Airbnb has announced it is looking for an ‘adventurer with a passion for hospitality’ to host stays in a restored Sicilian home for one year and help revitalise the local village. Jenny Southan reports

The “1 Euro House” initiative aims to boost tourism and bring new temporary residents to the Italian village of Sambuca in Sicily as part of a wider commitment by Airbnb to support rural communities, encourage international investment and appeal to a younger demographic.

Now transformed into a three-floor designer Italian heritage home, the 1 Euro House will give one resident and their partner, friend or family members the chance to relocate to the island temporarily, while hosting stays for Airbnb guests as a source of income.
Airbnb worked with the Italian architectural firm Studio Didea to transform the building using materials and colours that work in harmony with the local landscape. “Blending contemporary design with handmade and local artisanal elements, the structure is typical of Sicily’s charming architecture,” Airbnb said in a statement.1 Euro House, Sambuca
The ground floor features a small living room, master bedroom with a king-size bed and an en suite bathroom. The first floor also has a living room, plus a kitchen, workspace, bathroom and mezzanine bedroom with a king-size bed. The upper floor includes an additional living space with a queen-size sofa bed.1 Euro House, Sambuca

The successful applicant will get to choose which bedroom they would like for themselves, and which one they would like to rent out.

Ideal candidates should be committed to hosting and contributing to village life. Their Sambuca residence will take place over a one year period from June 30, 2022, with the successful applicant retaining all earnings from hosting stays on Airbnb for at least nine months.1 Euro House, Sambuca 1 Euro House, Sambuca

Sambuca itself launched a rejuvenation campaign in 2019 with the intention of luring back more Millennials and Gen Zs. Leonardo Ciaccio, Mayor of Sambuca di Sicilia, says: “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.
1 Euro House, Sambuca 1 Euro House, Sambuca 1 Euro House, Sambuca
“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.”
1 Euro House, Sambuca 1 Euro House, Sambuca

Airbnb’s commitment to heritage in Italy

This opportunity in Sambuca highlights the potential economic benefits for rural communities as a result of changing travel trends on Airbnb driven by the pandemic.

In Q3 2019 just four Italian cities accounted for over 26 per cent of all travel: Rome, Venice, Milan and Florence.

In Q3 2021, however, those same four cities accounted for under 17 per cent of travel and one of the top visited areas in Italy was Sicily. Airbnb aims to support this demand by working with villages like Sambuca, to help restore them to their former glory.

Airbnb has previously supported similar heritage efforts with small villages, such as the restoration of an artist’s house in Civita, the Italian Sabbatical to support the revitalisation of the village of Grottole and the Italian Villages Project to showcase off-the-beaten-track destinations and sustainable tourism.

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