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Lorraine Bracco of Goodfellas and The Sopranos fame has a new TV show — but it's nothing like you'd expect. Instead of memorizing lines and getting into costume, Bracco is tapping into her Italian roots and tackling a major home renovation project. HGTV's newest series, My Big Italian Adventure, follows the actress as she’s tasked with transforming a 200 year-old-house sans electricity, running water, a kitchen, or bathroom into a dreamy Italian villa.
The new series premieres on Friday, October 30, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In the first episode, Bracco explains how she got herself involved in such a beast of a project — she stumbled upon an article with a deal that she couldn't resist.
Over the last few years, rural communities in Italy began selling vacant houses for cheap in an effort to repopulate and revamp rural communities. We’re talking one euro, or $1.18 USD, cheap. "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," Bracco said in a statement.
However, snagging this property was no easy feat. The small hilltop town of Sambuca, Sicily where the show is set, received over 100,000 applications. Bracco was one of 16 lucky recipients chosen to take part in the town's one euro housing deal — and now her entire journey from picking out the house, to the final reveal, is documented in this new series.
The premiere episode kicks off as Bracco tours a few of the houses up for grabs with the mayor Leonardo, and translator, Cynthia. As you can expect— these houses aren't pretty. In fact, many are in ruins.
Bracco explains how the one euro real estate deal works: while the home is actually a euro, recipients must also put down a 5000 euro deposit. They are then given in a timeline of three years to renovate the home. If they fail to do that, they lose their 5,001 euros, as well as the properties.
After seeing three homes, she settles on the third. "There's something old, and lovely, and rich... about this $2 house,” she said. However, as if she didn’t already have her work cut out for herself, she makes things even more interesting and purchases the home next door for extra space.
While the concept of watching an actress with no design experience makeover a home is already pretty captivating, Bracco's witty nature will keep you entertained throughout the episode— and definitely quoting lines. "Hold my tushy," she’ll say to the mayor, as she climbs up a ledge to catch a better view. And "that's not a toilet, that's a hole,” she’ll remark about the home’s “amenities.”
But will she pull it off? Tune in this Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT to see.
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