Lucano was born in Melito di Porto Salvo but moved early in his life to Riace. He worked as a teacher for most of his adult life, and was a human rights activist since the 1990s. He became mayor of Riace in 2004, maintaining the role since then. In 2009, shortly after his first re-election as mayor, Lucano was shot at through the window of a restaurant and two of his dogs were poisoned.
He gained worldwide attention through his innovative approach to dealing with refugees, in the context of the European migrant crisis. As mayor of Riace, he allowed 450 refugees to settle among the 1,800 inhabitants of the village, revitalising it and preventing the closure of the local school.
In 2017 he was awarded the Dresden Peace Prize.
In April 2019, Lucano was indicted with other 26 people on charges of abuse of power and aiding illegal immigration. In the same month, he faced another probe regarding alleged false public statement and fraud.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Domenico Lucano.|
- Giuffrida, Angela. "In Italy's 'hospitality town', migrants fight to save mayor who gave them a new home". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
- Sreenivasan, Hari (April 3, 2016). PBS NewsHour Weekend.
- Ash, Lucy (10 January 2011). "Italian mayor9 saves his village by welcoming refugees". BBC News. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
- Poggioli, Sylvia (April 12, 2016). NPR Morning Edition (radio). National Public Radio. Retrieved 2016-04-13.
- World Mayor 2010 results
- "Riace: The Italian village abandoned by locals, adopted by migrants". BBC News. 25 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
- "World's Greatest Leaders". Retrieved 2016-04-13.
- "Laureates – Dresden-Preis". dresdner-friedenspreis.de. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
- Reeves, Chris. "Italy Arrests World-Renowned Sanctuary City Mayor for Aiding Illegal Migrants". Townhall. Retrieved 2018-10-05.
- "Riace Mayor Mimmo Lucano indicted - English". ANSA.it. 2019-04-11. Retrieved 2019-04-12.
- "Riace Mayor Lucano faces new probe - English". ANSA.it. 2019-04-12. Retrieved 2019-04-12.