Picture it, Siciliy, Where Houses Cost One Euro


We’re almost glad that Sophia Petrillo didn’t live to see this one: hill-top houses in Salemi, Sicily are going for a mere $1.50. The catch? The homes were damaged in an earthquake 40 years ago, and once you’ve forked over that euro, you’ll have two years to restore your new home—according to the town’s standards and using local architects, designers, and workers. And did we mention the labyrinthine bureaucracy? This sounds like a job for a can-do spirit and a whole lot of stucco!

The program is the brainchild of Salemi’s colorful mayor, Vittorio Sgarbi, an art critic and former deputy culture minister that the Times of London describes as “noted for his outspoken views, not to mention his distinctive wavy hair” and “a television celebrity…and man-about-town with a host of friends in the worlds of politics and show business.” And the plot thickens: photographer Oliviero Toscani is somehow involved: he’s Sgarbi’s adviser on “creativity and human rights.” Peter Gabriel has reportedly already expressed interest in one of the deeply discounted houses. Good thing he’s handy with a sledgehammer.