Sure, there's no doubt that Australia is a fairly good place to be living out the pandemic; but the mind can't help but wonder (or wander for that matter), of what life would be like say half-way across the world with a Mediterranean coastline at your doorstep? It's a common dream; but one that is only lived out by a select group – 'the lucky ones'. But Italy is wanting to make our dreams a reality, establishing a 'pay-to-live' system in one of its southern regions.
If you're currently living in Sydney and battling the out of control housing market; the concept of being paid to live somewhere rather than having to sell your left kidney to afford rent in a beatdown, studio apartment is virtually incomprehensible. And yet, the mayor of Altomonte, Giampietro Coppola, is prepared to pay you up to $44,000 AUD to make the move to relocate to a Calabrian village.
Seems like easy money if you ask me.
The decision is part of a newly-implemented program which aims to repopulate and revitalise the region. As it stands, statistics have found that over 75 percent of the towns in Calabria contain less than 5,000 residents each. Add in the dire impact COVID-19 has had on tourism and you can understand the need to inject some fresh blood into these towns.
“We want this to be an experiment of social inclusion,” said Coppola. “Draw people to live in the region, enjoy the settings, spruce up unused town locations such as conference halls and convents with high-speed internet. Uncertain tourism and the one euro houses are not the best ways to revamp Italy’s south.”
But as is the case with most things that are almost too good to be true, there is a catch. To benefit from the pay-to-live offer in Italy, you have to already be in a position to add economic value to the region. Basically, this isn't an Eat, Pray, Love find yourself moment. You either need to have a plan to start a business on arrival, or be able to fulfil a certain trade that a particular town needs. You also need to be under 40 and be able to make the move within 90 days.
If living in Italy's southern region doesn't exactly fit the brief, but you're still considering a move overseas; you'd be pleased to know that you can still make your Sicilian dreams come true in the town of Sambuca di Sicilia. Where you can manage to score yourself a home for just €2. No, that is not an error. And from what we know, this deal is very much 'no strings attached'.
The new scheme in Sambuca di Sicilia was launched just four days ago, and Calabria's applications are set to open in the next few weeks. We can guarantee availabilities won't last long.