Italy is at it again, trying to inspire the next generation to move there. This time around, the offer is coming from the beautiful region of Calabria in southern Italy, which is giving a handful of new residents cold hard cash totaling €28,000 (about $33,000) over the course of three years to move to one of several charming small villages.
It’s wild to think of a place offering that kind of money, but this scheme resembles other deep-pocketed programs in Italy, like the village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, which offered people up to $52,500 in grants to move there and work. The village of Santa Fiora will help pay your rent if you move there and work remotely (and even more if you open a hotel or have a baby). Then there were the numerous villages luring new residents with houses ranging in price from 1 euro to $9,000.
With all of these schemes—and the latest one in Calabria—the intention is to draw a new population into small Italian villages that have been losing residents over the years.
“The goal is to boost the local economy and breathe new life into small-scale communities,” Gianluca Gallo, a regional councilor, told CNN. Or as Gianpietro Coppola, mayor of the Calabrian village of Altomonte, explained it: “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.”
But as you might expect, there are a few catches. In order to get the funds from Calabria, new residents must promise that they will launch a small business or take a specific professional job. And don’t think just anyone can move there. These villages want an infusion of youth, so it’s limited to new residents age 40 and younger. Plus, if you get accepted into the program, you must move within 90 days.
The “active residency income” project (as it is called) with be launching in the coming weeks, and the region has set aside more than €700,000 (about $829,000). In addition, the region might give one-off grants to help new residents launch hotels, restaurants, bars, stores and more.
So far, nine of Calabria’s villages have signed up to participate in the program, and they range from seaside to mountain locations. Here’s a quick look at five of the villages, and even if you don’t decide to move there, you can daydream about living la dolce vita.
Check out the full Forbes article, click here!