Of the countless dwindling Italian towns that have opted to sell dilapidated homes for just one euro, Sambuca di Sicilia has undoubtedly been the most successful.
Approximately 16 dwellings have been snapped up for €1 here since the scheme was first announced by CNN Travel in 2019, and Sambuca has been in the spotlight ever since. The global attention led to an influx of reporters and foreigners on the lookout for a bargain home, and flabbergasted locals could only look on as their town, located deep in the heart of Sicily, became a go to spot overnight. Nobody’s totally sure how Sambuca managed to outshine all of the other unpopulated towns across Italy struggling to dispose of crumbling properties, including Campania’s Zungoli and Sicily’s Mussomeli.
Perhaps it was due to the fact it shares its name with the famous Italian anise-flavored liqueur Sambuca and the Sambucus elder flowers it’s made from grow in the nearby fields? Or could it have been due to its rich heritage, sights like the ruins of Al Zabut’s stunning palace, or its exotic vibe? Whatever the reason, Sambuca is hoping to replicate that success by putting a second batch of abandoned homes on the market, this time for a symbolic €2, which is still less than the cost of a slice of pizza. Two years on from the 2019 scheme, local authorities still get requests from foreigners interested in buying one of the town’s bargain homes, and have decided now is right the time to sell off roughly 20 more abandoned buildings, many of which are adjacent houses, giving buyers an opportunity to buy more than one property and knock them through.