If you’ve ever dreamed of moving to a sunny island, now’s your chance: Sardinia is offering people €15,000 to relocate.
The Italian island – the second largest in the Mediterranean – has sandy beaches, blue skies and turquoise waters.
But the island paradise faces a dwindling rural population, as young residents move abroad for work.
To fight against this exodus, the government has reserved 45 million euros for the relocation bonus, enough to cover 3,000 scholarships.
So if you are already prepare your suitcase, here’s everything you need to know.
What are the rules of the scheme?
The grant money sounds too good to be true – and there are a few caveats.
To be eligible for the grant, you will need to move to a Sardinian municipality with a population of less than 3,000 people.
The money must also be used to buy or renovate a residence. The grant cannot exceed half of the total cost of the house or renovation – and the government will not always hand over the full sum of €15,000.
Finally, beneficiaries must live on the new property full-time and must register for permanent residence in Sardinia within 18 months of arrival.
Why does Sardinia offer people money to settle there?
italy the population is aging. The average age of Italians is 45.7 – a figure that is expected to reach 50.7 by 2050.
The global population is expected to decrease by nearly 20% by 2070, from 59.55 million to 47.6 million in 2070.
The problem is particularly serious in the rural areas of the country – and places like Sardinia are feeling the burn.
Sardinian President Christian Solinas said the scheme would encourage young people to stay in Sardinia or settle on the island.
“Thanks to these contributions to [homebuyers’] first houses, [Sardinia] becomes fertile ground for those who will settle there or decide to start a family,” he said.
“There can be no growth without a real enhancement of the territories, the interior and the most disadvantaged areas… We have created the conditions for young people to decide to stay and develop the economic fabric of the most fragile territories.”
If you move to the island, you can expect to stay there for a long time. With over 500 people over the age of 100, Sardinia has one of the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world – around 33 per 100,000 inhabitants.