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Airbnb offering a year in Italy rent-free, and you can apply

Airbnb is offering the unique chance for someone to live in a recently restored heritage home in Sicily, Italy — and the rent will cost absolutely nothing.

If you’re lucky enough to get selected, you can stay at the gorgeous three-story property for up to a year — so long as you agree to manage the place for visiting guests. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts, too, as Airbnb will let you keep all of the earnings generated by the home during your stay.

The initiative is geared toward boosting tourism and bringing new faces to the Italian village of Sambuca — population around 6,000 — as part of a broader effort to bolster rural areas and cultural heritage in Europe, according to Airbnb.

Sambuca hit the headlines in 2019 during a “1-euro House” campaign that saw derelict properties offered for sale for little more than a single U.S. dollar.

In a bid to rejuvenate the village in a timely fashion, buyers were asked to refurbish their property soon after buying it. After snapping up one of the Sambuca homes, Airbnb has managed to turn its own purchase into something really rather special.

And now it needs someone to run it.

“Airbnb is on the search for the ideal candidate to live rent-free for a year and host from a decayed-turned-designer Italian heritage home,” the company said. “With a newfound 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.”

Italian architecture firm Studio Didea transformed the home using local materials, creating a first floor with a small living room along with a master bedroom that includes a king-size bed and en-suite bathroom.

The second floor features a living room, kitchen, workspace, bathroom, and mezzanine bedroom with a king-size bed, while the top floor offers an additional living space with a queen-size sofa bed.

“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,” said local mayor Leonardo Ciaccio. “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.”

Assuming pandemic rules allow, the stay will begin on June 30. If the offer appeals, you can apply by entering your details on this webpage on Airbnb’s site. Good luck!

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