On a lofty ridge on the island of Sicily stands one of the most beautiful villages in Italy: Petralia Soprana. Sicily - the largest island in Italy - offers its visitors plenty of sunny days, lovely beaches and also excellent food. Now, this small village is making the dream of living on an island a reality.
Petralia Soprana, located southeast of the city of Palermo, is currently offering cash incentives for new residents. Euronews reported that the village council hopes that the new plan will help to repair the decline of the local population - and will also breathe new life into many abandoned houses. This is not the first time Italy incentivized migration, and this is also common in other places in Europe.
50 empty houses are waiting for you
Those interested in living in this beautiful village should apply as soon as possible - the deadline is May 10 (this Wednesday). Those who are selected - will be entitled to receive an amount of 5,000 euros (for a family or an individual). In return, you must commit to moving your permanent residence to the village. As to be expected, there is "small print" here: to be eligible for a grant you must also purchase a property in the village, and if necessary, also repair it. Today, after decades of the village's population slowly leaving, there are 2,992 residents left, as well as more than 50 empty houses.
The village itself offers narrow alleys winding between stone houses that were built back in the Middle Ages. From the village, you can enjoy the sight of the countryside, including a view of the active volcano Etna. In the village stands a monumental stone church built on a rock outcrop and the central square where an impressive cathedral from the Renaissance is housed. It is believed that a mosque originally stood on the site, from when the place was ruled by the Muslims, in the tenth century AD. The unique bell tower still showcases Byzantine-Arab decorations. This mixed style of architecture even recently received UNESCO World Heritage status in nearby Palermo.
A food festival dedicated to...lentils
Life in Petralia Soprana is incredibly peaceful, except for the period when local celebrations are held (and there are quite a few of them), including holidays dedicated to local saints and other carnivals and food festivals. It is interesting to discover that one of the village's famous food fairs is dedicated to lentils, which are used to prepare a traditional soup with wild fennel and chicory.
The application can be submitted directly on the local municipality's website. However, there is an obstacle: the entire website is written in Italian, without an English or Hebrew translation.