Italian town offering up villas for $1.50
The city of Sambuca di Sicilia is seen from above (Source: CNN Travel)
Published Friday, January 18, 2019 12:04PM EST
For less than the price of a cup of coffee, you could purchase a villa on Italy’s southern island of Sicily.
The small town of Sambuca di Sicilia is offering up homes in the town for €1, or approximately $1.50, in a bid to revitalize its population.
But there’s a catch. The new owners have to commit spending, within three years, at least €15,000 to refurbish the homes, many of which were left abandoned. Purchasers must also pay a €5,000 security deposit which the town will return once the work is done.
All in, that’s about $30,101 – still a deal that’s tough to beat.
Sambuca boasts pristine beaches, forests and a picturesque mountain nearby, as well as a rich local history.
Despite that, the town has found itself in decline in recent years, as residents have moved away to bigger cities.
This has left many of its homes abandoned, gradually slipping into disrepair. By selling the properties so cheaply, officials hope to give the town a makeover and revitalize the local economy.
But officials say, unlike other towns where similar promotions have had mixed results, Sambuca owns the homes up for sale.
"We're not intermediaries who liase between old and new owners," Deputy Mayor Giuseppe Cacioppo told CNN. "You want that house, you'll get it in no time."
But it may be too late to get your dream villa.
Since CNN Travel broke the news earlier this week, the town has received tens of thousands of requests from around the world to buy the homes.
“The €1 houses email inbox is full, so people have been calling me on my mobile,” Cacioppo said. “It hasn't stopped ringing. I have received something like a thousand phone calls, I hope not to go nuts."