Dreaming of moving to Italy? Tuscany will pay you up to $32,000 to buy a home in a village

Updated

If you've been dreaming about living out your own “Under the Tuscan Sun,” now’s your chance. The rustic Italian region, known for wine and rolling hills, recently announced it will pay people to move to its rural towns.

Called the “Residenzialità in Montagna 2024” – which translates to “Residentiality in the Mountains 2024” – the new initiative by the Tuscany Region offers between 10,000 euros (about $10,715.10) and 30,000 euros (about $32,145.30) to those willing to move to a Tuscan town with 5,000 residents or less.

The payment is meant to go toward the purchase of the home and renovation costs but cannot exceed more than half of the home’s price. The home will also need to become a residence or habitual residence, not just a vacation home.

The initiative's launch is “to favor and encourage the repopulation and socio-economic revitalization of mountain areas, acting in contrast to the marginalization of these areas,” according to the application’s official website.

Italy is incentivizing new residents to help revitalize its rural villages suffering from a dwindling population.
Italy is incentivizing new residents to help revitalize its rural villages suffering from a dwindling population.

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A 2016 study by Italy's Ministry of Environment found 5,627 towns across the country had fewer than 5,000 residents, noted as “perilously depopulated.” Due to dwindling populations, just under half of those towns were at risk of not being able to survive the next 25 years. The pandemic exacerbated the problem, shrinking Italy’s entire population by 384,000 in 2021 – the highest amount in nearly a century, according to a 2021 report by the Pulitzer Center.

Potential residents have their choice of 76 Italian towns that qualify for the population maximum, according to 2022 data by the Italian National Institute of Statistics. The town with the lowest number of inhabitants with just 510, Careggine dates back to 720 A.D. and sits on the slopes of Monte Sumbra along the eastern side of the Alps, making for an ideal location for skiers.

A short train ride from Florence, the ancient village of San Casciano dei Bagni is home to 1,495 people, and known for its healing – or at least very relaxing – thermal baths. Or perhaps art aficionados want to live in the birthplace of Michelangelo, which would be the eponymous village of Caprese Michelangelo. Its surrounding region also boasts a rich artistic heritage.

The region said it had allotted a total of 2,800,000 euros (about $3,000,524) to hand out via the initiative.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to move quickly to take advantage of the initiative: the application window opened on June 12 and ends on July 27 at 1 p.m. local Tuscan time.

There are also some strict requirements: Americans must apply for a residence permit “lasting no less than 10 years,” register as residents in an Italian town or city and not already live in a mountain village.

Applications can be completed online at the Tuscany Region website.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at kwong@usatoday.com.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tuscany offers people up to $32,000 to buy a home in a quaint town

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