The mayor of this small town in Italy is so desperate to replenish the destination with residents that he is offering foreigners a cash sum to move there.
The rolling hills of northern Italy are some of the most picturesque views you will ever see in your lifetime. That's if you ever get the chance to travel there, of course. Not everyone will get the opportunity to experience the breathtaking views in person. Plus, the few of us that do will only get the chance to spend a handful of days taking it all in.
It's the kind of place where we can't help but feel jealous of the residents of the towns dotted around the countryside every second we are there. Turns out the number of residents in these tiny towns is even lower than you might imagine. So low, in fact, that some of them are quickly becoming empty ghost towns.
The mayor of one of those towns, Locana is adamant that he won't be letting that happen. Mayor Giovanni Bruno Mattiet is offering anyone who wants to live in Locana €9000 (more than $10,000) across three years. The only qualifiers are that you're a couple with at least one child and a minimum salary of €6000, so around $6800.
"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," Mayor Mattiet explained to CNN Travel. The town's population has sunk to such a low that its one school is under constant threat of being closed down. There are 40 deaths in the town every year compared to only 10 births. Those numbers are simply not sustainable.
Locana isn't the only tiny Italian town trying to tempt people to live there via lucrative deals. Other mayors have offered up cash sums for people who move in while others have slashed the prices of some properties to just €1. It is working in some towns, but not in others. Plus, many believe that the process might well fix the issue in the short term, but bigger picture alterations to infrastructure are needed for more permanent changes to take place.