Once compared to Oxford, the university city of Pavia is now better known for gambling. These activists are fighting to change that
At the start of this year, Massimo was standing on a bridge “determined to jump off”. The 45-year-old had been struggling with gambling addiction since 2001.
“I started to play slot machines and video poker after the death of my father and ended up spending €5,000 a day,” says the artisan fence-maker, from the city of Pavia in northern Italy. He was soon in debt to loan sharks and ended up stealing to fund his habit, including from his own mother, before considering suicide.
In Pavia you stumble on a gambling opportunity every time you buy a cappuccino
As a series of crises puts Europe under strain, some cities are fighting back with innovative solutions. From hyper-specialist shops beating the online threat in Berlin to the Bulgarian city reversing the country’s brain drain, from the Italian city finding new ways to tackle addiction to gambling to the Swedish town that has found innovative ways to combat extremism, we look at what European cities are doing to live better in our increasingly urban world.