Gangi for sale – 1,30 € per house

Gangi for sale, buy a house for 1,30 €

Gangi (Italy) (AFP) – It’s an offer you can’t refuse: rustic abodes in a picturesque hilltop village on the island of Sicily, once home to Italian peasants and their donkeys, are up for sale for just one euro.

Hewn into the Madonie mountains and dotted throughout the town of Gangi, the houses were left empty after their owners emigrated in the 1920s. They boast period features such as 18th-century tiles, original wood-burning ovens and wooden beams, along with spectacular views.

Around 20 houses are on sale for one euro ($1.30), with another 300 or so going for up to 15,000 euros in an initiative the village hopes will reverse decades of population decline and boost the local economy even as Italy falls back into recession.

Australian film director Dominic Allen is one of a crowd of potential buyers from the United States, Britain, Dubai and Sweden who have rushed to Gangi to snap up a bargain and transform the sparse living spaces and animal stalls into summer homes.

“You couldn’t buy a parking space in Australia for the price of this house,” Allen said, gazing around a narrow three-story building with a rudimentary kitchen cut out of the rocks and views of wheat fields and woods in the valley below.

“In many ways if you like the Italian lifestyle and you’re into a bit of adventure, it seems like a fun thing to do,” said the 33-year-old, who was looking for a place he could use with friends or rent out to tourists.

Buyers must put down a guarantee of 5,000 euros for the council to ensure they renovate the properties within three years, with the cost estimated at 20,000 euros to make the homes habitable — more for those that need re-roofing.

Sheltering from the harsh midday sun under the arches of a medieval tower in the town centre, Cataldo Piazza, 83, said he was delighted to see families of Italian and foreign tourists filling the streets, drawn by the one-euro offer.

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Fred Buscaglione

Fred+BuscaglioneFerdinando “Fred” Buscaglione (23 November 1921 – 3 February 1960) was an Italian singer and actor who became very popular in the late 1950’s. His public persona – the character he played both in his songs and his movies – was of a humorous mobster with a penchant for whisky and women.

Ferdinando Buscaglione was born in Turin, Italy on 23 November 1921. The son of a porter, his great passion for music appeared at a very young age. When he was 11, his parents enrolled him at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Turin. During his teen years, he performed at night clubs in Turin singing jazz and playing double bass and violin.

During World War II, he was incarcerated in an American internment camp in Sardinia. His musical talent was apparent and he was allowed to join the orchestra of the allied radio station of Cagliari. This permitted Buscaglione to continue to make music and to experiment with new sounds and rhythms coming from the U.S. (Most foreign music had been officially forbidden by the Italian Fascist regime.)

After the war, Buscaglione returned to Turin and resumed working as a musician for various bands. He then formed his own group, the Asternovas. During a tour in Switzerland in 1949 he met and married the half-German half-Moroccan entertainer Fatima Robin. In the meantime he was gradually creating his public character, inspired by Clark Gable and Mickey Spillane’s gangsters. His friend Leo Chiosso, a lyricist who wrote many of his songs, told him stories about gangsters and their babes, New York and Chicago, tough men who were ruthless with enemies but easily fell victims to a woman’s charms. Together they wrote the hits that brought nation-wide fame to Buscaglione: Che bambola (Whatta babe!), Teresa non sparare (Theresa, don’t shoot!), Eri piccola così (You were so small), Guarda che luna (Look, What A (beautiful) Moon), Love in Portofino, Porfirio Villarosa, Whisky facile (Easy Whiskey).

After perfecting his routine in night clubs and theatres he started recording his songs in 1955; the first single (a shellac 78rpm record containing ‘Che bambola’ and ‘Giacomino’) sold 1,000,000 copies with close to no promotion, propelling him to a degree of fame he never considered possible.

By the end of 1950s, Buscaglione was one of Italy’s most wanted entertainers. He appeared on advertising campaigns, on television, in movies.

At 38 years of age, he was killed in a car accident when his pink Ford Thunderbird collided with a truck in the early hours before dawn in Rome, of all places, right before the U.S. embassy.

Alongside his legacy, in songs and movies, Buscaglione deserves mention for having encouraged musicians and singers from the newer generation (the one influenced by the earliest forms of rock and roll) to stand up against the conservative producers and discographers of the time, demanding recognition for their art and their style. In this role he proved instrumental in the rise of the “yellers” scene which from the early 60s started to revolutionize the Italian popular music panorama.