The Italian countryside is busting at the seams with charming villages. Walled medieval cities, ancient Roman villas with stories to tell, sleepy valley towns, they’ve got it all. Sadly though, many of these villages are gradually becoming abandoned. The need to move to metro areas like Rome and Milan for work combined with a rapidly ageing population is leaving many of these idyllic Italian villages in the dust. The solution? Pay people to move there. Yep, that’s right. Italy will pay you to move to a charming village in the countryside.
Italy Will Pay You to Move to This Idyllic Mountain Village
By now most have heard of Italy’s initiative to repopulate it’s dying villages. In recent years the Mediterranean country’s $1 houses have become increasingly popular with people from all over flocking to live out their “Under the Tuscan Sun” dreams. The $1 homes aren’t without their bureaucratic red tape, however. Most homes are in a dire state and need tens of thousands of dollars in renovations that will need to start immediately. All things considered, though, it’s still a great deal to be handed over a place to live in one of the most culturally rich places in the world.
Recently, however, Italy has taken the initiative a step further and is now offering to pay people to come to live in their villages. You read that right. In 2017 Candela in Puglia offered potential residents €2,000 ($2,350) to do nothing more than live there. More recently Santo Stefano di Sessanio has upped the ante by offering new residents a whole host of perks. Italophilias willing to move and start a business there will be paid and given a place to live with a nominal rent. New residents will be paid up to €8,000 ($9,500) per year for three years. Additionally, new residents will receive a one-time contribution of up to €20,000 ($24,000) for start-up business costs.
What Can You Expect From Santo Stefano?
In this town of just 70 year-round residents, fewer than 20 are under 13 and around half of them are pensioners. Santo Stefano is best known for its rich medieval and Roman history that’s left remnants in every inch of the town coupled with its stunning mountain views. The sleepy village is perched 1,250 meters above sea level and sits inside the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga national park. Santo Stefano is also just two hours from Rome, 90 minutes from the Adriatic coast, meaning you have easy getaways. But who would want to leave, anyway? It is by all accounts a quintessentially charming Italian village oozing with stories.
So, what’s the catch?
Well, you need to be a resident of Italy or at least have the ability to become one. You also need to be 40 years or younger stay in Santo Stefano for a minimum of five years. Past that you’re pretty much golden. Authorities aren’t really asking much of those looking to relocate to this picturesque mountain village.
This year’s pandemic has left people all around the globe considering relocation. If you really want to get off the grid and live out your days in a slow-paced Italian village, Santo Stefano may be the place for you.