Ollolai’s Euro 1 Lease Is A Sardinian Haven For Remote Workers


Key Takeaways

  • Ollolai, Italy, offers €1 leases to global digital nomads, aiming to revitalize the dwindling population.
  • The village’s previous initiative, selling houses for €1, gained international attention and aimed at restoration commitments.
  • The Italian government’s proposed digital nomad visa aligns with this effort, although implementation is pending.

Ollolai, Italy–A quintessential Italian village famous for its ties with Arnold Schwarzenegger, is now opening its arms to global digital nomads, offering leases for a mere €1.

According to an SBS News report, nestled in the heart of Sardinia, the Mediterranean’s second-largest island, Ollolai is renowned as a ‘blue zone’ – a region with a significantly high proportion of centenarians. However, the population has seen a marked decrease, with numbers plunging from 2,013 to 1,174 over the past four decades, mainly due to migration to bigger cities.

Ollolai’s €1 Leases for Digital Nomads

The report noted that the local council invites ten newcomers, offering them leases for a monthly trifling €1 ($1.60). 

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This isn’t the village’s first attempt at drawing foreigners to revitalize small towns and villages across Italy. Ollolai previously gained international attention for selling deserted houses for €1, provided the new owners committed to restoring them.

Revitalization Efforts and Remote Work Trend

As per the report, the local council is optimistic that this new venture can capitalize on the growing remote work trend. In March 2022, the Italian government proposed a ‘digital nomad visa’ to attract skilled remote workers outside the European Union. While the initiative has yet to be implemented, non-EU residents can still acquire a temporary visa for remote work in Italy.

In the report, Francesco Columbu, the Mayor of Ollolai, sees this as an opportunity to breathe life back into the village. The selected nomads are expected to share their knowledge and skills with the locals, enriching the community.

In the report, anthropologist Veronica Matta, president of the Sa Mata association assisting the council, calls it a fascinating social experiment. She believes it’s not just about residing in the village but how the newcomers will integrate and transform it.

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Cultural Integration and Special Allure

The report noted that this initiative holds a special attraction for Americans due to the village’s unique connection with the US via Franco Columbu, a native of Ollolai and globally acclaimed bodybuilder. Franco Columbu’s lifelong friendship with Arnold Schwarzenegger has bestowed Ollolai with a special bond to the United States, making it an enticing opportunity for American digital nomads.

What We Think

Ollolai’s innovative approach of offering minimal-cost leases to digital nomads is a strategic move to rejuvenate its dwindling population.

The village’s historical initiatives, coupled with Italy’s potential digital nomad visa, signify a proactive stance in adapting to remote work trends. This endeavor not only presents an opportunity for cultural exchange but also underscores the evolving landscape of work and residence preferences globally.

The village’s unique ties to Franco Columbu and Arnold Schwarzenegger could be an additional draw for American nomads seeking a distinctive experience.

Learn more in the full SBS News report.

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