Florence is about to launch a new service for the city’s temporary citizens. Be.Long, a project developed by Destination Florence in partnership with the City of Florence, aims to repopulate the historic centre with the next generation of residents and medium- to long-term rentals. Be.Long is equally primed to become the touchstone for help and support aimed at students and startuppers as well as an useful tool for universities and study-abroad programs.
The end goal is to offer the city’s higher education institutions with a one-stop portal for all the additional amenities that they have managed independently to date, which is no easy task given the many addenda to their core business. With Be.Long, powered by Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau, all universities and international schools will be able to access the information needed to help their students when it comes to housing, transfers, family vacations and obtaining visas, plus much more.
Developed on DestinationFlorence.com in partnership with the City of Florence and championed by tourism councillor Cecilia del Re in particular, the project aims to make life easier for visitors as they put their roots down in Florence. The initiative will also act as a data gathering exercise to monitor the rental market in the city centre.
As its name suggests, Be.Long is designed to help users integrate into the city and settle in for a medium to long-term stay. Although overseas students form a considerable segment of the target audience, the platform has also been conceived as a tool applicable to start-uppers, medical tourists and temporary citizens, workers who come to the city for a finite length of time. It is also aimed at smart workers and digital nomads. Surveys suggest that the possibilities afforded by remote working have prompted 37% of the world’s workforce to consider moving location. Destination Florence is keen to promote Florence as a destination for these new mobile breeds of employee. It is in the city’s interests to attract new talent and start-up enterprises.
In a normal year, Florence welcomes tens of thousands of medium- to long-term residents, and though it is unlikely that this summer will see them return in their typical numbers, the city hopes for a certain percentage of its usual arrivals before the end of 2021, whether for study abroad programs or for remote working opportunities. Newcomers to Florence have traditionally been left to fend for themselves when it comes to finding accommodation and navigating their way through bureaucratic requirements. Be.Long will make this a thing of the past.
The website will contain a wealth of practical information for temporary citizens looking to move to Florence. These future citizens can find out details about healthcare and all matters pertaining to bureaucracy and administration, in addition to a gold mine of invaluable information about everyday life in the Tuscan capital. A number of services pertaining to Florence will be promoted and sold through the platform, such as tours, visits and various other experiences, such as discounts on coworking spaces and accommodation.
The service will go live on DestinationFlorence.com on April 30, 2021.
This article was originally published in the inaugural issue of the Destination Florence Magazine.
Destination Florence Magazine is a new magazine aimed at promoting Florence as a quality destination by Destination Florence Convention and Visitors Bureau in partnership with The Florentine, with the support of the Comune di Firenze. Featuring news, interviews, articles and events from an original point of view, DF Magazine dives deeper into the Florence you don’t expect. From trade shows to conferences, the wedding industry, startups and study abroad programs, this magazine offers insight and ideas for the future of Florence and Tuscany.