22/01/2019 04:45:00

Sicilian town of Sambuca di Sicilia sells homes for one dollar each

 The homes, which range from 40 to 150 square metres, may only come with a €1 price tag, but they will need a lot of work.

In January past year, the Sardinian town of Ollolai announced that it was selling 200 homes for R16 (€1) in an effort to lure new residents.

Sambuca, found on the southern Island of Sicily, has seen a number of its native residents abandon the town in favour of larger Italian cities, but officials hope that will change with the new scheme. After younger residents have moved away to bigger cities in recent years, the town has a population of just under 6,000.

In addition, the new homeowners must pay a €5,000 (about $5,700 USD) security deposit, which is fully refundable once renovations are complete.

'This fertile patch of land is dubbed the Earthly Paradise, ' Giuseppe Cacioppo, Sambuca's deputy mayor, told CNN.

There is a catch, though: If you purchase one of the houses, you must invest €15,000 ($17,100 USD) in renovations over the course of three years, since numerous properties were abandoned and are cluttered with broken stones and old furniture.

That's a home with Mediterranean views surrounded by beaches, woods and mountains for less than the price of a cappuccino. We're not intermediaries who liaise between old and new owners.

Sambuca is an ancient town, founded by Greeks and conquered by the Saracens around A.D. 830. We're located inside a nature reserve, packed with history. "It's silent and peaceful, an idyllic retreat for a detox stay". It maintains its heritage in its Arabic quarter, which has narrow alleys and underground passageways.

Among the highlights of Sambuca include views of the volcano Mt. Etna in the distance, tours of ancient ruins, lovely Arab architecture, excellent local wines, and delicious food.

"The €1 houses email inbox is full, so people have been calling me on my mobile", Cacioppo said.

If the sale strikes a chord, you'd better act fast. "The whole world has got in touch", Cacioppo said to CNN. "We've been contacted by people from Switzerland, France and Spain and are receiving many requests".