The mayor of Candela, a picturesque village in the south of Italy, is desperate to boost his town's dwindling population – and he's not afraid to put his hand in his pocket to make it happen. Found in the region of Puglia, which makes up the heel of Italy's 'boot', the medieval town is home to just 2,700 people, most of whom are elderly.
With many of the town's younger residents fleeing to the city, Mayor Nicola Gatta has started offering cash rewards to encourage anyone who wants to help stabilize population numbers.
As Gatta explained to CNN:
"Up until the 1960s, travellers called it 'Nap'licchie' (Little Naples), for its streets were full of wayfarers, tourists, merchants and screaming vendors."
While the area has seen an increase in tourism in the past few years, the hustle and bustle of the town have been replaced by peaceful silence. Nonetheless, Candela is still seriously picturesque with little winding streets and crowds of brand new white houses just waiting for their new owners.
Nicola Gatta is offering 800 euros for single people to relocate and 1,200 euros for couples willing to make the move. Whole families will be given the grand prize of 2,000 to live in the sleepy paradise and, what's more, they may even be offered tax credits on some services and bills.
The only condition: you'll have to work. As Stefano Bascianelli, the mayor's right-hand man, explained to CNN:
"We don't want people flocking here thinking they get to live off the town hall's revenues, all new residents must work and have an income."
Six families from the north of Italy have already signed up with many more expected to follow. So if you feel like making the move towards a more rustic existence, you'd better apply before the mayor uses up all his cash.