If you have ever sat down on the couch after a long hard day at work and turned to your partner and raised the idea of getting away from it all, moving to a small town in Italy and leaving the rat race world behind, then we have some good news for you. Now could be the time to make that move. As some of the southern villages of Italy face a dramatic population decline they are desperately trying to attract new inhabitants and will go to great lengths to get them.
Some Italian towns have famously offered to sell incredible houses for 1 euro. While this has attracted many buyers it has failed to increase the population of the towns. For a start, many of these homes require expensive renovations to make them liveable and those that have taken the offer appear to be using them more as holiday homes. This fails to meet the aims that the towns initially had in mind.
Mayor Stefano Farina, the Mayor of Teora village, has taken a different approach. He has decided that the 1 euro solution didn’t solve anything and so has designed a new solution where instead of giving you a house for a low cost, he will pay you to move and live in the town.
If you are tempted by his offer you will have to agree to a number of rules. You must agree to stay in the town for a minimum of three years and you must have once or more children when you submit your application. This will allow you to earn 240 euros per month for staying in the town. As rent in the town is around 300 euros per month you will have some very low costs to deal with. If you would prefer to buy your home then the state will give you 8,000 euros to help you purchase your home as a gift. The houses cost around 50,000 euros so it will certainly help.
If you have read this far and are still interested, you are probably wondering what is the catch? There is no real negative catch, the town has a clear issue with the population so don’t expect the town to have a busy nightlife. The Mezzogiorno region of Italy is largely driven by agriculture and many people move out of the towns to the wealthier North when they get the opportunity. This means that the town population is largely older and often retired or farmers.
In Teora, for example, the population is only 1,500 people. Each year the population adds 2 and subtracts 20 as the elderly die and very few new people move there or are born. The town is not dead yet but it is at risk of dying. Right now though there is still plenty of life, you can see reenactments of Romeo and Juliet in the town square and there are large celebrations during each festival.
The scheme is showing early signs of success so far. Two families have moved to Teora from around Italy and one Brazilian family has moved in. If enough people move to Teora then the city will be revived and it will become an incredible place to live. If too few people move to Teora than the city will die. Moving to Teora would definitely be a risk but if you are looking for a place to retire there are certainly worse places that you could choose. The biggest risk is for your children as there are not many left in the town. We think this may be a good one to keep an eye on. If the population starts to grow quickly it would be a great idea to get in but if it doesn’t, steer clear.