This is the picturesque Italian hamlet of Candela, the town that’s paying people to move there! The mayor was desperate to find a solution for the town’s dwindling population. Until the 1990s, Candela had more than 8,000 residents. But today, there are just 2,700, most of them elderly. Then Mayor Gatta had an inspiration. Why not offer a cash incentive to encourage young people and families from all over the world to move into the area?
“I work each day with passion and commitment to bring Candela back to its ancient splendor. Up until the 1960s, travelers called it ‘Nap’licchie’ (Little Naples), for it streets full of wayfarers, tourists, merchants and screaming vendors.”
Before you can collect the bonus, you must meet a few conditions: you must take up residency in Candela, sign a lease for or buy a house, and have a job with a salary of at least €7,500 per year. The bonus is €800 for singles, €1,200 for couples, €1,500 to €1,800 for three-member families, and over €2,000 for families of four to five people. In addition to the cash bonus, those who qualify may also receive civic credits which can be put toward city taxes, bills, and childcare.
Candela natives have been very welcoming to the new residents, which currently include six families from northern Italy, and applications are rolling in from other families as well. I don’t blame them. In addition to being gorgeous (and apparently crime free), the tiny town is host to a number of popular festivals every year, including the Sagra dell’Orecchietta, a food and wine festival dedicated to the Puglia region’s signature ear-shaped orecchiette pasta.
Oh, and if you decide to relocate to Candela, I fully expect an invitation!
All images property of Franceso Pio Delvecchio / Comune Candela.