The Covid-19 pandemic and the following remote working has started a trend that has brought an estimated 35 million people to travel around the world to find their ideal office. The typical digital nomad favors quality of life, the beauty of the territory, small towns over big cities, good food and lots of history. This doesn’t surprise me since I am a digital nomad myself.
It is a business worth over $700 billion and countries are taking notice! Now many parts of Europe are enticing remote workers to come stay awhile longer. Italy, where I now reside, in April 2022 was in the process of passing a new law to promote remote working.
The new legislation, in addition to favoring the procedure for obtaining a work visa, is also in line with one of the objectives of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), namely that of redeveloping and thus repopulating the small villages of which Italy is full. One billion euros will be allocated to tenders for the creation of co-working spaces in order to attract those who have the job opportunities to move to small and medium-sized cities. According to a report on digital nomadism in Italy, conducted by the Italian Digital Nomads Association with the collaboration of Airbnb on a sample of 2,200 people who work remotely, 93% are interested in living their experience by staying for variable periods of time in small towns and villages in the marginal territories and inland areas of our country, considered places where the quality of life is better than in large urban centers. 43% of the interviewees would choose southern Italy and the islands as their preferred destination, 14% a place in central Italy (I am one of those) and only 10% would be in the north.
My experience was pretty smooth since I have dual citizenship, but I can share with you the steps we had to take for my wife’s permit. We live in the amazing little town of Sirolo, in the province of Ancona in the region Marche (pronounced Marke, market without the t) on the east coast of Italy on the Adriatic Sea. The setting is breathtaking, not even La Jolla can stand the comparison. We went to the closest questura (police station) to file for the paperwork, in the beautiful town of Osimo to avoid the crowded office of Ancona, Marche’s capital city.