Buy an Alpine Village
Early in July, an item in used condition was offered for sale on the auction site eBay for a minimum price of 24,500,000 euros. Local pick-up was offered. Payment was to be made by cheque but refunds, unfortunately, would not be possible. The winner of the bid would get to be the proud owner of Borgata Calsazio, a village of 14 houses at the foot of the Gran Paradiso National Park, 50 miles from Turin. The proposed sale was just another sign of the enormous economic strains under which Italy finds itself. With youth unemployment at an astonishing 42 per cent, thousands have had to seek work far from home. Over the last three years, an estimated 2,50,000 Italians have moved to London, making the British capital the city with the sixth-largest population of Italians (after Genoa). Since Borgata Calsazio has completely emptied out, people who own homes there decided it would make sense to sell the entire village. Their eBay announcement assures potential clients that the settlement is “a strategic location to live, start a business or a tourist restaurant”. When I last checked, the village was still up for grabs.