Italian mayor offers cash to anyone willing to live in quaint village


Looking for a fresh start in life? Italian Mayor Nicola Gatta has an offer that may be hard to refuse.

The local chief executive is giving away up to €2,000 (S$3,204) to anyone willing to move to the small village of Candela, located at the east coast of the Puglia region in Italy.

Previously known as "Little Naples" for its crowded streets, the once packed town saw its population drastically drop in recent years from 8,000 to 2,700.

According to CNN Travel, Mayor Gatta hopes the cash reward will entice both Italians and foreigners to permanently move to the quaint town.

"I work each day with passion and commitment to bring Candela back to its ancient splendor," Gatta told the news outlet. "Up until the 1960s, travellers called it 'Nap'licchie' [Little Naples], for its streets full of wayfarers, tourists, merchants and screaming vendors."

Furthermore, Gatta said most millennials from the town have opted to seek work and live elsewhere, so he fears the village will one day turn into one of Italy's many "ghost towns."

In hopes of boosting the population, the town will be bestowing €800 (P48,435) for singles, €1,200 (approximately P72,651) for couples and €2,000 for families.

But despite the monetary support, interested applicants must still contribute to the village by renting or buying a house and finding a job, the report said.

"We don't want people flocking here thinking they get to live off the town hall's revenues, all new residents must work and have an income," Gatta's deputy, Stefano Bascianelli, explained.

As of this writing, six families from northern Italy have permanently relocated, while five others have submitted their applications.