By now, you’ve surely heard a little about Italy’s €1 home scheme. The initiative involves the selling off of abandoned and dilapidated dwellings that despite being a little rough around the edges, cost less than a cup of coffee and sit within stunning, historical towns like Sicily, Sardinia and Molise. You’ve probably even humoured the idea of buying one yourself.
Now, the offer is all the more tempting with the news the region of Calabria will pay you a healthy sum of up to €28,000 (around AU $44,400) to open a small business in the area. And it’s totally up to what that business looks like — it could be a small fashion boutique, a wine bar, a cheese shop, a book store, a bed and breakfast…
Like the €1 home scheme, the plan was designed to inject new life into an ageing population. Trends today see young people leaving their hometowns to move to big cities like Rome and Milan, leaving the elderly behind. But if the scheme is successful, then new residents will move into these small towns of around 2,000, bringing families, new business opportunities, and generally bettering the vibe.
Now for the catch. Applicants must be under 40 and be ready to move to Calabria within 90 days of their application being approved. Also, the €28,000 would not be handed out in one go, but rather in an allowance of between €800 to €1,000 per month for two to three years, depending on the town or application terms.
Basically, if you’re interested to apply, you’d do well to be absolutely sure this is what your next step looks like, and ideally you’ll have a little stash saved up to get your small business idea off the ground.
Applications for the “Active Residency Program”, as it’s being called, will be going live in the next few weeks, according to CNN Travel. The region of Calabria has reportedly set aside some €700,000 for the project.
Calabria is located in Southwest Italy and has a climate that’s reflective of the Mediterranean position. Summers are hot and dry with tops of around 27°C and winters are brisk with temps of 12°C. On rare occasions, it may snow.
The towns taking part in the scheme are spread throughout the region, with some on the coast, others in the mountains, and some in stunning, rural loctions. Oranges, orchids and olives grow in abundance and historical castles and ruins are scattered throughout.
You can find out more about the scheme here.