The Current

Refugees revive Riace, a struggling Italian town

After so many people emigrated from the small town of Riace Italy, mayor Domenico Lucano saw an opportunity for the near ghost town and decided to welcome migrants in search of a better life. Join us as we travel to Italy to meet the residents of Riace.
Riace has been preserving the region’s traditions and folklore by producing embroidery and carpets. Kalkidan, a refugee from Ethiopia, works with a local traditional weaver, Angela.
Listen18:58

For me this is wonderful. We have had people from at least 23-24 different nations. Countries where people are victims of War. Violence. Torture.-  Riace  Mayor,  Domenico  Lucano

Who says one person can't make a difference?

Domenico Lucano is the mayor of a tiny Italian town, with no big money or big names behind him, just a big idea: Take the abandoned homes in his Calabrian village of Riace and make a space for people who have no home.

Domenico Lucano and the people of his village, have welcomed the destitute coming across the Mediterranean in overloaded boats. And  those refugees in turn are bringing new life to a once-dying town. 

Meet the town of Riace

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      I came from Ethiopia. I spent 15 days crossing the Sahara desert and 3 days crossing the sea.  That was in 2013.  I left Ethiopia because of the war.  I came on my own. All my family is still there. Now things are better thank God.   I am healthy now.  When a place is calm and healthy then the people are calm and healthy. I am always thinking of my family that I left behind. One day I will return home to see them.- Kalkidan , traditional weaver in  Riace , Italy
      Kalkidan moved to Riace two years ago and now works with local traditional weavers in the village.




      Thanks to Riace, Endurance and her daughter have a chance for a better future. 



      The documentary, "Reviving Riace" is produced by The Current's producer Lara O'Brien, documentary editor Joan Webber, and Anna Maria Tremonti. 

      Special thanks to freelancer journalist Megan Williams for her assistance, and to Vancouver actor Frank Ferrucci, as well as Lorenzo Vallecchi in Rome for voiceover work.