There's a little town in the centre of Italy, now home to only 2,700 people, most of them older, where an enterprising mayor is trying to fill empty houses. Mayor Nicola Gatta is offering people—foreigners or Italians—money to inhabit Candela, Italy, in the hopes of revitalising its streets and bringing the population back up to 8,000.
"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," the mayor's assistant Stefano Bascianelli told CNN. There might also be tax credits for people who relocate.
There are three criteria to prove you will be a productive resident of Candela and therefore worthy of the town's money: You must move to Candela, you must rent a house there, and you must have a job that pays over 7,500 euros a year.
If you're still not convinced, here are a few more reasons to consider taking Candela up on its offer. The town is under two hours away from Naples, an hour from the beach in Puglia, and it is nestled in Italy's farming country. Bascianelli boasts there have been no crimes for 20 years. The town is home to a 35-centimeter-wide alley. There's beautiful architecture, winding streets, and good food, as you'd expect.
"I work each day with passion and commitment to bring Candela back to its ancient splendour," says Gatta. "Up until the 1960s, travellers called it 'Nap'licchie' (Little Naples), for it streets full of wayfarers, tourists, merchants and screaming vendors."
Applications are already rolling in to live in what could be Little Naples reborn. Better get a move on yours.
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