Airbnb wants someone to live rent-free in a heritage home in Sicily

Holiday rental company restored one of Sambuca's 'one euro houses' and is looking for someone to manage the property for a year

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Airbnb is looking for someone to live rent-free and manage a restored heritage home in Sicily for a year.

"With a new-found flexibility to live and work remotely, one person will be given the opportunity to relocate to Sicily with their family, partner or friend and move into this uniquely restored house," the property-sharing giant said.

The three-storey house is located in Sambuca, a commune that made headlines in 2019 for its campaign to sell dilapidated homes for €1.

The homes were put on sale for a throwaway price in the hope of rejuvenating the hilltop town and attracting more people to the area. A number of native residents abandoned the town in favour of larger Italian cities, but officials hoped that will change with the new scheme.

Airbnb responded to the call, teaming up with Italian architecture firm Studio Didea to rehabilitate one of the town’s homes.

Renovation merged modern and classic design and reflects Sicily’s architecture. Materials and paints were chosen keeping in mind the local landscape.

The picturesque three-storey traditional home is located in Sambuca, which was made famous thanks to its 'one Euro house' campaign. Photo: Airbnb

The house now features a primary bedroom fitted with a king-sized bed and a bathroom, a spacious living room, a kitchen, workspace, mezzanine bedroom, as well as an upper floor that includes a living area with a queen-sized sofa bed.

Whoever is chosen to live in the house will get their pick of which bedroom in the house to stay in. They will also be tasked with listing the second bedroom on Airbnb.

So what kind of candidate is the company looking for?

According to Airbnb, the ideal applicant "should be committed to hosting and contributing to village life".

"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," Leonardo Ciaccio, mayor of Sambuca said.

"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 and we can't wait to welcome whoever gets selected.”

The residence initiative will start on June 30 and last for a year. Whoever is chosen for the spot will be able to keep all earnings from hosting on Airbnb. So they not only get to live rent-free in a gorgeous heritage home, but get paid doing it.

More details and an application form is at airbnb.com/1eurohouse.

Updated: January 23, 2022, 4:07 PM