Update: So the Mayor has retracted the offer after receiving more than 17,000 applications from around the world and said: “It was only a suggestion.” The thing is, it worked, it was a great plan and would have been great PR. It could have been a competition, a reality show, just about anything as the village whittled it down to the best 200-300 applicants.
It would have paid for itself. As it is, it’s a mess and the Mayor should be ashamed. He’s thrown away a great opportunity to put his little village on the world map. But the story is great anyway, so it’s staying up as a reminder of what might have been…
If you’re struggling to pay the rent on a crappy apartment and wondering why you brave the city every day, then there’s an option. The Italian village of Bormida will literally pay you to live there.
The idyllic village, set in the mountains just 50 miles outside of Genoa, has an unusual problem. Many of its 400 residents are leaving in search of work. So, to prevent the whole village turning into a ghost town, the Mayor came up with a novel plan.
Daniele Galliano has offered a €2000 ($2190) signing on bonus for people moving to the village, as well as assisted rent that will cost just $50 a month. That means your first three years in this perfect little hideaway are basically free.
Anybody can live for free in Italy
“We’re a small community but very welcoming. We’re still working out the details, but basically anybody is welcome to come and live here. We’re high up in a mountain area but also not far from the sea – it’s a healthy lifestyle, the air is very clean,” local council member.
You can live for free and commute to Genoa
You could commute into Genoa, which is a thriving city, but digital nomads could easily set up shop in the mountain village and simply work from home. So for digital nomads travelling in Europe, this could be the dream ticket.
The town will put the plan into action this summer and the little town hopes it could actually increase its numbers, with immigration from all around the world. It’s an exciting plan and I thought about it myself, but I can’t quite tear myself away from the Caribbean right now.
It’s a simple town, but there is a Michelin-star restaurant just 13 miles down the road and Genoa is close enough. So, if you’ve ever thought about living in Italy and want to experience just how beautiful the Italian lifestyle can really be, then Bormida could be the answer you quietly dreamed about.
Things to do in Genoa
Genoa is the sixth largest city in Italy and is one of the Mediterranean’s biggest shipping ports. Part of the city, including the Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco and a number of medieval and Baroque structures feature on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. San Lorenzo Cathedral, the Royal Palace of Genoa and the world famous Lanterna lighthouse are all just a couple of hours drive from your free house in Bormida.
So there’s culture galore just down the road and the Italians take food and wine very seriously. The beach is just down the road and it’s perfect in Summer, you can ski in winter and it’s pretty much the perfect life. If you ever sit and dream about moving to Italy then this is a gilt-edged opportunity.
There are plenty of jobs if you’re willing to learn Italian or have a particular skillset. The shipyards are busy, the 12th largest port in the EU means there are plenty of support jobs and Genoa has turned into leader in Italian luxury products like Olive Oil and even flowers.
Get a better quality of life in Italy
So it could be a better quality of life even without the free housing and money. With it, this is one of those rare opportunities that could really be a once in a lifetime shot.
Seriously, if you like to travel or you’re yearning for something a little bit different, this could be worth applying for. Applications will open as soon as the local council has approved the plan, which should be a formality.