Remote working has exploded over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that more people than ever before can travel the world as digital nomads.
This shift in the global workforce has inspired a growing list of destinations, including Antigua & Barbuda, Curacao, Croatia, Dubai, Greece and Thailand, to create digital nomad visas for remote workers in recent months. Now two Italian towns are following suit.
Santa Fiora in Tuscany and Rieti in Lazio are offering rent vouchers of up to €200, which is around $240 USD, to remote workers who choose to relocate there for an extended period of time. Since local rents in the towns are typically less than €500, this discount could reduce housing costs by up to 50%.
To qualify for the initiatives, applicants must be able to prove they have remote working jobs and stay in the towns for a specified number of months.
Santa Fiora is a quaint medieval village located in the Monte Amiata nature reserve in the heart of Tuscany. It has a small population of just 2,500 residents, but, thanks to its tech-savvy mayor, it offers high-speed internet connections and plentiful coworking stations.
Rents in Santa Fiora range from €300 to €500 per month, which means that digital nomads could pay as little as €100 a month to live there. The town’s list of rental properties and services can be found here.
Applicants to the voucher program must fill out a detailed form describing their remote working job and agree to live in the town for between two and six months. Successful applicants will receive the €200 monthly vouchers after they find a place to live and send copies of the rental contract and payment receipts to the mayor’s office.
Digital nomads can stay longer than six months at their own expense. Individuals who take up permanent residency and have children will receive a baby bonus of up to €1,500 per infant.
Rieti is a larger town of approximately 50,000 people. Located close to Rome, it offers many of the ancient architectural delights of the Eternal City without the accompanying crush of tourists.
Most rents in Rieti range from €250 to €500, with entire villas available for around €600. Vouchers can be used in cheaper rural areas as well as in the historical town center.
To qualify for the vouchers, employed applicants must provide a letter from their employer verifying their status as a remote worker. Freelancers must provide a description of their digital profession.
If accepted, digital nomads will have the right to stay in the town for between three and six months. Rent vouchers can be extended beyond six months by providing proof of a lease agreement.