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Moving to Italy for $1.24

Dreaming of leaving it all and moving to Italy?
What’s your housing budget?
How about $1.24?

No, that’s not a typo—one American dollar and twenty-four cents.

What do you get for that couch-change price? An entire house in a quaint Italian village called Ollolai, which is located on the breathtakingly picturesque island of Sardinia off the western coast of mainland Italy.

There are 200 houses available. (Note: Don’t go quitting your job—they were on sale for a limited time and as of press time, none may be available.)

So what’s the catch? Okay, there is a catch.

Each of the houses are in dire need of repairs. In fact, the entire town is in the market for a serious facelift. Owners can indeed purchase one of the homes for 1 euro (the equivalent of around $1.24 in USD when the offer went live), but should expect to shell out some serious cash over the next few years to cover repairs.

The city is willing to provide significant grants to new owners to offset the cost of repairs. Those grants will cover between 20 and 60 percent of the overall repair costs, but new owners should still expect to shell out around $25,000 in repair costs over the next few years. Owners will be permitted to sell the properties after five years of ownership.

Why is this happening? The town of Ollalai used to be a bustling hub. It was long considered the “capital” of the Barbagia region and has a lot of pride and tradition. In fact, the town’s mayor, Efisio Arbau, says the town has “prehistoric origins.” (And we thought Commonwealth Properties focused on historic spaces!)

However, over the last five decades, Ollalai’s population has dwindled by half. That exodus has resulted in lots of abandoned homes, and an insufficient population to properly sustain infrastructure.

Rather than give up, Mayor Arbau decided to get creative. He dreamed up the 1-Euro-For-A-House (Case a 1 Euro) deal to breathe new life and funds into the town.

We applaud Mayor Arbau for his ingenuity and his appreciation for historic preservation. As they say in Italy, Bravo!

Hotel 340 is What You’ve Been Looking For

There’s a reason that hotel banquet halls are such a popular choice for weddings and other large events: Hosts are willing to put up with a generic space because it’s so convenient for guests to be able to stay overnight without commuting.

Business professionals appreciate being able to pop downstairs from their hotel room for a corporate breakfast meeting.

Wedding and party guests appreciate being able to quickly retire for the evening after a celebration—without worry of securing a safe ride.

Many hosts would prefer to select a unique space with a bit more history or character, but the lure of on-site accommodations proves too tempting.

What if there were a place that offered the best of both worlds?

(Hint: There is.)

One of the many features of 340 Cedar Street, the iconic building that houses the Saint Paul Athletic Club, is Hotel 340: the boutique hotel that occupies the upper floors. Hotel 340 is routinely ranked among the region’s top hotels, and it offers sophisticated rooms with rich history and modern amenities—not to mention spectacular views of downtown.

Guests of Hotel 340 can eat, drink, and be merry without ever leaving the building. (Which is particularly appealing during Minnesota’s notorious winters!) And, of course, guests also have access to the Saint Paul Athletic Club’s award-winning fitness facilities.

With several event spaces, including a stunning grand ballroom that can accommodate hundreds, the Saint Paul Athletic Club offers flexible options for events of any size, along with gourmet catering, A/V capabilities, and much more. And when the festivities are over, the “commute” to bed couldn’t be simpler.