Italy's Jewels For Sale?

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 02:00

A Venetian island, a historic castle, and a 16th century convent are among the properties that the Italian government has put up for sale.

The State Demanio (Italian property agency) began offering 148 properties on April 11. The sale is scheduled to continue until May 6.  

The State Demanio has said that the sales are not intended to just bring in money, but to promote the development of regions. The sale features five properties, each valued at more than 400,000 euros, including a 15th century castle in Gradisca d'Isonzo in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a 24,000-square-metre building in the center of Trieste, the former 16th century convent of San Domenico Maggiore in Monteoliveto near Taranto, and the Venetian island of Poveglia.

According to Italy's ANSA, negotiations are already in place for the purchase of the entire village of Cittadella di Alessandria, located near an ancient fortress in the region of Piedmont.

As for Poveglia, the island, divided in two by a small canal, is located opposite the Lido, near Malamocco. A 99-year lease is being offered for the surface rights. In response to this, an association, Poveglia per tutti (Poveglia for all), has been established and is inviting citizens to contribute money so the island can remain public.

The total value of the properties for sale is about 9.4 million euros.

The Demanio state agency plans to put another 335 properties, including castles, monasteries, villages and lighthouses, on the market by the end of this year.