Have you ever thought of moving to Italy? Eating pasta, drinking wine and being romanced by tall, dark and handsome strangers? How about maybe getting paid for this dream?
That is exactly what is happening right now in the picturesque hamlet of Candela, a small Italian town on the east coast of the Puglia region. Candela Mayor Nicola Gatta is offering to pay anyone who moves to their idyllic township.
Singles will receive $1,200, couples $1,800, and families can receive up to $3,000 in cash just for relocating to this village. Six families from northern Italy have moved, while another five have submitted their applications.
Gatta is trying to boost the population of his dwindling Medieval town. Candela was once a bustling metropolis known as “Little Naples,” and has slowly decreased in size over the years. In the ’90s the population hovered around 8,000.
Today, 2,700 people call Candela home and many of the historic houses, are furnished with huge terraces overlooking the rolling hills, ant they stand empty. Gatta has invested in reinvigorating the town. The city’s medieval palazzos and alleys, one claims to be the narrowest in all of Italy, have been restored. Gatta’s right-hand-man, Stefano Bascianelli boasts that there hasn’t been a single crime committed in Candela for 20 years.
“It’s a quiet and simple lifestyle. No crowds, easy to move around, no traffic nor smog,” said photographer and resident. He recently moved to Candela from elsewhere in the region. “We’re right at the crossroads of three gorgeous Italian regions: Campania, Basilicata and Molise, with all the wonders each offers at hand.”
Puglia’s famous glittering coastline is only an hour away. In Candela proper, municipal money is used to fund festivals, historic costume parties, horseback tours, medieval museums and more.
Candela is home to Italian sausages, bumper asparagus crops, plump balls of burrata cheese and bruschetta. If you’re planning a move, be sure you do so before August next year. That’s when the Candela Sagra dell’Orecchietta or festival of orecchiette pasta is held. It’s all you can eat, served dripping in ragu. Buon appetito!
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