Sambuca, the "City of Splendor," is hoping to save its historic structures and revive a waning community.
If your dream house is a historic dwelling nestled in a hilltop town in Sicily, with views of the Mediterranean island and nearby beaches … and has a listing price of €1 … consider this your lucky day.
The southern Italian town of Sambuca di Sicilia has placed dozens of dwellings on the market for €1, or just over a dollar. The town is hoping to lure newcomers to make up for a dwindling population that could otherwise leave the town in ruins. As CNN reports, the town, like other rural communities in Italy, is suffering from depopulation as younger residents move to bigger cities. Other towns have created tantalizing campaigns to attract a new population, but Sambuca promises that this offer is different – less of a PR gimmick."As opposed to other towns that have merely done this for propaganda, this city hall owns all €1 houses on sale," says Giuseppe Cacioppo, Sambuca's deputy mayor and tourist councilor. "We're not intermediaries who liaise between old and new owners. You want that house, you'll get it [in] no time."
And the town is decidedly not lacking in beauty. With its long history, the area boasts an eclectic mix of architecture, from churches with Moorish domes to Baroque palazzos with “glazed tile floors, decorated with smiling cherubs, fearsome gargoyles, twisted columns, allegorical statues and coats of arms,” explains CNN.
The homes for sale are primarily in the Saracen District, known for its narrow winding alleys and arcaded stone portals. And the home are perfectly TreeHugger-sized, ranging from 430 to 1,614 square feet (40 to 150 square meters) – many of them the two-story Moorish dwellings typical of the town, complete with “inner courtyards, lavish palm gardens with orange and mandarin trees, arcaded entrances, flowery majolica staircases, typical Sicilian tile roofs and terraces overlooking the stunning scenery.”
But of course, one can’t expect all of this amazingness without providing something in return. The new owners must commit to refurbishing their new abode within three years, with an estimated cost starting around $17,000 – in addition to a security deposit of around $5600.
Even so, what a steal. What a way to escape the rat race and find a slow life, in the country that made slow living famous. And what a wonderful initiative for the town to create, saving not only its buildings, but its heritage as well.
"Sambuca is known as the City of Splendor," Cacioppo says. "This fertile patch of land is dubbed the Earthly Paradise. We're located inside a natural reserve, packed with history. Gorgeous beaches, woods and mountains surround us. It's silent and peaceful, an idyllic retreat…"
You can read more about the offerings at CNN.