Beyond The 1 Euro Home: What Are The Other Incentives To Move To Italy?

Italy is already a hot expat destination, but in recent years many towns have started offering more meaningful benefits to relocate.

Image of Mantua in Lombardy for move to Italy article
Mantua, Italy. Photo:Sergio Locatelli on Unsplash.

It’s no secret Italy is facing a population crisis: between the low birth rate, aging population, and brain drain, Italy is on the road to a demographic disaster without some serious practical efforts to bolster numbers.

The 1 Euro Home concept was launched in Italy as the first big push to bring life back to ‘dying towns’, and to encourage foreign home buyers to restore the old properties. The scheme has been largely successful, as evidenced by the pages and pages of online news stories of Americans, Brits, and many others gushing at their new dream homes. But in recent years, many towns have started sweetening the pot by offering more meaningful incentives.

Cold hard cash

Some small towns are taking things a step further and offering what could be called ‘relocation grants’, where a certain amount of money is granted to a person (or a family) to live in a town for a minimum number of years—exact details vary from town to town, but current schemes in 2023 include Mantua’s (Lombardy) offer for 160 dollars per month for a one year period; Presicce in Apulia will pay up to 30,000 dollars, which is expected to be channeled by the individual into purchasing and renovating a property; and Sardinia is offering 15,000 dollars per person to move into villages with populations of fewer than 3,000 inhabitants.

There is an age limit to these schemes, capped at 40, which obviously means it is geared towards young professionals and digital nomads who are free to work anywhere in the world, and young families as well—some towns even offer a ‘baby bonus’ of 1,000 euros and above for every baby born during the stay.

Tax breaks

Another bonus presented by the Italian government is the tax regime for new residents, as ‘impatriate workers’ you are entitled to 50% exemption on self-employed and employed work for five years.

If you are particularly well-monied you can also benefit by moving their tax residence to Italy and paying a once-yearly substitute tax on the foreign income of 100,000 euros in lieu of the Italian Income Tax. This can also be extended to any family members, for an additional yearly payment of 25,000 euros—and as Brexit continues to take hold, many former London residents have successfully relocated to Italy and snapped up luxury properties in the most chic addresses. This benefit is folded into the Italy Golden Visa, which is certainly out of reach for the average person.

Quality of life

But aside from financial perks, the most important part is the overall quality of life—depending on where you decide to settle, the cost of living can be quite decent, even for retirees; the Italian healthcare system is world-class; Italian universities are ranked among the best in the world, with excellent Master’s programs; the ready availability of excellent food and fresh ingredients; and of course, easy access to the rest of Europe.