Revitalizing small villages through corporate retreats


In Tuscany’s heart lies Santa Fiora, a picturesque village that has embraced a novel approach to blending work culture with rural revitalization. This effort is exemplified by its collaboration with Smartway, underpinning the “Villages” project spearheaded by the PNRR from Ministry of Culture. This partnership not only highlights Santa Fiora’s allure but also serves as a beacon for how remote work and team-building retreats can breathe new life into small communities.

The synergy between Santa Fiora and Smartway

Federico Balocchi (the Mayor of Santa Fiora) sets the tone, extending a heartfelt welcome to visitors and underscoring the village’s commitment to this initiative: “I believe I’m expressing the sentiment of all of Santa Fiora in thanking you for being here. Welcome, in any case.” This sentiment reflects the broader community’s eagerness to engage with companies and remote workers seeking a unique retreat experience.

He further elaborates on the mutual benefits of the Santa Fiora-Smartway collaboration, suggesting its pivotal role in the project’s overall success: “The partnership with Smartway was born within the context of the project […] The interest that Smartway showed in us, which was mutual, I believe is crucial.

The impact on teams and the community

Isabella Dessalvi (from Fondazione Santa Fiora Cultura) and Guendalina Guaita (Head of Brand & Product Marketing @ Casavo), share insights into the profound effects of these retreats on both the visitors and the local population. Isabella discusses the concerted effort to draw not just tourists but also smart workers to Santa Fiora, aiming to enhance the duration and quality of their stay.

Guendalina reflects on her team’s experience, highlighting the dual benefits of their engagement: “The fact of being here in Santa Fiora and being able to help the territory and also the inhabitants of the area is very important to us“. Her observation underscores the retreat’s value in fostering team cohesion and contributing to the local economy, echoing the sentiment that escaping urban environments for Santa Fiora’s serene setting offers a much-needed perspective shift.

This collaboration between Santa Fiora and Smartway demonstrates the potential for remote work retreats to support local development while providing enriching experiences for corporate teams. It showcases a model for other villages and businesses, highlighting the importance of community, connection, and the rejuvenating power of nature. Through this partnership, Santa Fiora not only opens its doors to new economic opportunities but also invites companies to rediscover the essence of team building in an idyllic setting.