Ollolai, Italy: The small Sardinian town selling homes for €1

We’ve all dreamed of owning a home on some far-away exotic island where they don’t speak English and life is the clichéd dolce vita. The town of Ollolai, a luscious green zone in the Barbagia region of Sardinia, are now selling abandoned homes for €1. Shocking but true. The internet has lit up from joyous dreamers who want to pack it in and live the la dolce vita, I mean who wouldn’t want a taste of this attainable dream, for only $1.52CAD you too can stop dreaming and make it a reality. But how…?

The reason behind the offer that just seems too good to be true is that Ollolai is slowly becoming a ghost town, like a lot of smaller towns at the interior of the island, and they hope to rejuvenate the area by bringing in new home buyers and their families. There is a catch – the homes are in poor condition and buyers must commit to refurbishing the home within a three-year time span. There’s always a catch.

Ollolai has been abandoned by families that chose to move closer to the city, where they can get access to life’s essentials much easier. The younger generation are opting for jobs in London, Rome, Milan and even as far as Australia, Canada and parts of the USA where they know they will be paid adequately, on time and with room to grow and expand their skills.

Three lucky people have already bought homes in this historical town and are about to discover a paradise they’ve only ever dreamed about, which is the reason for this post.

Once news hit that a small town in Italy was selling homes for €1 my inbox filled with messages from all over the world about “life in Sardinia.” In the past, I’ve written many posts on life in Sardinia, Italy, here are three: 8 things you should know before moving to Sardinia, Cost of Living Sardinia, Italy 2017, The Raw Reality of Expat Life in Small Town Sardinia.

And here’s a brief outline of things to consider before buying that home for €1:

  • Do you speak Italian? You will need to have a basic understanding of the Italian language to get by with day-to-day activities. Remember – you’re re-building a home and will need to contact builders, plumbers, electricians, the local town hall, possibly a lawyer, a notary to notarize the billions of documents that will need to be signed, stamped and stamped again. Can you do this in Italian?
  • English is not the first language and is not widely used. There are areas of the island where English thrives, but it’s for a few months during the summer when the hotels and beaches fill with tourists and it’s nowhere near Ollolai.
  • Driving. Ollolai is in the beautiful middle of nowhere – are you licensed to drive?
  • Are you ready to rejuvenate a ghost town?
  • It’s expensive here, very. I still convert items to the Canadian dollar and am always left aghast.
  • 1 euro = 1.52 CAD

If you can get over those small hurdles and prepare yourself for a beautiful, simple life, deep within the folds of Sardinia’s glorious mountains – then do it. Go for it. Sardinia will repay you ten times over with her beauty, charm and hospitality.

Happy House Hunting.

Useful info:

Comune di Ollolai, Nuoro, Sardinia, Italy – site in Italian but you can find the application and modules that need completing. There is a link on their homepage about Case for 1 euro. That link seems to be broken as it takes me to an error page. Maybe all the house hunters have crashed the site.

26 thoughts on “Ollolai, Italy: The small Sardinian town selling homes for €1

    • Hello, yes the locals are very aware of this and there have been many protests as well as many people becoming sick. However, this is at Quirra, Sardinia about a 2-hour drive from Ollolai. Thank you for providing the links, it’s appreciated. 🙂

      • Sardinians are very protective of their history, culture, traditions and way of life.
        Protection from pollution including that arising from military bases has been high on the political agenda in Sardinia going back to the 50’s and 60’s.
        You need only view the several murals in Orgosolo as evidence of such concerns and well as the articles in the two main newspapers.
        This very initiative of selling houses to help revitalise rural communities is also to ensure the history, culture and traditions are maintained.
        There are very few “ex-pat” communities in Sardinia although they do exist.
        This is because from what I have seen first-hand, the reason the majority of foreigners come to Sardinia is because they appreciate the Sardinian way of life.

      • Most excellent comment, thank you. I appreciate you coming around this way and offering your opinion, it is valued. You’re right, that there are very few expat communities here, but we are growing. 🙂 The island is just too beautiful.

    • I was able to obtain the application information but unable to submit it through the email address provided. I did sent it to a few other addresses I found though. Fingers crossed that it will be forwarded to the right place. I am excited to see how this progresses for Ollolai. I hope the information continues to be shared.

      • Good luck Pat.
        From what I have seen there is a scoring system in place to determine which applicant is given the opportunity of purchasing the available properties.
        I have no doubt other villages will follow suit.

    • Dear, Sardinia is the 48th largest island in the Planet Earth, according the same demential reasoning, nobody should move in Japan cause Fukushima. Sardinia is a developed western european region with some polluted areas (industrial complexes, military test ranges, roads polluted by car exhaust gases ) as any other part of the world, apart probably Antarctica. Y

  1. Pingback: You could buy a house on this Italian island for just $1.50 – Official Site

  2. Pingback: You could buy a house on this Italian island for just $1.50 | National Post

  3. Is Linda aware that Sardinia is the subject of numerous international studies to try and understand why the island has one of the highest percentages of centenarians on the planet.
    Put simply it is regarded as one of the healthiest places to live on the plant.
    I am not sure where she got her information from but we do live in a “post truth” age.

    • Perfectly said, and she hasn’t come around here since her first comments. Like I said, I’m sure she’s just spam. Thank you for the great info, it’s appreciated. Wishing you a splendid rainy day. 🙂

      • Thanks Jenny.
        If you do know of any particular website where one can see and apply for such properties then please let me know.
        We bought a house near Chiaramonti four years ago and have had friends and family across to enjoy the delights of the island.
        They are all very keen to buy a property with a few contacting me since they saw the article in the UK press.

      • I’ve tried the comune of Ollolai’s website several times, and I keep getting an error message. I’m sure they have a lot of traffic to their site in the last few days. I really like Chiaramonti – it’s such a picturesque town.

        You can contact my friend Bruno if you or your friends are interested in buying property on the island. He is fluent in English and Italian.

  4. Hi there, are there any other towns or villages in Sardinia with similar initiatives? We would be happy to pay double the price (2 Euros) if required? Is there a specific website to go to? Many thanks, Peter

  5. Wow! I guess if you are wanting a third arm, second penis ;), or to glow in the dark from all the beyond lethal radiation, it sounds like a dream come true! A perfect place to suffer out your few remaining days/years of life.

  6. Wow! I guess if you are looking for a third arm, second penis ;), or to glow in the dark from all the beyond lethal radiation, it sounds like a dream come true!

    Sent from my iPhone


    • woah, slow down. Do you have evidence that backs up your claim that there is lethal radiation at Ollolai? The move is not for everyone, one needs courage and resilience to make a move like this. Those that do are rewarded with fulfilling ‘their’ dreams, those that don’t just read about it.

    • Strange what you say, in barbagia there is the highest number of people centenarians and Ollolai has it. Where did you find your data?

  7. I’m sorry, but the City of Ollolai announces that as of 14.00 on February 7, 2018 will no longer be able to submit applications for participation in the allocation of homes for 1 euro.The time has expired but, perhaps, there may be a postponement, as often happens in Italy.

  8. Good news, but probably nothing left as demand far exceeds supply. It’s somewhat old news. Peccato, è veramente un bel posto. Le mie prossime vacanze saranno in Sardegna!!

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