Ghost town in Italy offering nearly £2,000 to anyone willing to move there

The mayor of Bormida, in northern Italy, is trying to tempt people to the remote mountain village for fears it will turn into a ghost town. 

Young people have been deserting the town in droves, favouring the livelier city of nearby Savona. 

In a bid to attract new blood mayor Daniele Galliano is offering a €2,000 (£1,700) “bonus” to anyone willing to move there. 

Situated in the north-west Liguria region, which sits 1,380 feet above sea level, the town currently has 394 residents. 

But in addition to the welcome payments, rents have also been slashed to attract people. 

The manager of Oddone Giuseppe, one of the town’s only four restaurants, said: “There is nothing much to do here. 

“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.”

Further incentives include cheap rent, with a small property in the town setting you back €50 (£42) a month, while a bigger one will be no more than €120 (£101).

As people packed up and left, it meant more and more properties remained empty and so Mr Galliano decided it high time they “take action’.

He said: ”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.”

The scheme can claim minor success, since being launched in 2014 the population has risen from 390 to 394, despite 54 upping sticks and leaving. 

But Bormida is not alone, as many Italian villages are at risk of extinction as the population slowly moves out. 

Last year a report by Legambiente, a national environmental association, found a third of towns face being wiped off the map. 

Other incentives being deployed to try and attract fresh faces is asking refugees and migrants to settle there, as well as selling house for meagre sums. 

And not just in Europe where empty towns are an issue, Russia faces a similar crisis with President Vladimir Putin offering land incentives to anyone willing to move to parts of remote Siberia. 

The 2.5 acre plots in the vast region stretching from the Arctic Circle to the Chinese border are up for grabs for anyone who can face five years of the harsh winter, where temperatures drop to a bitter -47 degrees celsius.

Daily Express :: World Feed

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