With just 800 inhabitants Acquaviva is among thousands of Italian towns risking extinction in the coming decades, as the country faces an unprecedented crisis of population decline.

For the first time in 90 years the Italian population has fallen to about 55 million, according to the national statistics agency (ISTAT). From 2014 to 2018, the population decreased by 677,000 people.

Two factors are behind the decline according to experts: a decrease in births, which is at an all-time low since the unification of Italy, and an increase in the emigration of young people to other European countries in search of job opportunities. According to ISTAT nearly 157,000 people left the country in 2018.