Russians living in Sicily
A Russian moving to Sicily to live is not unique. Indeed, there’s a growing population of Russians joining the already diverse international community in Sicily. Why is Sicily attractive to foreign property investors, including Russians?
The decline in Sicily and how it is rising again
Many towns and villages in Sicily have suffered since the 1960s with locals moving to the mainland, or elsewhere, for work. Life for them was limited in Sicily. With a reputation for being a Mafia stronghold and few opportunities for work, it’s not surprising that many Sicilian areas experienced a near exodus of emigration.
However, with the rise of the digital age, and a growing trend for international moves, some areas of Sicily did begin to repopulate once more. For example, the small town of Cianciana was vastly depopulated but experienced a renaissance since the late 2000s when it became a popular spot for second homes, mostly for international pensioners and digital nomadic workers.
Furthermore, there has been a real boon for Russians and other foreign buyers looking to Sicily. Mayors of some depopulated Sicilian towns have offered properties for just €1. Sambuca is one such town.
Interestingly, when Sambuca’s scheme was launched, Russians were among those from the UK and Dubai who were present on the ground and interested just one day after launch. When the first 16 houses were sold (most going for considerably more than €1 in the end) Russians were amongst the first new owners.
Sicily’s international community
Sicily is growing as an international community. Communities here are now a mix of various nationalities including Brits, Israelis, Cubans and Russians. These neglected communities are coming to life once more through foreign investment. For the purchasers, they are granted the opportunity to snap up property at a cheap price, renovate, and benefit from a good investment as well as a wonderful place to live and have a second home.