Guardia Sanframondi is a small village in southern Italy with about 5000 inhabitants. Like many municipalities in the Italian hinterland, over the years it has suffered a slow depopulation of the historic center, until it is almost completely abandoned. It’s known throughout the world for the Seven-Year Rites, a procession that takes place every 7 years in which men with white hoods and tunics, called battenti, cross the country scourging their breasts, for the rest of the time one of the many forgotten municipalities returns that almost does not appear on the maps.
Here about 10 years ago Clare moved, a young Scottish artist in search of a quiet place, surrounded by nature that would allow her to live thanks to her art. Growing up in a small village of just 10 houses in the Scottish countryside with her family, Clare has always wanted to go back to a simple life where she doesn't constantly think about work, career and money, but where she can cultivate her spirituality and his inspiration.
In a moment of despair, due to the lack of money that did not allow her to have her own home and a warm place for the winter, she begins to look for an alternative, on the internet she comes into contact with people like her, looking for one different lifestyle, and one of these speaks of a small town with a very pretty but almost completely abandoned historic center, where houses can be bought cheaply. So Clare leaves. It is love at first sight, he decides to stay, to buy a house with the only savings she had (10,000 euros) and to try to give new life to this place with art.
Having no more money, she began to renovate the house that was in complete neglect by herself and contacted a famous American show, House Hunters International, to let others know her story.
And this is what has marked the turning point, from the moment the episode on her airs is flooded with requests, Americans begin to arrive in the country and buy houses for little money. A gold rush that she had no intention of unleashing.
It took years to reach a balance, but now it seems to have finally been achieved.
Today in the small historic area of Guardia there are about 200 houses belonging to foreigners from all over the world, most of them come here every now and then on vacation or for short periods, but a small part, especially women, have decided to stay and live life focusing on different values following Clare's example.