The artisan shops in Riace's historic centre are shuttered and its alleyways quiet as locals wait to see what will happen to Italy's world-renowned model of migrant integration.
The mayor of the hilltop hamlet in Calabria was hounded out of town earlier this week for favouring illegal immigration, but Domenico Lucano has vowed to fight on to protect the way of life here.
He will have to do it from afar as he is banned from Riace, once a ghost town before Lucano, 60, opened the door to migrants and asylum-seekers.
"I'm not going to give up. Riace represents an idea which counters barbarism and we'll go on even without state aid," Lucano said in an interview with AFPTV.