SAN GIOVANNI LIPIONI, ITALY - 28 DECEMBER 2023: Franco Monaco (84), a retired construction worker who emigrated to France, Switzerland and Congo, walks down the stairs of his makeshift museum of collected items in San Giovanni Lipioni, Italy, on December 28th 2023. Mr Monaco has collected farming and looming equipment for a potential museum of the past to be built in San Giovanni Lipioni.
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.