Sambuca for €1 sounds like happy hour at an under 30s resort – but in the Sicilian town which gave the name to the popular Liqueur that's now the price of a house.

Officials from the village on the Italian island of Sicily have put scores of houses for sale at the bargain price of roughly NZ$1 and 69 cents.

The island famous for olives, vast Mediterranean vistas and being the home of the Godfather's Don Corleone might be seen by some as a real slice of La Dolce Vita.

Sambuca: Sicilian town is deep in wine ( and liquer ) territory. Photo / Riccardo Lombardo, Getty Images
Sambuca: Sicilian town is deep in wine ( and liquer ) territory. Photo / Riccardo Lombardo, Getty Images

And the people of Sambuca are desperate for you to join their fold. In fact, they're getting a bit lonely.

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Like many parts of rural Italy, the community of Sambuca has seen its population nosedive as families relocate to other urban areas in Europe.

Sambuca wants someone, anyone, to move into these houses to stop the rustic villas from finally falling apart.

But there is a catch to what might otherwise by the holiday house bargain of the century:

New buyers are obliged to invest a minimum of $18000 into the dilapidated properties within three years.

Most of the one dollar houses belong to the Saracen district of Sambuca. Photo / Getty Images
Most of the one dollar houses belong to the Saracen district of Sambuca. Photo / Getty Images

The sale is not about grabbing attention of tourists, it really wants rid of the houses in its care.

"This city hall owns all €1 houses on sale," says Giuseppe Cacioppo, deputy mayor and tourist councillor to Sambuca. "We're not intermediaries who liaise between old and new owners. You want that house, you'll get it no time."

It's an ancient town with many interweaving histories.

Over the years everyone has wanted a slice of this town in Sicily, from the Greeks to Saracen traders - but this is your chance to buy a foothold in the historic town.
And at current prices the houses won't stay empty for long.

From Greek to Saracen traders: Sambuca is full of rich interweaving history. Photo / Getty Images
From Greek to Saracen traders: Sambuca is full of rich interweaving history. Photo / Getty Images

Most of the €1 houses are located in the historic Saracen district, where the alleyways are barely a shoulder-width across.

As described by CNN: "The two-storey Moorish dwellings, built with pink-reddish stones, feature inner courtyards, lavish palm gardens with orange and mandarin trees, Arcadian entrances, flowery majolica staircases, typical Sicilian tile roofs and terraces overlooking the stunning scenery."

Sambuca's literal foundations are as deep as those metaphorical and historical. One of the town's great attractions is the "sunken city" buried beneath the streets.

Sambuca: Arcadian entrances. Photo / Riccardo Lombardo, Getty Images
Sambuca: Arcadian entrances. Photo / Riccardo Lombardo, Getty Images

The popular tourist town is hardly a secret. Ten houses have sold already, and you'll have to move fast to secure your own spot in the Sicilian sun.

All interested parties looking to invest in a fabulously cheap fixer-upper can email: case1euro@comune.sambucadisicilia.ag.it