Andrea Romano
Updated January 16, 2019

If you want your dream Italian retreat, all you need is some pocket change.

According to CNN, Sambuca, an idyllic town in Sicily, Italy, is selling off dozens of old homes for the mere pittance of €1, just over $1 USD. 

Several other Italian towns have opted for this kind of deal as well, from Sardinia, which also sold off homes for a dollar, to Candela, which offered to pay potential residents to move there.

And much like these other towns, Sambuca has suffered from a dwindling population since residents have either passed away or moved to big cities.

However, the town officials of Sambuca claim that their deal is better than the rest because if you want a house, you’ve got a house. “As opposed to other towns that have merely done this for propaganda, this city hall owns all €1 houses on sale. We're not intermediaries who liaise between old and new owners. You want that house, you'll get it no time,” Giuseppe Cacioppo, Sambuca's deputy mayor and tourist counselor, told CNN.

But much like the other towns mentioned, there’s a few rules you must follow. First, all new homeowners must agree to refurbish their new homes. And as you might have guessed, they are in dire need of some TLC.

According to CNN, the “crumbling” homes can range from anywhere between 40 and 150 square meters (430 to 1,614 square feet). In case you’re wondering, 430 square feet is about the size of an 11-by-39-foot room — which is about the size of a spacious New York City studio.

Plus, the cost of renovating these places costs about €15,000 (about $17,200 USD) to start, CNN reported. 

In addition, the new homeowners must pay a €5,000 (about $5,700 USD) security deposit, which is fully refundable once renovations are complete. So, your $1 investment just became about a $22,901 investment.

But Cacioppo says it’ll be worth it, since Sambuca is known as the “City of Splendor” and an “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 for a detox stay,” Cacioppo told CNN.

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

It was nominated in Italy's Most Beautiful Towns contest in 2016, CNN reported. Some people have already started snapping up houses, so if you’re willing to make the renovations, now is the time to buy.

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