But over time the isolation that once was its saviour was killing it. Riace became a backwater, a place people left to seek a better life in other countries. DOMENICO LUCANO (Translation): People went to Australia after World War Two. There was a big emigration that lasted about 100 years, and is still happening. These towns, at some point, they became ghost towns. They became deserted. To save it Domenico devised his radical plan. Today signs welcome refugees in languages from Arabic to French, as those accepted as genuine refugees move into the homes others have left behind. Puma Creepers Elemental
e wants to welcome them. DOMENICO LUCANO (Translation): So little Riace is having its own strength put to the test. Initially we had a strong drive to do something that would connect us with the world, connect us to the experience of newcomers, to make Riace a bridge, a point of connection, of interchange and relationships. The idea came 10 years ago when a boatload of Kurdish refugees arrived here. It got the mayor thinking of an opportunity for his quiet back water. Migrants could fill its empty houses and breathe life back into its streets. DOMENICO LUCANO (Translation): So the idea is to imagine together a possible redemption. It's almost like assembling the pieces of a mosaic. In the middleages Riace was built on this mountain far inland from the sea to avoid raids by North African pirates.
a stranger or a foreigner, because these people are ve.
Trained in jobs and given a modest stipend immigrants make up around a quarter of the population. Fatima is one of those who recently arrived, fleeing Taliban threats in Afghanistan. FATIMA ABDALI, AFGHAN REFUGEE (Translation): My daughters couldn't go to school. Their future would have been ruined. The Taliban didn't want them to go to school. They were closing the Puma Fenty Black Gold
schools and pouring acid on girls. That's why I came to this country. Working in one Puma Rihanna Price of the mayor's purpose built workshops she makes money from Riace's traditional needle work.