Francesco Garofalo has been in charge of San Sossio Baronia, Campania, for seven years and on Monday made a plea to Chinese investors via his Facebook page, TGcom24 reported.
“Wanted: a rich Chinese investor to come and take over the town,” he wrote.
Garofalo explained he wanted to sell the town of 1,700 people due to “perennial lack of funds,” but said he would happily offer his services as mayor to potential new owners.
According to Garofalo, the town represents a much better investment than a football club for any rich entrepreneurs looking to splash the cash.
“The town would cost much less Inter or AC Milan – but would be a much more profitable enterprise,” he said.
The mayor highighted the virtues of San Sossio Baronia, which is located at 650 metres above sea level in the tree-covered hills which lie between Puglia and Campania.
“For their money, investors would get a town with lots of greenery with great tourist potential.”
The frustrated mayor wrote the humorous post on Monday in order to highlight the serious economic and demographic difficulties facing many small towns like San Sossio Baronia.
However, he is serious about attracting investment and has said he is willing to take out advertising space in newspapers in order to promote it.
A report earlier this month revealed half of all Italian towns with populations under 5,000 people risked becoming ghost towns over the coming decades.