Sicilian town offers $1.45 houses

Sept. 2, 2008 at 4:04 PM

SALEMI , Italy, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The mayor of Salemi on the Italian island of Sicily said he is attempting to revitalize the historic center of the town by selling houses for 1 euro, or $1.45.

Mayor Vittorio Sgarbi said a number of prominent people have expressed interest in purchasing the ultra-discounted properties, most of which have been badly in need of repair since an earthquake 40 years ago. Among those interested are fomer Genesis singer Peter Gabriel and Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

"We're thinking of people who have the sensibility and economic resources to embark on this adventure," Sgarbi said. "In exchange for a token payment of 1 euro we will offer them one of these houses and ask that they undertake to restore them within two years while respecting their original characteristics."

''We have had a lot of interest ... people are already booking up to come down here. My aim is to make Salemi the next Pantelleria," he said in reference to a small volcanic island that has become a popular destination for celebrities.

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