My Big Italian Adventure is the show everyone who ever wanted to start over in another country needs to see.
What do the characters Karen Hill and Dr. Jennifer Melfi have in common? Both standout roles were turned in by esteemed actor Lorraine Bracco. Bracco now has a shot at a new life and a new career twist as she renovates a Sicilian home.
She has Oscar and Emmy noms under her belt, but this bella donna scored in the real estate deal department. Lorraine Bracco dazzled audiences in the Scorsese film Goodfellas and David Chase’s HBO masterpiece, The Sopranos, and now the actor has a once in a lifetime opportunity to be revealed on HGTV.
The twist? She bought her Italian home for one euro!
About My Big Italian Adventure
Bracco will take a break from Hollywood for her next assignment on the island of Sicily—renovating a 200-year-old home she purchased for only one euro. The new HGTV series My Big Italian Adventure, premiering in October, will follow Lorraine’s steps to renovate the 1,075-square-foot property in the tiny hilltop town of Sambuca di Sicilia with help from an architect, contractor and other local experts.
“This is a huge undertaking,” said Bracco in an HGTV press release. “I’m not a contractor. I’m not a decorator. I’m an actress. I’ve never done this before. I have no idea what I’m really getting into! It’s a lot of work, but everything is possible. I believe that. And for one euro, we’ll see!”
The one euro fine print
The Sambuca one-euro program was created by the town’s mayor to help fill up the vacant homes quickly and inexpensively. The goal is to encourage families to return to the rural oasis, but the catch is that the homes must be completed within three years of purchase.
“I believe life is an adventure,” said Lorraine added in the release. “When I saw the article that you could buy a house in Sambuca for one euro, I jumped on it. So, I came on the plane. I bought the house. I’m very excited to be here, meet and work with the locals, and live amongst them. I’m here to pay homage to my family that comes from Sicily.”
Not just Sambuca bur many towns and villages across Italy have offered houses for sale for one euro to stoke local economies. According to OverseasPropertyAlert: “Small Italian municipalities have no funds to maintain abandoned properties falling into a state of disrepair, so they are happy to find buyers for them.”
Buyers must submit a form online and explain their plans for the property. The website claims that favorable status goes to those who wish to open a “bed-and-breakfast, hotel, or artisan or other type of business that will benefit the community and attract visitors.”
The site adds: “When all legal documents are signed, the new owner is required to submit the renovation project within two to 12 months (depending on the town), start work within one year, and complete it within the next three.”
With extreme bargains come challenges. The centuries-old home is a total gut job, and has no electricity, running water, kitchen or bathrooms and needs to shore up deteriorating floors, failing walls and a shot roof.
The whole-home renovation will be a massive project filled with unexpected challenges, tough decisions, disappointments, valuable learnings and triumphant reveals. With her contractor Piero, translator Cynthia, several American friends and a welcoming town on her side, the impossible will become a breathtaking reality when together they complete a gorgeous Italian retreat where Lorraine can spend time with her family. In the end, the overhauled home will feature a stunning entryway with a custom tiled rug, a dreamy Sicilian-inspired bedroom and an indoor courtyard with a custom water feature.
How you can interact
Fans can connect with My Big Italian Adventure on HGTV’s digital platforms.
Each episode will be available on HGTV GO the same day and time as the TV premieres starting Friday, Oct. 30, at 9 p.m.
Head to HGTV.com for special show extras, behind-the-scenes photos and exclusive videos with Lorraine.
Viewers also can follow @HGTV and #MyBigItalianAdventure on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for additional show content and updates and can follow Lorraine on her socials too.
My Big Italian Adventure premieres Friday, Oct. 30, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.
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