Yakir Gabay Release: This Italian Village Will Pay You To Move There (And Even

This Italian Village Will Pay You To Move There (And Even

There’s something about the idea of moving to Italy that inspires wanderlust—especially when that dream life comes with (yes!) free money. Italy is again trying to inspire the next generation to move there. We’ve all heard about the 1 euro houses that are being sold to foreigners, but they take a lot of time and money to renovate. This time around, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy is sweetening the pot by offering to pay up to 50% of your rent if you relocate and work remotely on a long-term basis. The town will pay you even more money if you become a resident and have a baby or open a hotel.

It’s similar to a scheme cooked up last year by the village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Italy, which offered people up to $52,500 in grants to move there and work. And in the U.S., we’ve seen regions and cities and states paying people big money to move there and work remotely.

The village is called Santa Fiora and it’s a medieval enclave on a hilltop in the heart of Tuscany, surrounded by chestnut forests and waterfalls. And unlike some places around the world—where there has been pushback from locals over the idea of foreigners moving in—Santa Fiora is welcoming foreigners with open arms. “The goal is to incentivize people to move in and virtually work from here,” mayor Federico Balocchi told CNN. “We want Santa Fiora to become their flexible office. Each time a youth leaves to search for a job elsewhere a piece of our village is taken away.”

Remote workers who make the move to Santa Fiora will be given up to €200 ($240) or 50% of the total rent if they commit to living there from two to six months. It might not sound like a lot, but consider that local rents usually average €300 ($366) to €500 ($610) a month—so that means you might be paying as little as €100 ($122) a month to live here. (Go ahead: Try and find a rent like that in the U.S.)

According to CNN, in order to get the rental incentives, you need to prove that you have a remote job, but it doesn’t matter what your career is. The only hitch is that you must have an “active” job—which you can do on a laptop while sipping a glass of red wine. (People who are retired and on a pension can also take advantage of the deal if they are still working as independent contractors or online consultants.)

And that’s not all. If you decide to stay in Santa Fiora and start a business, the town will give you up to €30,000 (about $36,604) to open a bed and breakfast or turn an old building into a hotel. And if you become a resident and have a baby, you’ll get even more money: €1,500 ($1,830) for each newborn.

“That would be great if new families actually settled in,” says Balocchi told CNN. “This place is perfect for remote workers who must balance jobs and kids. We have low kindergarten fees, free school shuttle buses and many activities for children to allow parents time to breathe.”

Mayor Balocchi says the scheme is one of the first steps in a smart village project that aims to lure new residents and businesses in an effort to revolutionize the town, which has dwindled to a population of just 2,500 residents. Santa Fiora has also been updated with high-speed fiber internet and is in the process of identifying suitable working stations amid the town’s historic cobblestone alleys, fountains and piazzas.

In addition to offering money, the town has launched a website with available rentals, from centrally located stone cottages to hillside villas, in addition to contact info for local plumbers, babysitters, doctors and food delivery—everything you need to make it easy to move to Italy.


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Jonathan Cartu

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