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Fancy a pizza history?

Fancy a pizza history?

For sale: One deserted island. Peaceful, secluded, excellent fishing, no neighbors. Maybe a few feral cats, but this is more than compensated by the better-than-average 18th century prison facilities.

July 6, 2010 4:37 by

Surely it’s happened to all of us at some time in our lives. When times get tough – maybe the end of the month before payday, or maybe when we’ve gone without a job for a while – we cast our eyes around and think, “What could I sell?”
Perhaps it’s that games console you never really played after the first week you bought it. Maybe it’s your fitness equipment, which you bought with such good intentions, but is now simply an expensive dust magnet. In Kipp’s case, it would probably be a wardrobe full of clothes, all purchased on impulse, all completely the wrong size. For others it could maybe be a deserted island complete with 18th century prison.

Yes, a prison island. Because, as it turns out, countries can find themselves short of “walking around money” too. And when they do, they generally have some serious assets to offload. Think of it as a sort of garage sale, with a few multi-million knick-knacks up for grabs.

Italy has made the press this week because it is reportedly preparing to offload around 9,000 palaces, beaches, islands and forts with an estimated value of more than $4.5 billion. The country is laboring under a huge national debt, which is the supposed reason behind the sale. (Although some critics suggest that a huge series of real estate and building developments, which will be a consequence of the move, are more likely to be the real motivation behind the fire sale.)
So what could you get for your hard earned cash? Well, among the items up for grabs: the Santo Stefano island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, which boasts its own abandoned 18th century prison ($7.5 million-ish); a 900-year old former Royal Palace in Sicily ($120 million approx); a 16th century villa in Rome ($30 million); and even some mountains ($4.5 million).

Ever alert for a bargain, Kipp has had a look into the Italy sell-off to it to see if there’s anything available within our budget – after all, it can’t all be for millionaires. And sure enough, it turns out there is something we can afford – a 12 inch meat feast with no olives, on thin crust. Our kind of Italian bargain.

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