If you’ve seen those headlines about €1 houses for sale in Italy, well… The country has another trick up it’s sleeve o encourage investment. The Italian government is planning to invest over €1 billion into attracting remote workers, or digital nomads, to the country’s shores in the coming years.
Now, if you’re already packing your bags ready for some Dolce Vita, hold up and read on.
Italy, like many European countries, has long struggled to keep it’s young talent in the country, and this also affects many of the smaller towns and cities up and down the country. And this is where the focus of the initiative lies.
The plan isn’t to fill the cities of Milan, Rome and Venice with laptop bound developers, marketers and entrepreneures, but to replenish quaint country towns and villages with new life.
With the post-pandemic plan to coax new talent and people to the abandoned countryside, the Italian government has earmarked €1 billion to bring super-fast internet to the country. And many local councils and mayors have embraced the idea, with the recent announcement of the towns of Santa Fiora and Rieti offering discounted rent for those who make the move.
So, should you make the move? And, more to the point, can you make the move?
Visas and red tape
First of all, moving to Italy to be a digital nomad will be the same as any international move, and you will need a visa. Although the country wants to make it easy to move, and there is a visa, the visto per lavoro autonomo for self-employed and remote workers, there is no specific digital nomad visa yet. There are plans in the works though, so watch this space.
Be warned that you shouldn’t just arrive on a tourist visa and then apply, as this can cause a number of complications. Speak to your local Italian consulate about the autonomo visa or seek local legal help.
If you’re an EU national, you can arrive and stay for 90 days before you need to register with the local office as a permanent resident.
Life in rural Italy
If you’ve been to Italy before, you already know there is an enviable lifestyle and great climate for most of the year. If you’ve not been, yes the food is incredible, the people are welcoming and the scenery can be spectacular.
But, as you’ll be there to work, what will your rural digital nomad life be like?
Cities like Santa Fiora and Rieri have plenty to offer, with nature, culture and easy access to bigger cities like Rome. Rent in both of these cities is cheap, with prices of around €500 for decent digs in these towns. Remember that the two cities mentioned here are also offering to discount rent for anyone staying over 2 months…
If you’re planning to stay long term, Italy also has some good tax breaks to tempt long stayers – currently around 70% off your tax bill.
Property is cheap to buy in the country, with the €1 home schemes running regularly.
And if you’re bringing kids, the schools are excellent, as is the national healthcare.
A word of warning though. Italy isn’t a cheap country to live in, with utility bills and food being about the same as neighbouring France and Germany.
But, if you’re looking for a fun and beautiful place to live and you’ve always dreamed of Italy, this could be a fantastic opportunity.