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Live For A Year In A Restored ‘1 Euro’ Sicilian Home With Airbnb

  • 5 min read
  • Airbnb is looking for an adventurer with a passion for hospitality to live rent-free and Host a restored Sicilian home for one year.
  • The project aims to boost tourism and bring new temporary residents to the Italian village of Sambuca as part of a wider commitment to support rural communities and cultural heritage in Europe.

Airbnb is on the search for the ideal candidate to live rent-free for a year and Host a decayed-turned-designer Italian heritage home. With a newfound flexibility to live and work remotely, one person will be given the opportunity to relocate to Sicily with their family, partner, or friend and move into this uniquely restored house. 

The picturesque three-story traditional home is located in Sambuca which was made famous thanks to its recent ‘1 Euro House campaign’. Like many Italian villages, Sambuca is suffering from a declining population so it launched the ‘1 Euro House campaign’ in 2018 to promote cultural heritage, encourage international investment and appeal to a younger demographic to restore the charm of the once bustling village. 

“The beauty of this campaign is that it gives a second chance not just to an abandoned heritage home in the heart of our village – it’s also a second chance to the person who moves into it. We see it as a designer makeover for the house and the Host. We’re looking for someone who wants to live with the local population and participate in all the important moments of the community, from the grape harvest to olive picking and we can’t wait to welcome whoever gets selected!” – Leonardo Ciaccio, Mayor of Sambuca di Sicilia.

Ideal candidates should be committed to hosting and contributing to village life. Their Sambuca residence will take place over a one year period beginning June 30th, with the successful applicant retaining all earnings from hosting on Airbnb.

The House

What is truly special about this ‘1 Euro House’ is that it has been given a total designer makeover. Airbnb worked with the Italian architectural firm Studio Didea to transform the home using materials and colors in harmony with the local landscape. Blending contemporary design with hand-made and local artisanal elements, the structure is typical of Sicily’s charming architecture. 

The spacious building spans three floors, with plenty of room to work remotely and Host on Airbnb. 

  • The ground floor comprises a small living room, master bedroom with king-size bed and en-suite bathroom. 
  • The first floor includes a living room, kitchen, working space, bathroom and mezzanine bedroom with a king-size bed. 
  • The upper floor includes an additional living space with a queen-size sofa bed. 

The successful applicant gets first dibs on the bedroom that best suits their needs with the second bedroom to be listed on Airbnb. 

The Location

Sambuca is a small rural village of about 6000 inhabitants in Sicily, characterized by a unique blend of Italian and North African cultures and architectural styles. Thanks to its ‘1 Euro House’ campaign, the successful applicant will join a growing international community, with many millennials moving from bigger local cities to the rural village in pursuit of a slower pace of life. 

How it works

To apply, visit and complete the application form. Before applying, carefully read the Selection Terms available on the website. 

Candidates must be over 18, available to move to Sambuca for at least 3 consecutive months, starting from June 30th, 2022 and be able to speak conversational English (Italian a plus!). The selected participant will be given the opportunity to attend a mentorship program: learning Italian and exploring the country’s cultural heritage. Candidates will need to demonstrate a commitment to hosting one room in the house for a minimum of 9 months. 

The successful participant may bring their partner, friend or family (maximum of two adults and two children in total). The successful participant will live rent-free and will retain all Airbnb Host earnings over the course of their residence. 

Airbnb’s commitment to heritage in Italy

This opportunity in Sambuca, Sicily highlights the potential economic benefits for rural communities as a result of changing travel trends on Airbnb driven by the pandemic. In Q3 2019 just four Italian cities accounted for over 26% of all travel: Rome, Venice, Milan, and Florence. In Q3 2021, however, those same four cities accounted for under 17% of travel and one of the top visited areas in Italy was Sicily.* Airbnb aims to support this demand by working with villages like Sambuca, to help restore them to their former glory.

Airbnb has previously supported similar heritage efforts with small villages, such as the restoration of an artist’s house in Civita, the Italian Sabbatical to support the revitalisation of the village of Grottole and the Italian Villages Project to showcase off-the-beaten-track destinations and sustainable tourism.

*Report by Oxford Economics, November 2021. You can access the full report here.

Airbnb encourages safe and responsible travel. Local and international travel requirements, as well as health guidelines, continue to change quickly. The selected participant and their guests will be required to follow COVID-19 rules applicable at the national and local level.