(CNN) — Ever dreamed of opening an artisan boutique and settling down for good in an idyllic village in Italy’s deep south where it’s warm almost all year-round — and get paid to do it?
For those willing to take the plunge, it could soon no longer be just a dream.
The region of Calabria plans to offer up to €28,000 ($33,000) over a maximum of three years to people willing to relocate to sleepy villages with barely 2,000 inhabitants in the hope of reversing years of population decline.
These include locations near the sea, or on mountainsides, or both.
This isn’t money for nothing, however. In order to get the funds, new residents must also commit to kickstarting a small business, either from scratch or by taking up preexisting offers of specific professionals wanted by the towns.
There are a few other catches too.
Applicants must take up residency and — sorry boomers — be a maximum of 40 years old. They must be ready to relocate to Calabria within 90 days from their successful application.
It’s hoped the offer will attract pro-active young people and millennials eager to work.
Gianluca Gallo, a regional councilor, tells CNN the monthly income could be in the range of €1,000-€800 for two to three years. Alternatively, there could be one off funding to support the launch of a new commercial activity — be it a B&B, restaurant, bar, rural farm, or store.
“We’re honing the technical details, the exact monthly amount and duration of the funds, and whether to include also slightly larger villages with up to 3,000 residents,” he tells CNN. “We’ve had so far a huge interest from villages and hopefully, if this first scheme works, more are likely to follow in coming years.”
Dubbed “active residency income,” the project aims to
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