Airbnb Is Looking for Someone to Live Rent-Free in Sicily for a Year

Pack your bags!

Sambuca, Italy

Courtesy of Airbnb

Have you ever dreamed of dropping everything and moving to Italy? That dream could potentially become a reality, courtesy of Airbnb. The vacation-home rental company recently refurbished an old house in the Sicilian town of Sambuca, and they are looking for a candidate willing to take up residence there for an entire year—completely rent-free. There is, however, one catch: You will have to host guests during your residency.

Spanning three floors in total, the townhouse in question is admittedly fabulous, thanks to a total designer makeover from the Italian architectural firm Studio Didea. The design incorporates materials and colors pulled from the local landscape: think light wood furniture, lots of potted plants, and walls painted in shades of terra cotta and turquoise.

The ground floor has a small living room and master suite with a king-size bed and ensuite bathroom, while the first floor features a second living room, kitchen, working space, bathroom, and mezzanine bedroom with a king-size bed. On the top floor, there's an additional living space with a queen-size sofa bed.

The winning applicant gets first dibs on the bedroom they want to stay in during the year; the second bedroom is what will be listed on Airbnb. While only one candidate will be selected, that person will get to bring family or friends—up to two adults and two children total—to live with them. Aside from not having to pay rent, the candidate gets to keep all the money made from their Airbnb hosting duties.

1 Euro House - Living Room

Courtesy of Airbnb

1 Euro House - Kitchen

Courtesy of Airbnb

1 Euro House - Exterior

Courtesy of Airbnb

Sambuca di Sicilia is a small rural village of about 6,000 inhabitants, located just under 50 miles south of Palermo. The town made headlines in 2019 when it started selling houses for one euro each in an effort to boost the population. This campaign inspired the HGTV documentary series “My Big Italian Adventure,” in which actress Lorraine Bracco chronicled her efforts to renovate one of the homes in town.

Aside from its recent gimmicks, Sambuca is known for its charming beauty, characterized by a blend of Italian and North African architectural styles. The town features many well-preserved castles and churches, and its economy relies mostly on the local production of olive oil and wine. Airbnb specifically purchased and renovated the “1 Euro House” (named after its original asking price) to bring more tourism into Sambuca.

“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," said Leonardo Ciaccio, mayor of Sambuca, in a press release. "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."

To that end, the winner will be able to take place in a mentorship program upon arriving in Sambuca, where they can learn Italian and take Italian cooking classes.

Sambuca Grape Harvest

Courtesy of Airbnb

To enter, visit Airbnb and complete the application form. The form asks you to answer some basic questions (Do you have a valid passport? What is your level of English?) and write a short essay describing why you would be a great host and how you would spend your time in Sambuca.

Applications will be open until Feb. 18th. While Italian language skills are not required, applicants must be able to speak conversational English. Candidates must also be over the age of 18 and available to move to Sambuca on June 30, 2022. The winner will be free to come and go as they please, but they must commit to living in the house for at least three consecutive months; additionally, they must promise to host Airbnb guests for a minimum of nine months total.

Sounds like something you'd be interested in? Head to Airbnb to learn more and get started on your application.

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