The mayor of a small Italian village in Puglia has come up with a rather enterprising solution to solve its population crisis.
Nicola Gatta, mayor of Candela, is enticing new residents by paying them up to 2000 Euros (around AUD $3,110) to relocate.
"This is how it works: 800 euros for singles, 1,200 euros for couples, 1,500 to 1,800 euros for three-member families, and over 2,000 euros for families of four to five people," explains deputy mayor Stefano Bascianelli 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," says Bascianelli.
The population of Candela has declined from 8,000 residents in the 1990s to just 2,700.
“I work each day with passion and commitment to bring Candela back to its ancient splendour,” mayor Nicola Gatta told CNN.
“Up until the 1960s, travellers called it ‘Nap’licchie’ [Little Naples], for its streets full of wayfarers, tourists, merchants and screaming vendors.”
Local residents are full of praise for the historical town.
"It's a quiet and simple lifestyle. No crowds, easy to move around, no traffic nor smog," says photographer Francesco Delvecchio, who moved to Candela from another part of Puglia.
"We're right at the crossroads of three gorgeous Italian regions: Campania, Basilicata and Molise, with all the wonders each offers at hand," he says.
“It’s a quiet and simple lifestyle,” adds Francesco Delvecchio. “No crowds, easy to move around, no traffic nor smog,” he says.