If you're looking to pick up and move in search of adventure, a fresh start, or just a change of perspective, one mayor in Italy wants to literally pay you to move to his village in Puglia.
According to a recent interview with CNN Travel, the mayor of the Italian town of Candela, Nicola Gatta, is trying to reverse the reduction in population of his once-thriving Medieval village by paying people a not-insignificant stipend to relocate there.
"This is how it works: 800 euros for singles, 1,200 euros for couples, 1,500 to 1,800 euros for three-member families, and over 2,000 euros for families of four to five people," Stefano Bascianelli, the mayor's right-hand man, told CNN.
New residents will need to find work paying at least 7,500 euros per year, will need to find a place to live, and will hopefully add to the creative and community efforts already underway to revive the bustling village lifestyle in Candela — like the charming festivals and bonfires, museums, and tourism related businesses (such as food and wine tasting tours), that ambassadors say make the quality of life (and low crime rates) in Candela a particular draw.
Hooked? It's an attractive pitch, for sure — and they're really selling it, especially through these photos. But, how to find that 7,500-per-year paying job?
In 2015, Bloomberg said that the Italian job market was so bad that workers were giving up in droves — but a more recent 2016 report from the same financial experts show that Italy might actually be doing a much better job at employing middle-aged people than the U.S. Italian blog The Local has a list of 10 dream jobs in Italy for expats that are currently still in high demand, including pizza makers, ski instructors, sommeliers, and sailing crew members.
And where to live? Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and HomeAway all have decent lists of holiday rental properties from $20 per night in and around Foggia, the region of Italy where Candela is situated, to give you a feel for the market, types of homes and architecture in the area. If you see one you like, you could contact the hosts about longer-term rates and stays.
Enticed by the prospect of a some-expense-paid adventure, but stymied by the required rigmarole of an international move? A number of places in America are now welcoming new residents by underwriting their relocation in a similar attempt to bolster dwindling populations.
Zillow has a very recent list of at least 8 cities/states around the country — mostly rural areas, but also some mid-size cities, like Baltimore, Maryland — that offer really attractive home buyer assistance, credit and rebate programs to lure in new community members. At least two are even offering to pay off (or down) your student loans, in the hopes of bringing urban post-grads back to pastoral enclaves and small towns.