Borghi in Italy

Forget the $1 houses, it’s smart-working time

The borghi in Italy are tiny and historic villages, filled with art and charm. Unfortunately, not filled with a lot of citizens. While the younger generations move to cities or even abroad to look for opportunities, the borghi become emptier and emptier.

Now, a law proposal aims to reverse the trend, filling the borghi once again, thanks to smart-working. The proposal comes from Francesco Maria Spanò, a member of the association I borghi più belli d’Italia. His motivation comes from the pandemic that forced people to stay put.

How to bring life to the borghi in Italy

“Commuters, students, or simply remote workers, they all decided to stay in their hometowns and villages,” said Spanò to ANSA, “favoring the re-population of the tiny borghi in Italy.” During the Covid emergency, Italians left cities, preferring quieter and smaller realities. This is the right time to support and capitalize on this trend, making sure it doesn’t reverse -once again. The borghi can become hubs of innovation and creativity, with the right legislative push.

The proposal includes initiatives to promote smart-working in these villages, attracting the growing crowd of freelancers, remote workers, and business owners. The goals are four and they include repopulating the borghi in Italy, a versatile definition of smart-working, providing services to the people moving, and the promotion of the territory and the local artisans.

The association ANCI Lazio is the other promoter of this proposal and it aims at bringing life back to the borghi of Lazio, the region of the capital Rome. Traditions and local folklore are going missing, erased by the comforts and modernity of the cities. So, the borghi can become a distant memory, a tale to tell to future generations. To avoid their oblivion, proposals like the one by ANCI and Spanò are crucial.

“It’s time to go back to our roots and rebuild our reality,” said ANCI Lazio president Riccardo Varone. Since smart-working seems to be the future, the borghi can come out of their past. And this proposal isn’t the only way to ensure the future of these tiny realities.

The SuSTowns programs

Sponsored by the MED program of the European Union, SuSTowns’ project leader is ANCI Lazio. It features the borghi of Italy and destinations in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Albania, Croatia, and Slovenia. It focuses on sustainable tourism and the program will last 30 months. In fact, locals aren’t the only ones leaving the borghi. Even the tourists are setting them aside, preferring art cities like Venice.

The participants of SuSTowns will build touristic packages, focusing on being eco-friendly alternatives. The aim is to promote collaboration among local institutions to create a plan to attract visitors who don’t want to leave their footprint. Rather, they’d prefer enjoying the destinations and the beauty of the borghi in Italy.

So, the new life of these Italian villages passes by remote working and tourism. Plus, the progress and changes have to be sustainable, to ensure the borghi will survive centuries. They are already historic and beautiful. Now it’s time to ensure they will last (why not?) forever.

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