Nicola Gatta, the mayor of a small town near Puglia, Italy named Candela, has come up with a solution to kill two birds with one stone.

Since 1990, Candela’s population has declined from 8,000 residents to today’s 2,700—a byproduct of young people leaving the town in search of opportunities.
What was once a city described as “Little Naples” thanks to its street vendors, tourists, and buzzing city life, has now become vacant, quiet, and increasingly desolate.
He is determined to keep the town alive but losing its medieval beauty. “I work each day with passion to bring Candela back to its ancient splendor,”.
Gatta’s ambition to keep the town thriving brought her a powerful solution: paying new residents to move into town. In addition to the €2,000 offered to new residents, newly built white homes with expansive terraces.
He was one of eight children and went to work at age 11 in a local barbershop. By age 12, he was cutting hair and dropped out of high school to cut hair full time.

Newcomers must become permanent residents of Candela, take up a home for rent, and have a job that pays an annual salary of least €7,500.

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