Presicce, a stunning provincial quaint town in southeastern Italy, is offering a good deal. Those willing to move and stay there permanently and full time can receive $30,000. The town is apparently offering this generous stipend to just about any interested individuals as part of Presicce council’s strategy to bring in fresh, creative blood.
With its incredible location, the nature of the Salento area in the heel of Italy’s boot, its close proximity to the powder beaches, and the turquoise, crystal-clear waters of Santa Maria di Leuca, the town council hopes to rejuvenate its historical position.
“There are many empty homes in the historical center built before 1991 which we would like to see alive again with new residents,” the local councilor Alfredo Palese told CNN, lamenting how the historic village, which emerged in the Middle Ages and is full of “wonderful architecture and art” is “slowly emptying.”
There is a qualifier, however, as prospective buyers will likely need to purchase properties built before 1991 and agree to become full-time residents.
Merger of Presicce and Acquarica to facilitate offer
According to local authorities, the merging in 2019 of the towns Presicce and Acquarica, an adjacent community, created the larger town Presicce-Acquarica. That fusion is what provided the area with the extra money needed to ensure the project continuity.
Palese stated that “after the merger, as per Italian law, our wider territory will be blessed with more public funds, roughly 1,000,000 euros per year for several years forward, which we intend to invest to revitalize the old district.”
He added that they “will be offering up to 30,000 euros to people willing to move [there] and buy one of these abandoned dwellings, the total funding will be split in two: it will go partly into buying an old home and partly into restyling it, if needed.”
In order to qualify for the 30,000-euro incentive, buyers must take up residency in Presicce and purchase one of a selection of properties identified by authorities.
According to Palese, house prices start at five hundred euros per square meter, an indication that around twenty-five thousand euros should be enough to secure a fifty-square-meter dwelling in need of some repairs.
Other schemes to lure people into the town
The town hall has already launched other schemes to lure more residents, including tax benefits to set up new business activities and baby bonuses for families with kids in order to add on to the current nine thousand inhabitants.
Although the current numbers of Presicce and Acquarica combined may seem commendable, only half of the total population lives in the older part of the community.
The details of the deal are currently being finalized, and authorities are to launch applications in the upcoming weeks when the information will be available on the town hall website.
The natural beauty of Presicce
The currently less inhabited and abandoned district of Presicce is home to the beautiful natural surroundings of the Salento area with its stunning sand beaches and crystal-clear waters that punctuate its shorelines.
A fifteen-minute drive south takes new residents to Santa Maria di Leuca, a region described by Virgil in his canonical tome, the Aeneid. Once known as the “city of green gold” for its lush olive groves, Presicce’s shoreline features craggy rock cliffs studded with cavernous grottoes.
The district was the origin of premium extra virgin olive oil which became famous throughout the Renaissance. However, the village was also known for its fine wine, cattle trade, and cheese production. At the time, many of the locals didn’t live in houses at all.
Instead, they dug themselves cave homes in the region’s rocky landscape and beneath Presicce. That subterranean city still remains and has become a popular draw for tourists.