Hospitality and integration.
In 1998 a first wave of Kurdish refugees landed at Riace, escaping from Istanbul.
In that period, Riace was experiencing only migration from its own citizens to northern cities, leaving empty houses and the economy frozen. Domenico Lucani and a group of partners saw this as an opportunity to transform the city through hospitality, so they founded the “Riace città futura”. They wanted to
transform Riace into the “welcome city”. They began to provide legal assistance and health care to refugees and then, in order to help the local economy, they created an exchange currency exclusive to Riace and gave refugees bonus tickets of different value that could be used as money only within Riace.
Integration programs and professional workshops were activated as well. This policy had a double positive effect, it permitted Riace’s economic recovery and repopulation and it the integration and job placement of refugees from 20 different nationalities.