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Foreigners Move to Sardinia for €1 Monthly Rentals

Posted on August 20th, 2022

by Expat Living in Rome

Ollolai, located in the center of Sardinia, is the second largest island in the Mediterranean and of one of the five places in the world called “blue zones” because a significant part of the population is over 100 years old.  Ollolai is the second highest municipality in Sardinia with its 920 meters above sea level.

The village of Ollolai in Sardinia offers foreigners who work remotely the opportunity to rent houses for an extremely low fee. However, only ten people will be able to take advantage of this proposal. Ollolai, houses for rent for 1 euro for 5 years: the final battle has begun against the depopulation of the internal areas of Sardinia, which in 50 years risks becoming desolately empty and uninhabited.  The symbolic cost of 1 euro, this time to be paid every month, for 5 years. The average rentals are €250 a month.

The offer is very tempting, especially for those who are young and can work remotely, for those who want to bring their family to a beautiful and uncontaminated place, but above all for those who will be able to realize a life plan there. Around 30 homes were identified for the project, as well as 20 commercial premises. Available to non EU citizens.

However, the population of the city aged and shrank at the same time. Due to migration to larger cities, the official population has dropped from 2,013 to 1,174 in the last 40 years.  The tiny village of Ollolai  is known for its gorgeous water features and historic churches, it’s also smack-bang in the middle of tonnes of unspoiled nature and just over an hour’s drive to several of the Italian island’s most beautiful beaches.

Before that, the local council had already taken measures to attract foreigners. We are talking about the popular program “House for 1 Euro”, under which you had to buy an abandoned house and renovate it. Since then, the village council has sold 13 houses; three more are still for sale. This time, the village authorities hope to attract digital nomads who can work from anywhere in the world.

It’s not the first time the local government has made an effort to draw foreigners as part of a larger Italian initiative to repopulate rural areas by providing affordable housing. Since then, the council of the village has sold a total of 13 homes. Three homes that are in poor condition are still on sale, meaning that those interested can still purchase the property and renovate it.

Ollolai made headlines around the world a few years ago when it began offering abandoned houses for sale for €1, Now, local leaders want to benefit from the expansion of remote work. Participants are expected to share their skills and ideas with the neighborhood through presentations, classes, or projects in return for essentially free lodging.

The Italian government passed a bill in March 2022 that would create a new “digital nomad visa” for highly skilled remote workers from outside the EU. However, it has not yet been published. or spoken about since. Non-EU citizens can still obtain a short-term visa to work from Italy, again lack of information on Italian websites and of course how do you get a remote workers visa to rent a €1 home. In the last years officials make announcements and promises. We are following up and determined to get answers and will update our community when we get response form the COMUNE DI OLLOLAI exactly how does one apply.

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