A Renaissance in Remote Work: Pontremoli’s “Start Working” Initiative
Nestled in the heart of Tuscany, the town of Pontremoli is a hidden gem with a rich history and a future that’s being reshaped by the innovative “Start Working” project. Founded by Andrea and Damiano in August 2020, this initiative seeks to rejuvenate Pontremoli by tapping into the global remote working trend. The project’s core idea is captivatingly simple: if jobs can’t come to Pontremoli, then workers – with their jobs in tow – will come to Pontremoli.
Pontremoli, a historic town in the Lunigiana region, is a testament to Italy’s medieval and Renaissance past. Its stone bridges, ancient castles, and narrow cobbled streets speak volumes of a bygone era. The town is a cultural hub, known for its literary festivals and the Museo delle Statue Stele, which houses an impressive collection of prehistoric stone statues. This rich cultural tapestry makes Pontremoli not just a place to work, but a location brimming with exploration opportunities.
The broader region of Lunigiana, where Pontremoli is located, is an area steeped in history, folklore, and natural beauty. It stretches from the Apennines to the Mediterranean and is dotted with castles, Romanesque churches, and quaint villages. The area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking, biking, and a glimpse into the less-traveled rural Italy. Lunigiana’s cuisine, known for its simplicity and flavor, is yet another draw for those seeking an authentic Italian experience.
The “Start Working” project has fundamentally transformed Pontremoli’s appeal. By inviting digital nomads and remote workers to the town, it has introduced a wave of new energy and diversity. These professionals, hailing from various countries, are not just working remotely; they’re actively participating in the community, contributing their skills to local initiatives and fostering a vibrant cultural exchange.
This initiative also focuses on retaining the local youth, addressing the challenge of depopulation. By offering digital training, the project equips local young people with the skills needed for remote work, enabling them to stay in their hometown while engaging in global employment opportunities.
The impact of “Start Working” on Pontremoli’s community has been profound. To date, 38 individuals have relocated to the town, with 15 choosing to become permanent residents. This influx of new residents from countries like the USA, New Zealand, Spain, and Brazil has added a global dimension to this small Italian town.
Central to the project is the coworking space set up in a former monastery in the heart of Pontremoli. This modern facility offers high-speed internet, workstations, and communal areas, blending the charm of historical architecture with the necessities of contemporary work.
In summary, the “Start Working” project in Pontremoli is not just a case study in rural revitalization but a beacon of hope for small towns globally. It showcases how embracing remote work and fostering community spirit can breathe new life into areas facing demographic decline. Pontremoli, with its rich history and natural beauty, stands as an ideal backdrop for this modern renaissance, a place where the past and the future coalesce to create a vibrant and sustainable community.