A Real Fiscal Cliff
The government said the cliffs of Calcata, a medieval hill town 30 miles north of Rome, where crumbling and the residents would have to abandon the village for a new one a half mile away. They were right. Sort of. There was a government policy, created during the Fascist era, that stated any village that was so decrepit it was dangerous, the government would destroy it and build a new town nearby. The residents of this cramped hill town, tired of the poor living conditions, took advantage of this law. By the 1960s, the new town, Calcata Nuova, was ready and the old residents slowly moved. At the same time, hippies and artists discovered this slowly abandoned village and bought up the houses, knowing the village was to be condemned. They eventually had the law reversed, saving the village, and went on to fix up Calcata. Today home prices have soared and it's become one of the most beautiful (and bizarre) places in Italy.
By David Farley, AFAR Contributor
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00060 Mazzano Romano RM, Italy
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