idealista, Casa.it, and Immobiliare.it provide extensive listings of properties for sale.
  • Local Contacts: Engaging with locals or expatriate communities who might know of properties for sale.

Step 2: Making an Offer (Proposta d’Acquisto)

Once you find a property, you make an offer:

  • Proposal of Purchase (Proposta d’Acquisto): A formal written offer to buy the property at a specified price. It may include a small deposit (Caparra) to show your seriousness.
  • Negotiation (Negoziazione): This is the phase where the buyer and seller discuss the terms and potentially reach a mutual agreement.

Step 3: Preliminary Contract (Compromesso or Contratto Preliminare)

If the offer is accepted, the next step is signing a preliminary contract:

  • Preliminary Contract (Compromesso): A binding agreement that outlines the terms of the sale, including the price, payment schedule, and date for the final contract.
  • Deposit (Caparra Confirmatoria): At this stage, a larger deposit is usually paid, often around 10-20% of the purchase price.

Step 4: Due Diligence.

Before finalizing the purchase, it’s essential to perform due diligence:

  • Survey (Perizia): Hiring a surveyor (Geometra) to inspect the property for any structural issues.
  • Legal Checks (Controlli Legali): Ensuring there are no legal impediments (such as liens or disputes) affecting the property. A notary (Notaio) usually handles this.

Step 5: Final Contract (Atto di Vendita or Rogito Notarile)

The final step is signing the deed of sale:

  • Notary Deed (Rogito Notarile): The final contract is signed in the presence of a notary, who ensures all legal requirements are met. The balance of the purchase price is paid at this time.
  • Transfer of Ownership (Trasferimento di Proprietà): Once the deed is signed, the notary registers the sale, and ownership is officially transferred to the buyer.

Key Terminology

  1. Agente Immobiliare (Real Estate Agent): A licensed professional who facilitates property transactions.
  2. Proposta d’Acquisto (Purchase Offer): A formal offer to buy a property.
  3. Compromesso or Contratto Preliminare (Preliminary Contract): A binding agreement outlining the terms of the sale.
  4. Caparra Confirmatoria (Deposit): A significant deposit paid during the preliminary contract stage.
  5. Geometra (Surveyor): A professional who inspects the property for structural issues.
  6. Notaio (Notary): A legal professional who oversees the final contract signing and ensures compliance with legal requirements.
  7. Rogito Notarile (Notary Deed): The final deed of sale.
  8. Trasferimento di Proprietà (Transfer of Ownership): The process of officially registering the new owner.

Additional Costs and Considerations

  • Taxes (Tasse): Buyers must pay various taxes, including registration tax (Imposta di Registro), value-added tax (IVA), and cadastral tax (Imposta Catastale).
  • Agency Fees (Commissioni dell’Agenzia): Real estate agents typically charge a fee, often a percentage of the purchase price.
  • Notary Fees (Onorari del Notaio): Notary services are also an additional cost.


Buying a house in Italy involves multiple steps, each with its own set of legal and financial implications. Understanding the key terminology and engaging with local professionals can help streamline the process and ensure a successful transaction. For a more detailed guide, prospective buyers can consult resources such as Idealista and Case a 1 Euro【22†source】【25†source】.