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They bought a ghost village in Italy then left it to crumble

A group of Italians with links to the forsaken village of San Severino di Centola in Campania have come together to buy it.

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With more and more dwindling Italian towns offering up neglected homes at bargain prices, snapping up an abandoned house in the country has become increasingly popular in recent years.

The Sicilian town of Sambuca di Sicilia has apparently become something of an Italian “Little America” after attracting headlines when it began selling off dwellings for little over a dollar back in 2019.

However, a group of Italians originally from the forsaken village of San Severino di Centola, located in the Province of Salerno, Campania, decided to go one step further by buying an entire hamlet.

Back in 2008, Silverio D’Angelo joined forces with eight others, who live across Italy, to purchase all of the neglected homes in the medieval district of the village, which has been pretty much abandoned since the last residents left in the 1970’s.

The retired banker says that he and the others began knocking at the doors of the heirs of past owners to convince them to sell after becoming concerned that the ghost village would fall prey to unscrupulous investors who may have wanted to radically change its structure.

“We were driven by a visceral love for this place, by passion for our roots and ancestors,” says D’Angelo, a native born in the newer section of the village, connected to the old hamlet, which was built further downhill when locals started fleeing the old hamlet in the 1800’s due to harsh winters, difficult roads and tough life conditions.

“We have a strong attachment to this land, our hearts belong here. But it was quite a reckless move. You need a lot of patience, and money, to bring a whole place like this back to life.”

Around 350 or so people live in the newer section of San Severino di Centola, which is about a 15 minute walk away from the abandoned area..

D’Angelo explains that he and the others acquired around 60 old stone dwellings 15 years ago and “each have a property stake.”

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