Meet the Argentinian doctors seduced by Sicily’s rural idyll

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(CNN) — When the municipalities of the cities in Italy began to sell coffee houses for the price of an espresso, people from all over the world were forced to grab a piece of the action – and for different reasons. .

It’s not always about chasing the idyllic dream of living La Dolce Vita in a rural, sleepy village where time stands still.

For some, it’s part of a career change: a radical career upgrade that comes with a retirement lifestyle.

The sale of one-euro ($1) and shops in the Sicilian town of Mussomeli are attracting Argentinian doctors with Italian roots, who want to stay and give a new look to their alive.

“Because of the lack of doctors in the village hospital a partnership between the University of Rosario in Argentina and our city office has been signed to fill the vacancies, and soon we will have Argentinian doctors again speak Italian easily,” Mussomeli mayor Giuseppe Catania told CNN.

The association began as a campaign to attract foreign investment for the regeneration of the city of Mussomeli, Catania said, and it is working before solving a health problem.

“These new doctors are very interested in providing rehabilitation projects to breathe new life into our depopulating village, including buying and renovating abandoned buildings in The historic center is our greatest achievement.”

In recent years, Mussomeli has sold over 300 small properties, starting at €5,000, and 150 one-euro houses, to attract foreign companies and skilled workers. Many new customers come from Argentina, where the Mussomeli family moved in the 1900s.

‘Easy and Slow’

Some Italian-Argentinian doctors visited Mussomeli to meet with the authorities, school children and colleagues in the future – and see what the town is like.

For ER doctor in Rosario Leonardo Roldan, moving to Sicily was a double goal.

“I’m young, 49, so it’s more than a professional change in my career: it’s the choice of leading a different life, the polar opposite of the one I live in Argentina, and take my family with me.”

Roldan, who used to live in the North of Italy, said that he did not see the beauty of Sicily until he met Mussomeli, who helped him to overcome some preconceived notions that about the southern depth he picked up while he was in the north.

“Mussomeli is a great break from my everyday reality. It’s another world: quiet, peaceful, where the locals lead a simple life. spend more time to taste the good things.”

For him, Mussomeli has the opportunity to live a slow life and use his free time to enjoy what he loves the most: running through the clean hills of the village covered with pastured sheep and looking for the wonders of Sicily. He compares it to offering fast food for slow food

Roldan plans to move from America with his whole family, including the dog, and he has already looked at some properties.

“The townhouse does a wonderful job with retail design, and sometimes, when I live, I can buy and renovate one, as a life project without rushing,” said him.

Initially, he plans to move into a country house with a garden next door to Mussomeli, but if his one-year contract is extended he will be happy to embark on a one-euro home-swapping journey.

“I don’t want it to be an investment, I don’t want it to be a store or a business.

The move to Mussomeli will allow Roldan to reconnect with his Italian roots, given that four of his great-grandparents immigrated to America from Italy.

Time to come back

Diego Colabianchi looks back on his Sicilian journey.

Diego Colabianchi looks back on his Sicilian journey.

Diego Colabianchi

Argentina is going through an economic crisis, which is the reason for the decision to move, said the Italian-Argentinian pediatrician Diego Colabianchi, from Rosario. His wife, an oncologist, joins the doctors at Mussomeli.

“I studied in Italy, we fell in love and left to live in Italy. The engagement is a good opportunity to return, and I enjoy the idea of ​​a life change. I have never been to Mussomeli before but know I’m really Myself living there – the small village world, the peace, it’s the only thing that awakens me to the infinite knowledge.”

Colabianchi said that he wanted a new experience in a peaceful place surrounded by nature, and where he would be treated to good Sicilian food and of course something else.

“At this point in my life, I can’t see myself living in Rome, it’s chaos.

“I like its location, high on the mountains, very different from the plain of Rosario where I live. Also, Mussomeli is close to the beaches; there are hills, olive groves, vineyards, and farms produce great wool.”

The idea of ​​taking a derelict property and refurbishing it to help bring the old ship back to life enticed him. But Colabianchi prefers to take it one step at a time.

“The first year in Mussomeli will be used to adapt to my new places, but my dream is to live there and live well, so sometimes buying a one-euro home, or an abandoned house in a good position. of course it’s a choice”.

‘Full of Life’

For Buenos Aires-based gastroenterologist Edgardo Trape working as a doctor in Mussomeli is a double challenge.

“I want to start doing different things, and see different things. Above all, I want a professional jolt and when I visited Mussomeli, I felt that this energy was running in the village. It’s full of life.”

According to Trape, working in Sicily allows him to be closer to his children in Europe and reconnect with his Sicilian heritage.

“Three of my ancestors came from the city of Caltanissetta, and Mussomeli is part of the same province, so it can’t be just one.”

Unlike his Rosario colleagues, Trape is concerned that Mussomeli may not be getting enough sleep for him compared to his current life in Buenos Aires, where he says he is completely satisfied.

“It’s a small village with a pleasant and humble atmosphere [compared to] My first thought was what I got on my first visit, but I’m happy and looking forward to this experience. “

And maybe, when he starts working regularly in the hospital and has a long experience in his Sicilian life, Trape says he can buy and renovate an abandoned home.

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