Italy Is Giving Away Castles For Free

I’m still in Italy, and as usual I don’t want to leave!

I found this article written by Carrie Goldberg on Harpers and now I want a castle….


You can be the proud owner of your own palazzo–but there’s a catch.


…we’re not kidding.

Italy is giving away 103 buildings across the country, many of which are historic villas and castles, for those looking to develop them something other than what they have become: crumbling landmarks.                                       This post contains affiliate links

Recipients of the properties must agree to transform the buildings and plots of land into something that drives tourism, thereby positively affecting the nation’s economic growth. Suggestions for the sites’ transformations include hotels, restaurants, shops, spas or luxury villas. The country is focused on young entrepreneurs for this experimental endeavor, targeting the under-40 set, start-ups and co-ops.

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The Local Italy reports that the country is hoping this initiative, dubbed the Strategic Tourist Plan, will promote the development of tourism throughout the country, and not just in its tourist-heavy areas like Lake Como, Venice, Tuscany, Milan and the Amalfi Coast. The plan is also aimed at relieving the strain and overcrowding the country’s most popular cities, namely Venice, are experiencing. Roberto Reggio, from the State Property Agency, told The Local, “The goal is for private and public buildings which are no longer used to be transformed into facilities for pilgrims, hikers, tourists, and cyclists,” adding that “the project will promote and support the development of the slow tourism sector.”

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As expected, the buildings up for grabs are all located off the beaten path–many on religious walking routes or cyclist paths rather than main drags. Some of the most obscure locations available include the 13th-century Castello di Montefiore and the Castello di Blera in Lazio, an 11th-century property built by nobility and perched on a cliffside, with many of its medieval features still intact.

image via iStock

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To receive one of these free properties, applicants will need to submit a proposal, outlining their plans to transform the heritage sites. Recipients will have rights to own their respective properties for nine years, with the option to renew their contracts for a further nine years afterward. In some cases, entrepreneurs with a solid, inspiring proposal could receive up to a 50-year lease.

Applications must be submitted before June 26th, but if you miss out on this round’s worth of freebies, not to worry–the country is expected to include an additional 200 buildings in the project over the next two years.
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5 Foods You Need To Eat On The Italian Riviera

5 Foods You Need To Eat In Liguria

There is no one Italian cuisine. Italy’s food is regional, so you need to know which foods are traditional cuisine for the area you are visiting.

Right now the Glam Italia Tour is on the Italian Riviera – are you following us on Instagram? The cuisine of the Riviera/Liguria is quite varied. The warm Mediterranean air makes the climate perfect for growing olives, basil, wine grapes and vegetables. The coast delivers amazing fresh fish. Food here is fresh, light and delicious.

There are many foods of Liguria, but here are 5 you need to try.


tofie al pesto genovese

image via cavava+

Liguria is the birthplace of pesto, and you find the very best pesto in the world here. Genoa pesto has to be made with a mortar and pestle and with very specific ingredients. You have to try local pesto pastas (like the Trofie pasta pictured above) and pesto with focaccia.

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Instead of pizza here on the Riviera you will find focaccia, and they eat it throughout the day. It is crispy and golden, greasy and thick, and tastes like heaven. Eat it with coffee at breakfast time, grab a slice with olives and salt to go for lunch, eat fingers of it with local wine as an appetizer or eat it as your bread with dinner, any time of the day is fine!

foccacia di recco

Foccacia di Recco, image via Scatti di Gusto

Locals love Foccaccia di Recco, which is made with a local cheese from recco. You will probably want to run the Cinqueterre after eating so much bread!

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farinata genovese

Farinata, image via Memorie di Angelina

Farinata is a very old recipe made from chickpea flour, water, olive oil and salt and is best eaten right out of the oven!


ligurian spaghetti with mussels

image via

Pasta with mussels “cozze” cooked with garlic and white wine. Swoon worthy. Recipe here

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Pansotti/Pansoti are a Ligurian specialty ravioli. Pansotti is ligurian dialect for belly, these ravioli taking on the shape of a little fat belly! Home made pasta is filled with a mixture of local herbs – ideally a blend of 7 freshly foraged herbs including dandelion leaves, that are cleaned and boiled and then mixed with olive oil, parmigiana cheese, egg and garlic. The cooked Pansotti are then served in a walnut sauce that is absolutely divine.

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Riviera Days

Riviera days.

Corinna B Italian Riviera

The Glam Italia Tour is now on the Italian Riviera and it is so wickedly glamorous!

Today we are taking a boat over to Portofino, a teeny tiny yet madly chic little village on the water, east of Genoa.

Portofino Glam Italia Tour

In the 60’s it was a favorite vacation spot for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor, and it still retains all the charm and exclusivity.




It is home to some pretty sensational boats. These images are from the last time I was in Portofino. I will blog new Portofino stories when I get home.


yacht portofino

Glam Italia Tour Portofino

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