The program offers €15,000 to foreigners, in the latest example of an Italian government offering monetary incentives to relocate
Steeped in culture, the island is home to turquoise seas and white-sand beaches, but many of its young people are moving away to find work.
To combat the dwindling rural population, the Sardinian government is now offering foreigners €15,000 to resettle on its shores.
However, there are some provisions for the scheme. The money must be used to renovate a home in a town with fewer than 3,000 residents.
These include towns like Galtellì (near Monte Tuttavista, popular for hiking) and Calasetta (famous for its white sandy beaches).
The applicants must also live there full-time so that the funds cannot only be used for a holiday home.
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (Sicily is the largest) and is famous for its beautiful beaches and varied cuisine.
Located in western Italy, visitors can reach the island by plane and ferry from across Europe (and mainland Italy).
In recent years, rural communities in Sardinia have suffered from depopulation. The program aims to increase the population in rural communities and give smaller towns and villages an economic boost.
“We have created the conditions for young people to decide to stay and to (develop) the economic fabric of the most fragile areas,” said Sardinian President Christian Solinas in a press release.
The application for access to the grant must be sent to participating communities, according to a page with more information and links to frequently asked questions on the government website, which also lists a contact email and phone number.
“There can be no growth without a real improvement in the territories, in the interior and in the most disadvantaged areas, which will have to go through new strategies for their repopulation.”
A total of 105 million euros are now planned for the project.
Since not every applicant will put in the full amount of money (the grant cannot exceed 50 percent of the purchase and renovation price), it is estimated that over 7,000 individuals or families will be able to participate.
A maximum of 15,000 euros will be made available to applicants as a one-time, non-repayable grant. Homebuyers can apply for this at the main office of their new municipality.
However, they would first have to register their residency in Sardinia and do so within 18 months of arrival to be eligible for the assistance.
This isn’t the first time the Italian government has offered financial incentives to encourage people to move.
Earlier this year, several villages in the southern region of Calabria offered to pay up to €28,000 for young people to move in.