Crowned the most beautiful Italian town of 2016, Sambuca is welcoming anyone willing to leave their bustling cities or familiar spaces for their shores if are willing to cough up at least €1 (or about $1.14) for an initial bid.
The median home price in the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania areas falls around $428,200. The median home price in the Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue areas fall around $502,800. So €1 for a southern Italian home, even if you have to drop €5,000 for a security deposit and at least €15,000 for future renovations, can present itself as the steal of the century.
What’s the catch? Sambuca (population: 5,878 as of 2016) faces an issue that neither of those urban cities has understood since their dawn: depopulation.
“All these things happen in small cities in general,” CaseA1Euro web developer and manager Maurizio Berti told Yahoo Finance. He claims that immigration away from smaller cities in southern Italy has caused for cities like Sambuca and in the past Ollolai and Salemi to resort to selling homes for one euro. “Immigration is a phenomenon that has seen the depopulation of the Pennines, the Alps, the mountain zones. And people moved initially near the coast where life is easier.”
The town, located near the front sole of Sicily is perched on a scenic hillside, overlooking Lake Arancio and sitting underneath the shadow of Mount Genuardo. However, in the last 15 years, according to local reporter Antonella Di Giovanna, the town saw its population drop from about 8,000 to roughly 5,000 due to an exodus of its younger population.
“We are trying to promote the territory of Sambuca,” said deputy mayor Giuseppe Cacioppo. “I’ll tell you that you live well in Sambuca.”
Cacioppo has already received over tens of thousands of requests, including around 39,000 on January 18, for the available lots in the town he has lived for all 47 years of his life.
Video footage courtesy of: Futuravision.it and Commune di Sicilia