The interior of the house on offer, Source: Airbnb

Would you like to stay in a fully renovated Sicilian house for free?

Would you like to stay in a fully renovated Sicilian house for free?

Made possible after Airbnb decided to dip its toes in the local 1-euro house trend

Airbnb, the short-term rental online platform, offers a lucky person the chance to stay rent-free in a freshly refurbished house in the small Sicilian town of Sambuca for up to one year. Even more, the occupant will have to rent out one of the rooms in the house and thus become a host, but he or she will get to keep the income made from this.

Awarded the title of "the most beautiful Italian village" in 2016, Sambuca di Sicilia (not to be confused with the liqueur of the same name) has around 6,000 inhabitants and is located about 80 km south of Palermo.

What are the conditions?

Airbnb bought the formerly abandoned house for 1 euro, which is part of an ongoing trend for many smaller Italian towns to try and stimulate rejuvenation and turn the tide on depopulation in the countryside. The goal of the company is likewise to let a person, enjoy the charms of small-town Sicily and try to integrate into the local lifestyle by participating in the communal life.

The candidate is expected to commit to at least 3 months living in the 3-storey house, although it is possible to do it for a year. That being said the long-term plans of the platform are regarding the property have not been specified.

Nevertheless, getting a year living rent-free on the sunny Italian island is not something to be missed. Airbnb also said they will cover the transportation costs to get to Sambuca. The successful applicant is allowed to bring a friend, or a family member and up to 2 kids along for the experience.

If you’re interested in applying to be the Airbnb house occupant you need to fill out an online form by 18 February, including a 250-word essay explaining your motivation. You also have to be over the age of 18, a citizen of certain countries which do not have visa requirements for Italy.

Apparently, the 1-euro campaign has turned out to be fairly successful in Sambuca where Italian news agency ANSA reported that 143 properties have been sold this way to families from 38 countries. The caveat, of course, is that the buyers then have to bear the costs of renovation in order to make the houses livable.



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