A small, rural town, whose population is dwindling as younger generations head out to bigger opportunities and busier cities — it's an endlessly repeated story, featured in books and movies and really twang-y country songs. But you might want to start brushing up on your Italian, miei amici, because the Italian village of Bormida might pay you to move there as a solution to the problem of being a small, rural town whose population is dwindling as younger generations head out to bigger opportunities and busier cities. You know what they say about one person's trash, right? I mean, not that this village is trash — indeed, I would go so far as to say it is the opposite of that — but, well... if people are moving away and you get to move there instead? Their loss. That's what I mean.
Bormida, a remote mountain village in the northwest region of Savona in Italy, recently announced a plan to pay the equivalent of $2,173 to anyone who transfers their residence to the town and either rents or buys a property, reports The Guardian. That's not all — monthly rent for a small property will apparently only run you around $55. Looking for a more spacious vibe? Rent tops out at only $131.
Mayor Daniele Galliano recently pitched the plan in attempt to boost his small village. With a population of only 359, Bormida runs the risk of becoming abandoned, a not uncommon situation in Italy. According to a 2016 report by Legambiente, an Italian environmental agency, over 2,500 villages across Italy are at risk of becoming "ghost towns." In January 2017, the culture ministry declared this year to be "year of the villages," in attempt to rescue the invaluable cultural significance of mountain villages from anonymity.
According to Mayor Galliano's Facebook page, where he announced the initiative, the details, specifically the cash bonus, still need to be approved by the local council; perhaps unsurprisingly, though, interest has already begun to spike. Some have even offered to forgo the bonus in exchange for a job.
Which brings us to the underlying issue: What is there to do in Bormida? According to Cosmopolitan, the village currently supports one main street, four restaurants, a bed and breakfast, and a post office that opens only three days a week. Genoa, the closest city, is over 50 miles away. Much of the architecture dates back to 1200s.
As the manager of the Oddone Guiseppe restaurant told The Guardian, "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."
Honestly, seems chill to me. Sign me up.