Twelve Families Found Living in Italian Palace for €5 a Month
The Italian Court of Audit is investigating how 12 families came to be living in the grounds of a Bourbon palace in southern Italy for rents between €5 and €15 per month ($5.50 - $16.50). Apparently, the families have been renting the homes since the 1990s and have also been exempt from paying gas and electricity bills. The properties are located a short distance from the Royal Botanical Gardens on the grounds of the Palace of Caserta, an 18th Bourbon mansion near Naples, which is often dubbed 'the Italian Versailles' since it was inspired by France's Palace of Versailles. Over the past two decades the families, believed to be ex-employees of the palace and their descendants, have been free to roam the fountain-filled grounds of the UNESCO World Heritage site which stretches some 300 acres. The families have been issued eviction notices, but so far, only one family has left.
The latest revelations come less than a month after an investigation exposed hundreds of properties in Rome, owned by authorities that were being rented at rock bottom prices, costing the city some €100 million in lost revenue.