Italy wants you to live out your “Under the Tuscan Sun” fantasy

Your castle awaits! (credit: Buena Vista Pictures)

If you have spent your life daydreaming about one day buying a crumbling villa in Tuscany and fixing it up, à la Diane Lane in “Under the Tuscan Sun,” now may be the perfect time to make that a reality.

The Italian government has a surplus of these crumbling villas, it turns out, and they are willing to hand out about 100 of them — for free! — provided the new owners restore them. This program, called Cammini e Percorsi (“roads and paths”), is available to anyone under the age of 40, and is intended to attract young entrepreneurs.

There are a couple of stipulations, of course. The building has to be open to the public, and your lease only lasts nine years (though you can extend it). According to the program’s website, the idea is to develop “a more responsible tourism, respectful of the land and the environment,” (as opposed to the swarms of tourists cluttering up the Duomo or Pompeii).

Interested? You have until June 26th to fill out the survey. Buona fortuna!