A man buys an entire village in Italy … What did he do to them?

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – In recent years, Italy has sold hundreds of household waste almost free of charge, under schemes aimed at attracting new residents, resulting in a wave of renovations within rural communities.

But one man did not just buy a house, but bought an entire village.

Scottish businessman Chisidio de Ciacca has just completed the renovation of the small 16th-century rural village of Borgo I Ciacca, named after his family.

It is located in the rugged and wild Cucaria region, between the Italian cities of Rome and Naples, at the foot of Pechenescu.

“My grandparents, Chisidio and Marietta, left the village in the early twentieth century in search of a better future,” de Chaca told CNN, adding that they “emigrated to Scotland, leaving behind the village of of them that had been forgotten for half a year. century. “

He added, “It has become a haunted place. I started restoring it over 10 years ago. It was a very difficult task, but it is finally coming back to life.”

The commodity pushed him to return to the land of his ancestors. After amassing his financial resources as a lawyer and advisor, de Chaca decided to revitalize the village his family had abandoned and revitalize his local economy.

This village has turned into a hotbed of ghosts, plain textCredit: Silvia Marchetti

Previously, the village was a collection of ruined stone dwellings for farmers, barns and windowless warehouses with cracked doors and swinging stairs. Today, however, it features delicate pastel-colored buildings that have been meticulously redesigned, with a panoramic circular path overlooking the green hills.

Borga de Chaca
Invasion of nature by buildings, plain textCredit: Silvia Marchetti

The village features a winery, a conference room, a library and two pavilions to welcome guests eager to experience rural life isolated from the world. In this village grow the Matorano vineyards, a rare variety that has been restored.

De Chaca was born in the fishing village of Cockkenzie, outside Edinburgh, but his deep love for his native land was overwhelming.

He told CNN that “my family did not lose touch with its roots”, noting that “every summer, during my childhood, my parents brought me here to visit our relatives. Connect with all the roots of and dust from the Borgo family village. “

140 previous owners

Borga de Chaca
The de Chaca family emigrated to the countryside before the end of the last century, plain textCredit: Cesccio di Ciacca

The first step was to trace all the owners of the 140 village properties, spread over an area of ​​30 hectares, and this is a long and complicated procedure, hampered by the reality of migration that scattered the villagers in. all sides of the earth.

“The village was fragmented and divided between many heirs who often owned a corner of a house, or part of a pasture, or forested or agricultural land, or just an olive tree,” de Chaca said.

Under Italian law dating back to the Napoleonic era, property does not pass to the eldest heir, but to every member of the family. Over several generations, ownership was distributed to many families.

The last inhabitant of the village, de Chaca said, was his cousin, who died in 1969. For the next fifty years, the already ruined village engulfed nature, and plants invaded the walls and doors.

Borga de Chaca
Ruined buildings still look .., plain_textCredit: Silvia Marchetti

Remnants of former village life can still be seen everywhere, including wine bottles and nails on ceilings used to hang sausages to dry. When excavations for restoration began, ancient spoons, coins, and religious amulets were found.

De Chaca explained that he had to take the whole village to start the restoration work, because of the complex ownership puzzle.

Borgo de Chaca
Houses in the village of Borgo de Chaca after restoration, plain textCredit: Cesccio di Ciacca

“I was able to get my family’s house unit,” he added, noting that it took me years to buy all the shares and each small owner was offered the market value of the land, even if it was not worth it. so everyone got an offer. “

The local land registry and church helped him identify many of the owners, but a Chakka genealogical trace was possible because they remained in the area within walking distance of families and neighbors.

De Chaca had to work hard to persuade some relatives to give up parts of their village, especially among those who were emotionally hesitant despite not using the property.

Although he did not disclose the cost of the investment, de Chaca admits he spent a large sum to revitalize the village, with most of the money for reconstruction.

“Oh! I do not even want to think about it,” he commented, adding that “it was definitely a pretty crazy initiative. The sub-modules were not too expensive, it was the cost of upgrading.”

second life

Borga de Chaca
Chisedio de Chaca tried to preserve the charm of the village buildings, plain_textCredit: Cesccio di Ciacca

Before its extinction, the village of Borgo de Chaca was like a thriving microcosm, in which 60 people lived in small houses of barely 50 square meters, or about six families.

As part of the remodeling, the ovens and hearths of the old residences were renovated, which are now used for pizza parties and summer gatherings. Each room is fitted with antique furniture.

The village of Borgo de Chaca celebrates local culinary traditions. During seminars and events, dinners and appetizers, guests are served homemade food such as Pecorino sheep cheese, black lard, ricotta goat cheese and spicy pork dishes.

“It all started as a hobby, then I realized I had to turn this dream into a sustainable business,” De Chaca told CNN. “When my daughter Sophia decided to quit her job at the company and take care of the vineyards, she came back. The village of Borgo on a rural farm that produces honey and nuts,” De Chaca told CNN. wine, extra virgin olive oil and started organizing environmentally friendly activities.

In the 2500 square meter village, now find a small cultural center and a conference room for academic meetings, food and agricultural studies. There is also a restaurant for wine tasting and a kitchen to teach cooking lessons. The village has underfloor heating and a strong internet connection.

Since its first harvest in 2017, its wine has won three international silver awards and is also exported abroad.

Pocolek marathons are held in the spring, where people run up and down the vineyards, then relax in the small square where villagers once met to chat in the evenings after working in the fields.

Borgo de Chaca
Keep the basic interior design, plain textCredit: Cesccio di Ciacca

De Chaca explained that he did not change the interior of the rooms, preserving the original design and rustic atmosphere, with relief stone walls and old thick wooden doors with metal screws.

However, tracking down 140 relatives was a small drop in the Italian bureaucracy, according to De Chacca, acknowledging that the documents are disappointing, as he hired local youths to take care of his business while in Scotland.

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, de Chaca found himself trapped in the village, the unpolluted air and forgotten location of which he describes as a gift from God. He spends most of the year in his grandparents’ house with his wife, son, daughter and now his grandchildren.

Spiritual atmosphere

Borga de Chaca
He lives with his family in the ancestral village, plain_textCredit: Cesccio di Ciacca

The village is the birthplace of Johnny, de Chaca’s father, before his parents took him north to Scotland, where they worked in the ice cream trade.

For more than 500 years, Borgo has belonged to their family and as De Chaca’s only living heir truly interested in her resurrection, he wants to protect her future.

Borgo de Chaca
He turned his ancestral village into a village farm, plain textCredit: Cesccio di Ciacca

“I want this village to be a major hub for all Scottish Italians abroad who want to return, connect with their roots and maybe even support the land by releasing activities and opportunities for growth,” he said.

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