• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Italy mountain town celebrates first baby in 28 years
An Italian town is celebrating its first baby in 28 years. Photo: FrancoFranco56/Wikimedia

Italy mountain town celebrates first baby in 28 years

Patrick Browne · 28 Jan 2016, 11:51

Published: 28 Jan 2016 11:51 GMT+01:00

Just six days old, little Pablito became the youngest resident of Ostana when his father took him to the local registry office earlier this week: an event which caused the town's population to swell to 85 inhabitants - of which just 41 live there all year round.

“It's great to finally have someone born here and it shows that our efforts to reverse population decline are slowly working," Ostana Mayor Giacomo Lombardo told The Local.

Lombardo explained that 100 years ago the town was a flourishing mountain community with over 1,000 inhabitants. The population fell to 700 in the post-war years before going into a rapid decline.

“The nadir was reached in the 1980s when the population hit an all-time low of just five permanent residents,” Lombardo said.

But since then the mayor has been working to improve the economy of the town to attract young people and reverse its slide towards becoming a ghost-town.

Today, the town has two restaurants, a shop and bar in addition to its mountain refuge.

In a newly built multi-purpose space, a cinema school runs each year, which manages to attract tens of young people from across Italy.

“The problem is that there is really an absence of politics to help small mountain communities – we are a long way from Rome,” Lombardo said.

“But we are hanging on in there and planning a party on Sunday to celebrate our latest arrival.”

But the new arrival was very nearly born thousands of kilometers away.

A few years ago the child's parents, Josè Berdugo Vallelago, a 36-year-old immigrant from Spain and Silvia Rovere, a 41-year-old from the nearby town of Verzuolo, were planning to go and live and work on the tropical French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

Story continues below…

The pair had even bought plane tickets, but changed their plans at the last minute, when Ostana's council offered them a job running the local mountain refuge.


Picturesque: Monviso. Photo Luca Galli/Flickr

Standing in the shadow of the 3800-meter giant Monviso, the picturesque town is a popular place with hikers – even if very few people still live there.

"We never regretted our decision," Vallelago told La Stampa. "This place immediately felt like home."  

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Patrick Browne (patrick.browne@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Pope cars auctioned off to help Syrian refugees
The cars have personalized number plates. Photo: AFP

Got a spare €9,000?

Renzi revives plan for a 'bridge to Sicily'
Renzi said the bridge would "bring Sicily closer". Photo: Sarah Murray/Flickr

The bridge was first dreamed up in the 1960's, but no prime minister has succeeded in bringing it to fruition.

‘Destitute’ private jet owner fined thousands for tax fraud
The private jet-owner claimed to have no income or property. File photo: Bob Adams/Flickr

He had a private aeroplane and eight homes.

Italian mayor refuses to officiate civil unions
A protest in favour of civil unions earlier this year. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

“Why can’t a mayor be a conscientious objector?”

Netflix to launch 'illuminating' Amanda Knox documentary
Amanda Knox in court for her first appeal of her murder conviction. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP pool/AFP

The documentary comes out on Netflix on Friday.

Venetians dress as pirates to protest cruise ships
A protestor at a previous demonstration against large ships. Photo: AFP

Locals aren't happy about the presence of huge cruise ships in the Venetian lagoon.

EU, Rome warn Swiss region over vote to curb migrants
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Photo: AFP

The southern Swiss region Ticino voted on Monday to curb job access for workers living across the border in Italy.

Italy's crunch referendum set for December 4th
The referendum has turned into a vote on Prime Minister Renzi's time in office. Photo: AFP

The proposed reforms are judged to be the most important in Italy since World War II.

Outcry in Italy over Swiss vote to ban foreign workers
Airolo in the Gotthard Pass. Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl

The Ticino region borders Italy, with 63,000 jobs there held by cross-border workers.

Italian doctors remove wrong kidney from sick man
File photo: Pexels

Doctors wondered why the man wasn't recovering after having his kidney removed...

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
Culture
Eight things you should know about Rome's Spanish Steps
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The incredible hero dogs of Italy’s earthquake
National
Why quake-hit Amatrice will never be the same again
National
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Society
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Culture
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
Society
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
Culture
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
National
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
Society
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
National
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
Society
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Culture
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Sport
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Travel
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Politics
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
National
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
Politics
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Lifestyle
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
National
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
2,523
jobs available