SAN GIOVANNI LIPIONI, ITALY - 28 DECEMBER 2023: Pasta on sale in the convenince store owned by Giovanni Grosso (43) - a construction worker and town councillor - is seen here in San Giovanni Lipioni, Italy, on December 28th 2023. of San Giovanni Lipioni. In 2021, Mr Grosso and his wife Marisa Pavone (32) took over the local the convenience store that was closing, by investing all they had in savings: 25,000 euros. After 2 years they are forced to close the store due to poor sales. "People started to come less, just to go to the supermarket and save 6 cents for a pack of pasta", Mr Grosso said. He is now uncertain about his future. His construction employer from Bologna, who is originally from San Giovanni Lipioni, offered him a full-time job in Bologna, which would mean relocating out of San Giovanni Lipioni. Giovanni Grosso and his wife Marisa Pavone have two children: Santiago (4) and Ettore (5 months), the only child of San Giovanni Lipioni born in 2023.
San Giovanni Lipioni, an Italian town with a population of 136 in the Abruzzo region, set the record for the highest average age in the country at 66.1 years. The national average, according to a 2022 census by ISTAT, is 46.2 years old, making Italy the oldest country in Europe. Italy has also the lowest birth rate in Europe. San Giovanni Lipioni has experienced depopulation due to emigration in the 20th century and struggles to attract young people. However, some initiatives are being made to combat the decline, such as promoting tourism and repurposing abandoned buildings.