The Italian village of San Giovanni is offering free vacations now

As the world slowly returns to a semblance of normalcy, destinations around the world are turning to incentive programs to attract travelers. While Thailand and Curacao tempt foreigners with hotel deals, a village in southern Italy does better and offers a full week’s vacation for free.

San Giovanni in Galdo, which is located in the hills of Campobasso in the Molise region, about two hours from Rome, has a rather modest population of 553. Last year Molise was included on the New York Times‘ list of 52 places to visit (virtually).

Seeking to broaden its tourist horizons, last year, the cultural organization of the village Amici del Morrutto, started offering free trips to attract visitors. He has just restarted the program, nicknamed “Give Yourself Molise”.

Between July and October 2020, 40 lucky winners will stay in local hostels for a week, completely free of charge.

“Due to decades of emigration from Molise, there are houses in the centers of the villages which have been empty for years,” said activist and local journalist Enzo Luogo, who originated the idea. The telegraph Last year. “These are beautiful but depopulated villages that don’t have tourist accommodation to begin with, so we thought: how can we help revive our historic villages, while encouraging visitors in these difficult times when tourism is at the lowest ? “

Applications are officially open on the site for this year, but you might need a little help from Google Translate to fill them out correctly.

Megan Schaltegger is a writer for Thrillist.

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