You Can Buy a Villa in This Wine-Producing Sicilian Town For Just $1

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You Can Buy a Villa in This Wine-Producing Sicilian Town For Just $1

A coffee at McDonald’s, one song on iTunes, or a subscription to a monthly razor blade supplier: What exactly is one dollar worth to you? In one town on the Italian island of Sicily, it’s the price of a home, as the city hall is selling off villas for just €1, or a little over a dollar.

Sambuca, a hilltop town on the picturesque southern Italian island, has placed dozens of homes on the market for this rock-bottom price in an aim to revive the community which has suffered from depopulation, CNN Travel reports.

The town’s name might remind you of sticky, flaming shots of syrupy liquor, but don’t let that put you off. Though Italian, the anise-flavored spirit actually gains its name from the Latin word sambucus, meaning “elderberry,” and has nothing to do with this town. (Commercial production of Sambuca instead dates back the 1800s, in the western Italian port of Civitavecchia).

The town of Sambuca does, however, produce another type of alcohol. Like much of the rest of Sicily, the region has vast vineyard plantings of Nero d’Avola, a native dark-skinned red grape, that has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. With sweet tannins, and a spicy black-pepper kick, its wines make the perfect pairing for the region’s numerous pasta dishes.

Got a buck to spare and suddenly feeling the urge to travel? There’s just one catch: Prospective owners must commit to refurbishing one of the many crumbling villas within three years, at a minimum cost of €15,000 (about $17,200). The local government also requires a €5,000 ($5,700) security deposit that will be returned once refurbishments are complete.


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