The chance to live out your dream as a character in a romantic Italian film has finally arrived.
All you need to bring is your laptop, some olives and a bottle of Sangiovese.
(Actually you could probably get the second two there, so just remember your charger.)
In a bid to attract newcomers during the pandemic, the Italian towns of Santa Fiora in Tuscany and Rieti in Lazio are offering half-price rentals for anyone who decides to move there and work from home.
Rent prices are already relatively cheap, so it’s a great deal for employees eager to escape their current home office.
But make no mistake: This is not a paid holiday.
Applicants must intend to stay long term, and they have an “active” job that allows them to work remotely.
It’s all part of a plan to inject new life into towns that have suffered depopulation across the European country, with local councils promoting high-internet speed as a drawcard for foreign workers.
Santa Fiora, Tuscany
If you’re sick of telling the kids to be quiet during video calls at home, the medieval village of Santa Fiora could be just the place for you.
Nestled in the stunning Monte Amiata natural reserve, the town is close to the Val d’Orcia Valley, a UNESCO heritage site and one of Italy’s most famous wine regions.
Today the population is down to a scant 2500.
Teleworkers willing to relocate and rent a house will be given up to $300, or 50 per cent of the total rent for long-term stays of between two and six months.
City slickers who prefer to be closer to Rome will love Rieti, an ancient town and commune located in central Italy.
The town is offering a similar deal for foreign workers, but for a minimum three-month stay.
Unlike Santa Fiora, Rieti boasts some 50,000 residents and is one of the largest cities in the Lazio region.
However, the population isn’t growing nearly as much as expected because young people keep moving to Rome in search of work.