Presicce – Acquarica is the lates Italian town to announce a scheme aimed at increasing its population by offering incentives to people who relocate there.
The municipality of Presicce – Acquarica is located in the south of the Puglia region, right on the tip of the boot’s heel. In 2019, the neighbouring towns of Presicce and Acquarica del Capo merged, forming the bigger town of Presicce – Acquarica.
The merger means more public funds will be allocated to the now bigger town, local councillor Alfredo Palese told CNN, allowing them to offer the relocation incentives. “After the merger, as per Italian law, our wider territory will be blessed with more public funds, roughly 1,000,000 euros per year for several years forward, which we intend to invest to revitalize the old district”, he explained.
It is a pity witnessing how our old districts full of history, wonderful architecture and art are slowly emptying.Alfredo Palese, local councillor, for CNN
“There are many empty homes in the historical centre built before 1991 which we would like to see alive again with new residents. It is a pity witnessing how our old districts full of history, wonderful architecture and art are slowly emptying”, Palese said.
To receive the €30,000, people who are willing to move to Presicce – Acquarica also have to move their official residency address and are required to buy one of the houses built before 1991 from the historical centre area. The money will be split in two, one part will be used for purchasing the house and one part for possible necessary renovations and “restyling”.
The final details of the scheme are still being worked on, but an application form, together with a map of all the houses that are available will be published on the city hall’s website. The price for these houses start at about €500 per square metre, Palese indicated, meaning €25,000 are more than enough for a 50 m2 house.
The town is struggling with a decreasing and aging population, last year only 60 babies were born, compared to the 150 people that died. Families that live or relocate there will also receive €1,000 for every new-born.
Other Italian towns have taken similar measures to attract more people. Sardinia is offering €15,000 to newcomers, while multiple villages in the Calabria region offer up to €28,000 to people who relocate there. Sicily also adopted a similar approach, putting old houses up for auction, some starting at just €1.