USA TODAY - Has the razza del ratto (rat race) got you down? Is life too febbrile (hectic) where you live?
But are you worried you don’t have enough contanti (cash) to live a more peaceful life?
Then you might be interested in the Italian hillside village of Bormida, which is about to offer a payment of €2,000 ($2,175) and rents as low as $50 a month to reverse its declining population.
Bormida, located in the mountainous Liguria region – Genoa, about 50 miles away, is the nearest big city – had declined to 390 residents in 2014, when the current mayor, Daniele Galliano, took office, according to the local Il Secolo XIX newspaper.
Spurred by visions of a ghost town, Galliano began measures to reverse the decay.
Now the population is 394, which may not seem much of a success until you consider that 54 people have either died or moved away against just four births.
"Instead of seeing a heavy demographic deficit, the situation is stable thanks to the initiatives of the municipal administration to encourage those who, by necessity or pleasure, wish to live in a small mountain community like ours," Galliano told Il Vostro Giornale, another local publication.
But with only four people added, he decided more-enticing measures were needed, hence the subsidies, which also include a $130-a-month rent for larger homes.
"We couldn't rent them at market value, so we chose a symbolic number and the requests abounded: the important thing was to repopulate the village," Galliano told Il Secolo XIX.
According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, details of the offer still needed to be settled and approved by the local council, Galliano wrote on his Facebook page. But if the proposal is passed, anyone who moves to Bormida will be given €2,000.
You probably won’t be able to spend the money all at once – the “Bor(ing)” in Bormida, which has a population of more than 1,000 in the 1950s, gives a clue as to the pace of its life.
According to Cosmopolitan magazine, the village has one main street, four restaurants (hey, this is Italy), a bed and breakfast and a post office that opens only three days a week. Much of the architecture dates back to 1200s.
“There is nothing much to do here,” Oddone Giuseppe, manager of one of the restaurants, told the Guardian. “But life is so simple and natural, we have forests, goats, the church, and plenty of good food. Life would definitely be free of stress.”
Some people, though, worry that €2,000 won’t go far enough.
“Mr. Mayor, I’m available to move and give up the €2,000,” wrote a Facebook user, Amedeo Alloca, on the mayor’s posting, “but I can’t live off air. I have a family with two small children. If you can guarantee a job, even the most humble one, it wouldn’t be a problem.”
Maybe they should open another restaurant.
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