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PROPERTY

Will this town in southern Italy really pay your rent if you move there?

As one depopulated Italian town offers to contribute towards new residents' rent or the purchase of a home, we ask if the offer is too good to be true.

Will this town in southern Italy really pay your rent if you move there?
The town of Teora, Avellino. Photo courtesy of Enzo Ciccone/Facebook

We've all heard about how small Italian villages – and even one city – are selling off unloved old houses for a euro in a bid to attract new residents.

But now one town in southern Italy has come up with what it says is a better way of countering the problem of depopulation.

READ ALSO: These are all the Italian towns offering houses for one euro

While the €1 home deals have been a success across Italy, with buyers from far and wide committing to investing in extensive renovation works, there are concerns that buyers are just snapping up cheap holiday homes, which will then be left empty for much of the year – doing little to solve the town's problems.

The location of Teora. Screenshot: Google Maps

The town of Teora, in the Campania region, is instead offering a contribution towards the cost of either renting or buying a house in the town.

Set in the wild, inland province of Irpinia, Teora in is about a two-hour drive from the Amalfi Coast or the city of Naples.

Teora. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Teoravventura

Many residents left Teora following a devastating earthquake in 1980, and the population is now down to just 1,500.

Teora's local council has offered a contribution of 150 euros per month towards the rent for two years, or a one-time payment of 5,000 euros towards buying a home.

The average local rent in Teora is already very low, at around 200 euros per month for a house, and reports in CNN and other outlets say new residents may need to pay just 50 euros monthly for the rent on their new home.

The average cost of monthly rent in Italy is around 600 euros.

READ ALSO: 

Mayor Stefano Farina told CNN: “I don't believe in selling empty houses for €1, that doesn't incentivise people to stay in town.”

“They just come a few months a year as holidaymakers. That's not the solution. But taking up residency and enrolling kids at the local school, that does breathe new life.”

To make sure that doesn't happen in Teora, people benefitting from the scheme will need to take up residency in Teora for at least three years, and the offer is only open to people with one or more children.

While many one euro homes need serious renovations, the homes in Teora are said to have been recently rebuilt following the earthquake.

Residential buildings in Teora. Photo: Michele Notaro/Comune di Teora

The town has also said it would waive school meal fees and taxes on local services for new residents.

And the offer is open to non-Italians who are prepared to make the move.

“So far two Italian families have settled down and one from Brazil with Italian roots,” Farina said.

The initiative got a mostly positive reaction from the town's residents on a local Facebook group, though one criicised the idea as “ridiculous” and said the money should go to investing in local small businesses instead.

For more information, please contact the municipality of Teora through the official website.  Please note The Local cannot help you apply for this scheme. But do let us know if you decide to move!

 

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LIVING IN ITALY

The Italian holiday calendar for 2023

Italy gets a good number of public holidays, but they sometimes fall on a weekend. Here are the dates to plan for next year.

The Italian holiday calendar for 2023

Italy has long been known for being fairly generous with its public holidays, with Austria being the only EU country with more holidays (13). 

In total, Italian residents enjoy 11 national public holidays plus a local holiday for the patron saint of their cities (for instance St Ambrose in Milan, St Mark in Venice, St John in Florence, etc.).

READ ALSO: Why do Milan residents get a day off on December 7th?

But, as some Italian speakers might say, ‘non è tutto oro quel che luccica’ (all that glitters is not gold). In fact, all national holidays in Italy are taken on the day they fall on that year rather than being moved to the nearest Monday as is the case in other countries, including the UK.

This means that if a certain holiday is on a Saturday or a Sunday, there is no extra day off for residents.

It also means that there are ‘good’ holiday years and ‘bad’ ones, and, while 2022 wasn’t a particularly good one – as many as four public holidays fell on a weekend day – 2023 only has one such holiday: New Year’s Day, which will fall on Sunday, January 1st.

Deck chair on Italian seaside

Italian residents will get five three-day weekends in 2023 thanks to public national holidays. Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

2023 holiday calendar

  • January 1, 2023 (New Year’s Day): Sunday
  • January 6, 2023 (Epiphany): Friday
  • April 10, 2023 (Easter Monday): Monday
  • April 25, 2023 (Liberation Day): Tuesday
  • May 1, 2023 (Labour Day): Monday
  • June 2, 2023 (Italian Republic Day): Friday
  • August 15, 2023 (Ferragosto): Tuesday
  • November 1, 2023 (All Saints’ Day): Wednesday
  • December 8, 2023 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception): Friday
  • December 25, 2023 (Christmas Day): Monday
  • December 26, 2023 (St Stephen’s Day): Tuesday

As shown by the above list, Christmas Eve (December 24th) and New Year’s Eve (December 31st) are not official public holidays in Italy, but many local companies do give their staff both days off as a gesture of goodwill. 

That said, in 2023 Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve will both fall on a Sunday, so residents will already be home from work. 

Like both ‘Eves’, Easter Sunday is also not considered a public holiday, but, once again, residents are already home from work on the day given that it falls on a Sunday every year.  

2023 ‘bridges’ and long weekends

Whether or not a certain year is a good one for holidays also depends on the number of ‘bridges’ available.

For the uninitiated, ‘fare il ponte (‘to do the bridge’) is the noble art of taking an extra day off when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday – the most audacious might do this with a Wednesday holiday too.

Sadly, 2023 doesn’t provide a lot of opportunities to do this. There are only two possible bridges: one for Liberation Day, falling on Tuesday, April 25th and one for Ferragosto, on Tuesday, August 15th.

But, on a more positive note, six of next year’s public holidays will fall either on a Monday or a Friday, giving residents five three-day weekends and a four-day one – Christmas Day (falling on Monday) is immediately followed by St Stephen’s Day on Tuesday.

Italian non-holiday holidays

There are seven dates in Italy’s calendar that are considered official but not public holidays, meaning you don’t get a day off. 

These are known as ‘solennità civili’ (civil feasts) and include National Unity Day on the first Sunday of November, the day of Italy’s patron saints Francesco and Caterina on October 4th, and the anniversary of the unification of Italy on March 17th.

Display from Italian Air Force for Italy's Unity Day

National Unity Day, which is celebrated every year on the first Sunday of November, is one of Italy’s ‘civil feasts’. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

That’s in addition to nearly 30 national and international days of commemoration or celebration that Italy recognises, including Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27th), Europe Day (May 9th) and Christopher Columbus Day (October 12th). 

Much like the previously mentioned solennità civili, none of the above will get you a day off.

Other holidays

If you’re an employee in Italy, you’re entitled to paid holiday time, and the very minimum allowance is four weeks (or 20 days) a year – that’s 18 days less than in Austria, which leads the EU pack in minimum paid leave.

That said, many Italian contracts, particularly those for state employees, allow for five weeks (or 25 days) of paid leave per year. 

It’s also worth noting that, by law, employees must take at least two weeks of paid leave consecutively (i.e. two in a row) and all paid leave accumulated over the course of a year must be taken within 18 months from the end of that year.

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