Italian town welcomes first baby in almost 30 years

The alpine town of Ostana, in the Italian region of Piedmont, welcomes its first baby in 28 years

Story highlights

  • Tiny town of Ostana in Italy's Piedmont region welcomes its first baby in 28 years
  • Pablo's parents moved from Turin to manage an alpine refuge five years ago

(CNN)A tiny alpine town in northern Italy has welcomed its first baby in 28 years.

Born a week ago, little Pablo is the youngest resident of Ostana in the Piedmont region; when his parents brought him home from the hospital in Turin where he was born, their fellow residents celebrated the arrival of only the town's 85th inhabitant.
    "At first I couldn't believe it was true," Giacomo Lombardo, the town's mayor, told CNN. "The news almost shocked me. It's a dream come true."
    Since only about half of the population lives there year round, Pablo and his family, father Josè Berdugo Vallelago, mother Silvia Rovere and sisters Clara and Alice, make up about 10% of Ostana's "permanent" residents.
    "We love challenges," said Josè, 36-year-old physiotherapist originally from Madrid, Spain. "Five years ago, we decided to leave Turin and change our life."
    The couple planned to move to Reunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean, but their life took an unexpected turn when they got the chance to manage an alpine refuge.
    "When the city selected our project, we moved to Ostana, and we have never regretted our decision," said Josè. "We love the quality of the life here. Ostana is a safe place for our daughters, and we feel part of this community."
    Silvia Rovere about to register her son Pablo at local registry office
    Home to more 1,000 people a century ago, Ostana has seen its population slump in recent decades; in the 1980s only five people lived there permanently.
    "The decline accelerated during the 1970s, and the last baby was born in 1987," said Lombardo, who has been mayor for 20 of the past 30 years.