Have you ever watched a show like ‘Game Of Thrones’ and thought, “My life would be a lot more interesting if I lived in a castle!”? Well, it might not be Winterfell, but you can actually make that dream a reality thanks to the Italian government. And they aren’t just giving away one castle, they are giving away 103 different historic properties. Yes, you read that right, they are giving away castles and monasteries the way Oprah gave out gifts to her audience.
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Like any amazing deal, there’s a catch. There’s always a catch. The Italian government isn’t just going to hand you a castle, a crown, and let you govern a region like some kind of wannabe Joffrey Baratheon. If you want a castle, you’ll have to turn it into a tourist attraction… eventually.
Part of why the Italian government is giving these buildings away is because they are vacant and mostly forgotten. Some of them are in various states of disrepair. If you agree to take one, you also agree to restore the building and turn it into a museum, restaurant, hotel, or whatever you think will draw tourists in. If they like your idea, you’ll be given nine years to complete your project. If, after those years, they find that you actually put some work into the castle, they’ll give you an extension for another nine years. If you do a really good job, they’ll extend your lease for 50 years. All free.
If you consider yourself to be an entrepreneur, a self-starter, an adventurer, hard-worker, or just need a reason to get away from your mundane 9-5 job, applying for one of these castles is a perfect dream. That is, as long as you are 40 years old or under — the Italian government isn’t looking for older occupants. They want young, thirsty go-getters willing to get their hands dirty.
“The goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists, and cyclists,” Roberto Reggi from the State Property Agency told The Local.