You can’t really get paid $2,000 to live under the Italian sun, but the rumor has gone viral

Never believe anything you read on the internet, especially if it sounds way too good to be true. After a report last in The Guardian, there are tons of people who seem to think they can get paid $2,000 to move to Italy. Alas, if you had dreams of living out your Italian Elena Ferrante-type fantasies, it’s not to be — unless you happen to already live in Italy.

Here’s what happened: A small, postcard-ready town called Bormida was thinking of ways to incentivize tourism or even encourage people to want to live in rural Liguria.

Because times are tough and Italians are fleeing to larger cities for more work, only 400 people are currently living in Bormida. It sounds great, actually, super Beauty and the Beast-style, like it’s the kind of town where you could sing to the baker and fling yourself around lampposts. ANYWAY, the town’s council was offering cheap travel and rent to anyone who took the city up on the invite. The going rate was €2,000 or $2,170 to head to Italy, where rent would be around $54 a month.

The report made its way all around international media, since anyone who doesn’t live in small, picturesque Italian towns fantasizes about packing up and heading for the hills every time their email inbox is too full and $50 for rent sounds too good to be true. But we all know what that means.

If it’s too good to be true, it’s definitely BS.

Sorry, everyone. There’s no cheap way to escape your life at the moment. At least not in Italy.

Daniele Galliano, the mayor of Bormida, posted that his idea to lure people into his town was just for Italians who might be thinking of a move within the small country. Galliano sounds a little stressed out in his native language about the overwhelming response to the story that was “mistakenly” reported int he media. He added that he understands why people would want to move to his town (it’s “wonderful,” of course). But that right now there are 17,000 people following him, saying that they’ll happily come populate the town. That’s ridiculous, and obviously, because of the town’s tough economic times — which prompted the idea in the first place — Bormida and Galliano just can’t help everyone out.

It’s totally a bummer. But the next time you plan a European adventure, you can always add the town to your itinerary and pretend you live there.

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