These Italian towns will pay remote workers to move there

·3 min read
The high street in santa fiora (Getty Images)
The high street in santa fiora (Getty Images)

Two Italian towns will pay remote workers to move there – but applicants must have an “active” job that can be done remotely.

The appealing prospect is part of a broader scheme that aims to incentivise people to relocate to under-populated regions and inject new life and cash into the local community.

The medieval village of Santa Fiora in Tuscany and ancient city of Rieti in Lazio are both offering remote workers willing to relocate and rent a house there up to €200 (£174) or 50 per cent off the total rent for long-term stays of between two and six months.

With local rents averaging around €300-500 (£260-435) per month, new arrivals could end up paying as little as €100 (£87) per month.

With a population of just 2,500 residents, the sleepy town of Santa Fiora situated in the Monte Amiata nature reserve has recently installed high-speed fibre internet in a bid to appeal to remote workers, with “working stations” planned.

Potential residents must provide proof and details of their occupation with their application. If successful, they must then forward details of their rental agreement to the Mayor’s office, which will reimburse up to half the cost.

Applicants can also seek support with paperwork through the town’s tourist office.

“Each time a youth leaves to search for a job elsewhere, a piece of our village is taken away,” Mayor Federico Balocchi tells CNN.

“It's not targeted at occasional touch-and-go tourists, but people who really want to experiment with our village life.”

Newcomers who wish to invest in the local tourism industry can also benefit from a financial contribution of €30,000 (£26,000) to open a B&B or turn a property into a hotel or hostel.

And anyone who gives birth during their stay is entitled to a cash baby bonus of €1,500 (£1,303) for each newborn if they choose to take up residency.

“That would be great if new families actually settled in,” says Balocchi.

It’s a similar situation in historic Rieti, which is struggling with population decline and is offering a similar deal for a three-month minimum stay.

“We're kind of stuck,” says deputy mayor Daniele Sinibaldi.

“Young people still keep fleeing to Rome in search of work so we've embarked on a mission to lure remote workers who will turn Rieti into their smart office and revitalise our city.”

Here, rent vouchers can be extended beyond six months, and applicants will need evidence of their employment, although freelancers can simply provide a description of their work.

“Rents in town are in the range of €250 (£217) to €500 (£435),” he says. “For €600 (£521) you can have an entire little villa in the peaceful countryside.

“Also, the voucher can be used in the entire territory of Rieti, including the rural hamlets of Sant'Elia, Cerchiara and the skiing resort of Terminillo, but we'd love to have people move in to live in the historical centre,” he adds.

For more information on Santa Fiora, click here, and for information on Rieti click here.

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