Welcome to the dream. Another Italian city wants to pay you to move to Italy – $30,000, to be exact.
This time, the deep-pocketed village is Presicce, a charming little hamlet known as the ‘city of green gold’, thanks to its surrounding olive groves. Presicce is located in Puglia, a southern region known for its whitewashed hilltop villages, lush farmland and unspoilt Mediterranean coastline.
The city pays people up to $30,000 to buy a house and move there, which translates to about $30,000 in today’s dollars.
The idea is to attract new residents to counteract declining population numbers, and it’s something that has been used in other parts of Italy. There’s the island of Sardinia (which offered $15,000), the region of Calabria (which awarded $33,000), and the village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio (which pledged up to $52,500), to name a few.
So what do you need to know? As with any of these programs, there is a catch. You must buy a house and become a resident of Presicce. The property must be vacated and must have been built before 1991. And the money is distributed: part of it goes to the purchase of the house and part can be used for renovation or refurbishment.
“There are a lot of vacant homes in the historic downtown area built before 1991 that we would love to see come back to life with new residents,” local Presicce Councilman Alfredo Palese told CNN. “It is a pity to see how our old neighborhoods full of history, beautiful architecture and art are slowly emptying.”
But it’s not a bad deal: To give you an idea, a 50-square-foot house in Presicce costs about $25,000.
Presicce’s town hall website will post additional information and applications in the coming weeks.
Presicce was able to find the funds for this new plan, thanks to a merger with a neighboring town – Acquarica – in 2019. The current population is now about 9,000 people. “After the merger, our larger territory will, according to Italian law, be roughly blessed with more public funds [1 million] euros a year for several years, which we plan to invest to revive the old neighborhood,” Palese told CNN.
Dating back to the Middle Ages, Presicce is full of well-preserved architecture, lush gardens, narrow alleyways and beautiful art. It made a cameo in a British movie called Walk on sunshine, where Presicce’s crumbling palazzos and baroque churches could be seen. The town is surrounded by farmland, olive groves and rolling countryside with cycle paths and footpaths.
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