A picturesque Alpine town is trying to resolve its declining population problem
Have you ever thought of leaving all the stress of the city behind and moving into a calm and rustic village in the Italian mountains? Now it is your perfect chance as Locana, a little town in the Piedmont region, will pay up to $10,200 (€9,000) to almost anyone willing to become a new permanent resident.
However, there are a few requirements for the potential newcomers. Everyone interested in moving into this idyllic village about 45 kilometres from Turin has to have at least one child and an annual salary of over $6,900 (€6,000). The new residents also have to stay there for at least three years over which the authorities will pay them the contribution.
Locana’s mayor Giovanni Bruno Mattiet has proposed the incentive himself in hopes of resolving the town’s problem with declining population.
“Our population has shrunk from 7,000 residents in the early 1900s to barely 1,500 as people left looking for a job at Turin’s big factories,” Mattiet told CNN Travel.
“Our school each year faces the risk of shutting down due to few pupils. I can’t allow this to happen.”
The town is looking mainly for younger people and professionals who would be willing to establish their business there. Mattiet said that there are dozens of closed shops, restaurants, bars and boutiques “just waiting for new people to run them”.
“Locana offers a healthy lifestyle, great food and folklore fairs all-year round,” Mattiet said to persuade potential new inhabitants.
Locana is not the first town which has come up with such an incentive. In 2017, the mayor of Candela in the region of Puglia offered anyone $2,300 (€2,000) to move in. Similarly, a Swiss village of Albinen suggested it would pay $25,000 per adult and $10,000 per child, and the US state of Vermont offered $10,000 to Americans willing to become residents.