Holiday In This Italian Village For Free

Imagine getting to traipse through a gorgeous Italian countryside this summer.
Sunday 26 July 2020
The Molise Region is a gorgeous but lesser travelled part of Italy. Photo: AFP 

Italy took a tremendous hit from the coronavirus with one of the highest and quickest death counts outside of China early on during the pandemic. With the country finally stabilising, numbers decreasing and places opening up, the Italians must find ways to build their lives back up, especially the tourist industry which many are reliant on. 


Sitting in a little pocket of its own in the east of Rome is the oft-overlooked area of Molise. The region is wild and beautiful surrounded by green pastures atop mountains. It almost looks more akin to the rolling hills of Austria in The Sound of Music. 

The architecture of Molise is worth the trek. Photo: Pixabay


In 2019 the small town started offering up US$27,000 to repopulate the area as well as commit to starting a business there in order to help boost the local economy. This was done in an effort to preserve the historic towns and old traditions of the region lest they turn into ghost towns. 


To remedy the situation this year, the small village of San Giovanni in Galdo has decided to offer families free accommodation until 3 October. If you fancy a respite from the difficulties of life in the time of COVID-19 then maybe the plentiful hills of Molise are where your salvation lies. 

Explore old castle ruins and discover what lies within.  Photo: Pixabay


San Giovanni only has a population of 500, for outdoorsy introverts who like exploring this is the dream. In total, 40 lucky families will get the chance to enjoy a week of accommodation in this majestic countryside, exploring old towns, trekking through forest and discovering the hidden Italian cultures. 

Everyone with the exception of those who have family or a place of residence in the region can apply for a free one-week stay in the village. All you have to do is fill in a form in Italian, explaining why you would like to vacation in the village, which is 20-minute drive from Campobasso, the regional capital of Molise. However, no more than five people can be included in a single application, which must be submitted with proof of identity for each individual travellers.

The scenery across the region is enough to take one’s breath away. Photo: Unsplash


Molise has also just recently made the list of list of 52 destinations to discover in 2020 in The New York Times