Gonna go out on a limb here and assume you are nodding your head frantically while trying to remember where you put your passport (it’s exactly where you left it in March 2020, only dustier).
In news most would file under ‘2 good 2 be true’, a bunch of towns in the southern Italian region of Calabria are part of a relocation program recently announced by the local government.
While the T&Cs are still being ironed out (the official program is expected to be announced in the next few weeks), it’s the latest in a spate of initiatives introduced across Italy over the past few years to rejuvenate its aging communities. Perhaps you recall us alerting you to the prospect of buying a house in Castropignano or Salemi for €1 last year?
Anyway, the latest news bulletin from the boot is this: Bova, Sant’Agata del Bianco, Samo and Precacore, Caccuri, Albidona, Aeita, San Donato di Ninea, Civita, and Santa Severina are all offering up to $41K AUD to anyone willing to become a resident and grow their dwindling population. Some of these towns have less than 5,000 residents, and the government is worried entire communities will disappear if young people continue to flee to bigger cities, thus the cash incentive.
Because there’s no such thing as a free pranzo, conditions do apply. Namely, you must be under the age of 40 to be eligible, so, basically the exact opposite of Australia’s current vaccine rollout. The age exemption is due to the fact they are trying to breathe new life into these aging towns and want to expand the younger demographic. You also need to contribute to the community by either investing in an existing local business or opening your own, unless you already work in a field that would be deemed a useful contribution to the local community.
Finally, you must be ready to relocate to Calabria within 90 days of your successful application, which shouldn’t be a problem for most of us stuck in the purgatory of Sydney’s open-ended lockdown.
Meanwhile, over in the central region of Italy, the small towns of Santa Fiora in Tuscany and Rieti in Lazio are attempting to rebrand as “smart working villages” by selling the ultimate work-from-home package. In an attempt to attract newcomers, they’re offering to pay up to 50% of your rent if you decide to move and work remotely from there.
To be eligible, it doesn’t matter what you do for a living—be it a writer, stockbroker, or yoga instructor—you just have to be able to conduct business from your laptop in your new Italian rental.
In the medieval village of Santa Fiora, Tuscany, where the population is around 2,500, you could be given up to €200 ($322AUD) or 50% of the total rent for long-term stays of between two and six months. In Rieti, closer to Rome, the population is significantly bigger, clocking in at around 50,000 residents. Rents here range from €250 to €500, or for €600 you can rent yourself an entire small villa in the Italian countryside. The only catch? You might need to polish up on your Italian, because the only way to apply is by getting in touch with real estate agents in the villages, or trying to find your new home online.