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The Italian town paying people to move there

The Italian Town Paying People To Move There

(CNN) — The mayor of Italian town Candela has come up having a practical solution to its dwindling population number — paying people to become residents.

The Italian Town Paying People To Move There

Nicola Gatta wants the tiny medieval town in Puglia to shine like of which did from the 1990s, when more than 8,000 people lived here. Today, there are just 2,700 residents.

The Italian Town Paying People To Move There

So, to recover the town’s lost grandeur, mayor Nicola Gatta can be offering up to 2,000 euros ($2,350) to encourage people to relocate.

The Italian Town Paying People To Move There

The Italian Town Paying People To Move There

“Little Naples”

The Italian Town Paying People To Move There

“I work each day with passion as well as commitment to bring Candela back to its ancient splendor,” says Gatta. “Up until the 1960s, travelers called of which ‘Nap’licchie’ (Little Naples), for of which streets full of wayfarers, tourists, merchants as well as screaming vendors.”

The Italian Town Paying People To Move There

These days the Neapolitan buzz has been replaced by the silence of the surrounding green hills as well as pristine forests.

The churches of which stand at each street corner fill up only to celebrate the very few births of which occur here, or the many funerals for elderly residents.

This specific maze of winding picturesque alleys, Baroque buildings as well as arched passageways can be at risks of turning into a ghost town. Most young people have fled in search of a brighter future elsewhere, leaving behind the elders.

However Gatta can be on a desperate crusade to save Candela coming from dying out.

There are dozens of dazzling white houses with panoramic terraces as well as ornate balconies standing empty, waiting to welcome brand-new residents.

Special criteria

Nicola Gatta says he’s determined to “bring Candela back to its ancient splendor.”

Courtesy Franceso Pio Delvecchio / Comune Candela

To lure newcomers — including foreigners — Gatta’s council has opened up its coffers to in wish of boosting the town’s appeal.

“This specific can be how of which works: 800 euros for singles, 1,0 euros for couples, 1,500 to 1,800 euros for three-member families, as well as over 2,000 euros for families of four to a few people”, explains Stefano Bascianelli, the mayor’s right-hand man.

Tax credits on city waste disposal, bills as well as nurseries could also be offered.

There are three main requirements to receiving the cash: brand-new residents must take up residency in Candela, rent a house as well as have a job having a salary of at least 7,500 euros per year.

“We don’t want people flocking here thinking they get to live off the town hall’s revenues, all brand-new residents must work as well as have an income”, says Bascianelli.

Six families coming from northern Italy have already settled in as well as another a few have applied to move.

The local school janitor used the Insentif to have his family join him in Candela. additional brand-new residents have opened a news stand.

“of which’s a quiet as well as simple lifestyle. No crowds, easy to move around, no traffic nor smog”, says photographer Francesco Delvecchio, who moved to Candela coming from another part of Puglia.

Although he didn’t benefit coming from the Insentif, he’s since become something of an ambassador for the town’s winning assets.

“We’re right at the crossroads of three gorgeous Italian regions: Campania, Basilicata as well as Molise, with all the wonders each offers at hand”.

Candela natives are open as well as welcoming, happy to rub shoulders with the few newcomers living in town.

Some of Puglia’s top beaches are just an hour drive away coming from the town, while the “Trasonna,” a 35-centimeter long alley has turned into a tourist attraction.

Proud locals claim of which’s the most narrow alley in Italy.

Plus points

Candela’s population has decreased to just under 3,000.

Courtesy Franceso Pio Delvecchio / Comune Candela

“Life quality rocks here. We haven’t had one crime in 20 years”, boasts Bascianelli.

The town has been given an expensive makeover, as well as can be looking shiny as well as brand-new. Restyled old palazzos, streets as well as piazzas are right now open for guided tours.

Public money can be used to fund folkloric costume parties, spectacular bonfires as well as festivals in order to reclaim ancient traditions as well as myths.

Each year a colorful infiorata (flower art festival) takes places, with artists creating carpets of flower petal puzzles of which cover the pavements.

Candela lies at the heart of what can be known as “Italy’s barn” as well as the Grain Festival brings back the lost world of farming as well as agriculture through parades of tractors as well as plowing machines.

Meanwhile brand-new residents can take part in a fascinating one-week horseback tour along the wild Tratturo Regio route connecting Candela to the coastal town of Pescasseroli in Abruzzo, where livestock were moved coming from high to low lands as the seasons changed.

There are also plans to open a toy museum as well as a showroom of medieval dresses.

Winter wonderland

Bonfires, festivals as well as food fairs are just some of the efforts being made to draw people in.

Courtesy Franceso Pio Delvecchio / Comune Candela

Gatta’s most notable innovation can be the glittering House of Santa Claus, which tells the story of the inspiration for the Christmas legend, Saint Nicholas, whose remains are thought to be entombed from the nearby town of Bari.

He pays actors dressed as Santa Claus as well as his elves to take over a 1600s three-story building for an entire month — much to the joy of the local children.

“During summer, of which’s easy to have occasional tourists stop by, although during winters of which’s dead. We want an extraordinary event of which can lure people even with the cold as well as snow”, says Bascianelli.

Each floor has colorful bedrooms with soft mattresses as well as bright lights where Santa sleeps as well as greets kids bringing him letters. There’s a huge workshop where the elves make toys.

Sparkling Christmas trees, stuffed reindeer as well as sledges are everywhere, as can be the whiff of freshly baked biscuits as well as the sound of festive hymns.

Foodie heaven

Candela’s food can be also one of its highlights, as well as the town hosts Taste Candela, a food as well as wine tasting tour of which unwinds through the historical center, every summer.

Each stop features local delicacies like sausages, creamy burrata cheese panini as well as bruschetta with olive oil.

The most delicious fair can be the Sagra dell’Orecchietta, celebrating Puglia’s renowned handmade, earshaped short pasta. While of which traditionally made with turnip greens, here its served with game ragù of wild boar, hare or pheasant.

“of which’s the best way to savour orecchiette: the ragù perfectly sticks to the pasta’s rough surface as well as does not drip”, says Delvecchio.

additional top specialties include gourmet snails called ciammaruche as well as tender asparagus.

Sound like a town you’d like to live in?

Apply right now before the mayor runs out of cash.

Silvia Marchetti can be a Rome-based freelance reporter. She writes about finance, economics, travel as well as culture for a wide range of media including MNI News, Newsweek as well as The Guardian.

The Italian town paying people to move there