Want to live in a gorgeous Italian villa for free? It might sound too good to be true, but that could be your reality if you apply to live in Airbnb’s 1 Euro House in Sicily. The vacation rental site you turn to for weekend getaways and bestie trips out of town is now offering this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lucky winner to live in southern Italy for a year rent-free.
If your job allows you to work from home, you could be one of the many people living anywhere in the world right now. Thanks to Airbnb’s new posting, your potential WFH destinations now include an adorable villa on the picturesque Mediterranean country. The 1 Euro House hosted by Airbnb will allow you to move to Sicily for a year to live in your very own redesigned European townhouse. The catch? While you’re there, you will also become an Airbnb host of a private room in the Sicilian home. However, if you love meeting new people and would love to learn how to speak Italian, this might make this opportunity even more appealing.
The Sicilian Airbnb initiative is meant to inspire people to visit and move to the growing international community of Sambuca, which is located southwest of Palermo. If selected, you’ll get to live in Sambuca for at least three months starting Jun. 30. After those three months, you’ll then get to be an Airbnb host of one of the private rooms in the townhouse where you’ll be staying for the rest of the nine months of the year.
How To Apply To Airbnb’s Sicily Villa Opening
Anyone 18 and over can apply to become the host of Airbnb’s 1 Euro House villa in Sambuca, but you must also be able to speak conversational English. However, don’t worry if you can’t speak Italian. You will have the opportunity to learn the language while you’re there. Basically, you just have to be as prepared as Emily was in the first season of Emily in Paris — aka you don’t need to know anything. The selected Airbnb host will also need to have a passport that’s valid until Dec. 30, 2022 as you’ll be starting the program in Sambuca on June 30, 2022.
Considering you won’t be flying out to Italy until the summer of 2022, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for any changing travel restrictions and health guidelines. Keep in mind that right now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that only those who are fully vaccinated should travel internationally, and you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with any local rules before you go.
In addition to these requirements, you’ll need to fill out an application for the 1 Euro House, which is open from now until Feb. 18, including a short essay. This is your chance to really explain how moving to Sicily will help you live your best life and how you see yourself as an Airbnb host. An interest in hospitality is also a plus. In the application, you’ll also get to put who will be coming with you on your journey. You may bring an additional friend or partner with a max of two adults and two children in total.
What Airbnb’s Sicily Villa Experience Will Be Like
The village of Sambuca, where you’ll be staying, is pretty small, but was named the "the most beautiful Italian village" in 2016. While you’re there, you may even feel like you’re in a Disney movie that’s set in southern Italy where there’s everything from grape harvesting to olive picking. The townhouse is even located right in the heart of the village.
Formerly a historical villa, three-floor home has also been fully renovated just for your stay with a living room and master bedroom with its own bathroom on the ground floor. On the first floor, you’ll find a second living room, the kitchen, a working space, a bathroom, and a mezzanine bedroom. The top floor is where an additional room is located with a sofa bed. Since this will be your home away from home, you get to choose which bedroom will be yours. The remaining one will be the room you’ll be renting out to guests from all over the world.
While you’ll be expected to be an Airbnb host for the last nine months of your stay, when you first arrive in Sicily, you will be put in a free mentorship program to help you become the best host you can be. The hospitality program will entail a month-long Italian language course and four cooking classes taught by a local. Of course, during this time, you can also continue to do your WFH job as well. While Airbnb will cover the cost of airfare to Sambuca and transportation to the house once you arrive, you will be responsible for any living costs and the taxes applicable.
When you’re not dealing with your hosting duties or checking out the local village, you’ll have the opportunity to explore other places in Italy like the nearby Palermo or the rest of Sicily. You’ll even be fairly close to some of the filming locations from Harry Style’s “Golden” music video if you wanted to take a weekend trip. It’s a bit further away, but you can also travel to Rome to finally recreate your fave scenes from The Lizzie McGuire Movie. This is what dreams are made of, after all.
Just think of how much money you’ll be saving by not worrying about rent for an entire year, and all the opportunities that will come with this . If getting to live in Southern Italy for a year learning the Italian language and Italian cooking, meeting new people, and experiencing life in a Sicilian community — all for free — sounds like the offer of a lifetime, don’t sleep on applying before Airbnb’s Feb. 18 deadline.
The CDC recommends traveling only after you’re fully vaccinated and your vaccine has become fully effective. If you’re not fully vaccinated and must travel, check the CDC guidelines before you book. Check your destination’s vaccination and testing requirements before you depart.