The mayor of a picturesque Italian town has come up with a novel solution in tackling its dwindling population figure – by paying people to move there.
Nicola Gatta wants to return Candela, a small medieval town in Puglia, to its former glories when there were more than 8,000 residents in its Nineties heyday, CNN reports.
Today, however, there are just 2,700 people remaining in the town – leaving mayor Gatta with little option but to loosen the town’s purse strings to entice new residents.
Nicola Gatta wants to return Candela (pictured), a small medieval town in Puglia, to its former glories when there were more than 8,000 residents in its Nineties heyday
The mayor of a picturesque Italian town has come up with a tempting solution in tackling its dwindling population numbers – by paying people to move there
A view of Candela, with the bell tower of the Church of Santa Maria della Purificazione on the right, Apulia, Italy, in a photograph taken back in 1905
‘Up until the 1960s, travelers called it ‘Nap’licchie’ (Little Naples), for it streets full of wayfarers, tourists, merchants and screaming vendors,’ Gatta said.
Thanks to a troubled economy, many of town’s young people have left in search of work and excitement elsewhere.
Stefano Bascianelli, the mayor’s deputy, announced that 800 euros will be paid for singles willing to move to Candela.
While 1,200 euros will be offered for couples, 1,500 to 1,800 euros for three-member families, and over 2,000 euros for families of four to five people.
In order to qualify for the cash incentive, new residents must move to Candela where they rent a house and have a job with a salary of at least 7,500 euros per year.
According to the major, six families from northern Italy have already settled in and another five have applied to move.
The idea comes after the mayor of another Italian village – Bormida, a hamlet of 394 in the mountainous region of Liguria in north-west Italy – was forced to retract a similar offer earlier this year.
Nearby Vieste in region of Puglia, Polignano a Mare, where couples and families could visit if they decided to relocate
The mayor of the picturesque Italian town (pictured) has come up with a novel solution in tackling its dwindling population figure – by paying people to move there
Stefano Bascianelli, the mayor’s deputy, announced that 800 euros will be paid for singles willing to move to Candela (pictured)
Daniele Galliano also proposed paying people €2,000 to move to his town but was forced to beg people to stop ringing him after thousands tried to take him up on his proposal.
With the nearest major city – Genoa – more than 50 miles away, the village’s population has dwindled. Under his scheme, tenants would be paying as little as €12.50 a week in rent as part of a scheme to boost numbers.
But in just four days 17,000 people from around the world called the local council eager to find out more about the mayor’s offer. His Facebook post has been deleted and Galliano has insisted: ‘It was only a suggestion.’
Italy is not the only country with towns struggling with a declining population.
Last month, the Swiss mountain village Corippo, located in Ticino, revealed it is fighting a battle to stay alive after the young generation moved away.
Corippo is on the brink of extinction as its 16 remaining residents creep towards their 90s.
The community has launched into action, unveiling a project to build a hotel in hopes of drawing in visitors in a bid to save the 300-year-old village and all its history.