By Netpal Travel Bureau
Surrounded by woods on the Monte Amiata lava dome, the Italian village dates back over 1,000 years, Santa Fiora is an amazing ancient ‘borgo’ in Maremma, south of Tuscany.
But it wasn’t Santa Fiora’s natural beauty that first drew us in. After launching KINO – a start-up that brings digital nomad communities to Italy’s undiscovered gems – with a trip to Tursi in June 2022, our next destination had to live up to the hype.
Having heard about Santa Fiora’s drive to become remote worker friendly, we earmarked it as a strong contender.
After several visits over the course of two years, we were convinced it was the perfect destination for our second remote work adventure.
Though remote, Santa Fiora is a desirable location for digital nomads.
Its heritage, quaint architecture and high quality of life have earned it a place among ‘I Borghi più belli d’Italia’ – an association of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
It’s also among a handful of Italian mountain towns embracing the remote work revolution.
In its bid to become a ‘smart working village’ the community of less than 3,000 has invested in high-speed fibre optic broadband and a co-working space.
It also offers incentives for people who wish to stay on a short term basis: those who rent a house for two to six months can apply for up to 50 per cent of their rent to be covered by a local fund.
All these points combined created an amazing framework for our second digital nomad venture.
The Maremma region has mild winters and cool summers compared to other parts of Italy, making it a great place to visit year round, but especially between April to October when rainfall is minimal and temperatures warm.
Our trip was to take place at the tail end of that window – a possible risk, considering Santa Fiora is 687 metres above sea level.
Nevertheless, 11 people from nine different countries like Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, South Africa, the UK and the USA, decided to take the plunge with us.
Setting up a remote work community in a tiny mountain village is not without its challenges. Despite the stunning surroundings and local attractions, we had to get creative to keep our community alive with weekly activities for the month we were there.
We shared our different cultures through community dinners and had plenty of gatherings in the evenings after work, bonding over the simple joys of board games and good conversation.