Holidays in 2020 have so far been virtually non-existent.
But as lockdown restrictions loosen, the dream of a few weeks abroad could soon become a reality.
If the pandemic has messed with your travel budget, we have good news: a tiny village in southern Italy is offering free accommodation for visitors.
Does it sound too good to be true? Yes. But is it true? Also yes.
In recent years, San Giovanni in Molise has been struggling to keep afloat, so much so that in 2019, the local government offered £22,000 to anyone willing to make a permanent move to the village.
As a result of the population declining, there are a lot of houses standing empty. It is exactly these properties that holiday-goers will be given access to.
There are three homes to choose from with a maximum one-week stay any time between July and September.
‘Due to decades of emigration from Molise, there are houses in village centres that have been lying empty for years,’ Enzo Luogo, who came up with the scheme, told The Telegraph.
‘These are beautiful but depopulated villages that don’t have any tourist accommodation to begin with, so we thought: how can we help revive our historic villages, while also encouraging visitors during these difficult times, when tourism is at an all-time low?’
The Molise region is known for offering picturesque views of its many rolling peaks, as well as producing delicious local cheeses.
Once you get tired of the stunning landscape and stuffing your face full of fromage, rent a car and explore the surrounding area – including Abruzzo National Park and the coastline, with its white sandy beaches.
Fancy an affordable trip?
Book your weeklong stay on the tourism website, all you have to do is fill in some details and tell them why you want to come here (we recommend saying something beyond ‘free houses’).