The proposal is attractive for adventurers who want to travel to Italy. Airbnb is looking for a person who wants to live rent-free for a year and be a host in a typical Italian property that went from being deteriorated, to becoming a design space. As there is now much more flexibility to live and work remotely, this is an opportunity for a person who wants to move to Sicily with their family, their partner or a friend to live in a restored house.
The quaint traditional three-story house you will be staying in is located in Sambuca, a small town that became famous thanks to the recent campaign “Houses at 1 euro”. Like many other Italian towns, Sambuca’s population is declining. That is why, in 2018, this campaign was launched with the intention of promote the cultural heritage of the area, encourage foreign investment and attract a younger population that can bring life back to this charming town, full of activity in the past.
Leonardo Ciaccio, alcalde de Sambuca of Sicily, comments: “The wonderful thing about this campaign is that it not only gives a second chance to a derelict townhouse that is part of the local heritage, but also to the person who moves in. We see it as a change of scenery wrapped in design for the property and the host”.
As he specifies: “We are looking for someone who wants to live like a local: interact with the local residents and participate in important community events, such as the grape harvest or the olive harvest.”
The ideal person must fulfill their commitment as a host and participate in local life, that is an unavoidable condition. His residency in Sambuca will begin on June 30 and will last one year. During this time, the selected person will receive all the income they earn from their activity as an Airbnb host (one of the rooms will be offered as a shared space on Airbnb)
One of the most special aspects of this €1 house is that it was totally renovated by designers. Airbnb collaborated with Studio Didea, an Italian architecture studio, to transform the house using materials and colors that blend seamlessly with the local landscape. The structure is typical of Sicilian architecture, as it combines contemporary design with local craftsmanship and handmade elements.
The building has three floors and plenty of space to work remotely.
● The first floor consists of a small living room, a master bedroom with a king-size bed and a private bathroom.
● The second floor has a living room, kitchen, work area, bathroom, and a mezzanine bedroom with a king-size bed.
● Lastly, the third floor features a bonus room with a queen sleeper sofa.
The selected person will be able to choose the room that best suits their needs.
The location Sambuca is a small rural Sicilian town of about 6,000 inhabitants, noted for its unique blend of Italian and North African cultures and architectural styles. Thanks to the campaign “Houses at 1 euro”, the chosen person will be able to join a growing international community, with many millennials who began to move from the big cities in search of a slower pace of life in rural locations.
Candidates must be over 18 years of age, be available to move to Sambuca on June 30, 2022 for at least 3 consecutive months, and have a sufficient level of English to maintain a fluent conversation (speaking Italian is a plus!). The selected participants will have the opportunity to be part of a mentoring program: they will learn Italian and take Italian cooking classes. Candidates will need to demonstrate their commitment to provide Host Services in a room in the house for a minimum of 9 months.
The selected person will be able to bring their partner, friend or family (maximum two adults and two children), and live in the property for free, receiving all the income obtained from their activity as an Airbnb host during their residence in the house.
This opportunity in Sambuca, Sicily highlights the economic benefits rural communities can reap from new Airbnb travel trends that have come about in the wake of the pandemic. In the third quarter of 2019, more than 26% of all trips were destined for four Italian cities: Rome, Venice, Milan and Florence. However, in the third quarter of 2021, those same four cities accounted for less than 17% of trips and one of the most visited areas in Italy was Sicily.
Airbnb aims to support this demand by collaborating with towns like Sambuca to help them return to their golden age.