Welcome to the dream. Another Italian town wants to pay you to move to Italy—$30,000, to be exact.
This time around, the deep-pocketed village is Presicce, a charming little hamlet that is known as the “city of green gold,” thanks to the surrounding olive groves. Presicce is set in Puglia, a southern region known for its whitewashed hill towns, lush farmland and pristine Mediterranean coastline.
The town will pay people up to 30,000 euros to buy a house and move there, which translates to about $30,000 in today’s dollars.
The idea is to attract new residents in order to combat dwindling 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 (doling out $33,000) and the village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio (promising up to $52,500), just to name a few.
So what do you need to know? As with any of these programs, there’s a catch. You must buy a home and become a resident of Presicce. The dwelling must be abandoned and it must have been built before 1991. And the funds will be split: Part of it will go into buying the home and part can be used for renovations or redecorating.
“There are many empty homes in the historical center built before 1991 which we would like to see alive again with new residents,” local Presicce councilor Alfredo Palese told CNN. “It is a pity witnessing how our old districts full of history, wonderful architecture and art are slowly emptying.”
But it’s not a bad deal: To give you an idea, a 500-square-foot house in Presicce costs around $25,000.
Presicce’s town hall website will be posting additional information and applications in the coming weeks.
Presicce was able to come up with the funds for this new scheme, due to a merger with a neighboring town—Acquarica—in 2019. The current population is now around 9,000 people. “After the merger, as per Italian law, our wider territory will be blessed with more public funds, roughly [1 million] euros per year for several years forward, which we intend to invest to revitalize the old district,” Palese told CNN.
Dating back to the Middle Ages, Presicce is full of well-preserved architecture, lush gardens, narrow alleys and beautiful art. It made a cameo in a British film called Walking on Sunshine, which showcased Presicce’s crumbling palazzos and Baroque churches. The town is surrounded by farmland, olives groves and a rolling landscape lined with bike paths and walking trails.