Italian villages are offering prospective residents $44,000 to move there to boost their declining populations.
Several picturesque villages in the southwestern region of Calabria are part of the scheme, which is one of the novel ways towns and villages across Italy have sought to draw new residents in recent years.
The small Calabrian villages, close to the region’s beaches and mountains, are said to have seen their populations fall to less than 2000.
They’re offering the cash bonuses to people who move there — which is around €28,000 ($44,000) over a maximum of three years — but there are a few catches, CNN reports.
Towns and villages across the Italian region of Calabria are offering cash incentives for people to move there.Source:istock
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To get the cash, applicants must take up residency and commit to starting up a local business from scratch or filling specific professional roles the towns are seeking.
They have to be willing to move to Calabria within 90 days of their successful application and, crucially, they must be aged 40 or under — the idea is to attract young people willing to work.
Local authorities are still ironing out the details but regional councillor Gianluca Gallo told CNN the monthly income could be around €1000 to €800 ($1580 to $1263) for two to three years, or there could be one-off funding to support the launch of a local venture, such as a shop, restaurant, or even a farm.
The incredible view from historic Santa Severina.Source:istock
“We’re honing the technical details, the exact monthly amount and duration of the funds, and whether to include also slightly larger villages with up to 3000 residents,” he told CNN. “We’ve had so far a huge interest from villages and hopefully, if this first scheme works, more are likely to follow in coming years.”
Towns and villages that are part of the scheme include the tiny hamlet of Civita, the twin hamlets of Samo and Precacore, which are famous for Greek-Byzantine ruins, beachside Aieta, Bova, which is famous for its coastal views, the village of Caccuri that features a hilltop castle, scenic Albidona, Sant’Agata del Bianco, which holds a range of festivals through the year, cliffside village Santa Severina and San Donato di Ninea, which surrounds what’s considered to be one of Europe’s best wildlife reserves.
The charming Calabrian town of Aieta is also on the list.Source:istock
The past few years have seen a growing trend of towns across Italy selling properties for as little as one euro to incentivise people to move there.
Altomonte mayor Gianpietro Coppola, whose town contributed to the scheme, said Calabria’s approach would do a better job of revitalising communities.
“We want this to be an experiment of social inclusion. Draw people to live in the region, enjoy the settings, spruce up unused town locations such as conference halls and convents with high-speed internet,” he told CNN.
“Uncertain tourism and the one euro houses are not the best ways to revamp Italy’s south.”
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