Lorraine Bracco is going from film sets to construction sites. The Sopranos actor is set to star in a new HGTV series about her efforts to renovate a 200-year-old home in Italy that she purchased for the bargain price of just one euro.
‘My Big Italian Adventure’ with Lorraine Bracco premieres Oct. 30
In My Big Italian Adventure, Bracco, who played Tony Soprano’s psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi on the acclaimed HBO series The Sopranos, will renovate a decrepit home in the tiny Sicilian village of Sambuca di Sicilia. The Oscar and Emmy nominee got the 1,075-square-foot property for less than $2, thanks to an effort by the town’s mayor to sell the village’s vacant homes and encourage people to return to the rural area. The only catch? The house doesn’t have electricity, running water, kitchen, or bathrooms. The floor is crumbling and the roof is falling apart.
Despite the sorry condition of the house, Bracco hopes to turn it into a relaxing retreat for her family. The new series premieres Friday, Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV.
‘The Sopranos’ star says the project was a ‘huge undertaking’
Bracco — who lived for years in France while she was working as a model — admits that renovating the dilapidated Sicilian home is a massive project.
“I believe life is an adventure,” she said in a statement. “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.”
“This is a huge undertaking,” she added. “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!”
Bracco will partner with a local contractor, architect, and other experts to transform the property. Ultimately, the completely renovated home will feature a stunning entry with a custom-tiled rug, a dreamy bedroom, and an indoor courtyard.
Bracco isn’t the only person who snapped up a cheap house in Sicily
Sambuca di Sicilia made headlines in 2019 when it announced it was selling vacant houses for less than the cost of a cup of coffee. According to a report from CNN, at least 10 houses were sold soon after the initiative was announced. Purchasers got a home in a gorgeous location, though the deal came with certain conditions.
New owners had to pay a €5,000 security deposit, which they get back once the renovation is finished. They also had to commit to spending at least €15,000 fixing up their new home. For that, they get a home in a location many people dream of.
“Sambuca is known as the City of Splendor,” Giuseppe Cacioppo, Sambuca’s deputy mayor and tourist councilor, told CNN. “This fertile patch of land is dubbed the Earthly Paradise. We’re located inside a natural reserve, packed with history. Gorgeous beaches, woods and mountains surround us. It’s silent and peaceful, an idyllic retreat for a detox stay.”
My Big Italian Adventure premieres Friday, Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV.
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