Italy is upgrading its wifi and transport connections in a bid to attract digital nomads and remote workers.
A holiday in Italy is one thing. But a holiday that stretches into cheeky ‘aperitivi’ in between Zoom calls is something else.
Remote working is the best way to get to know a local community. You can really get under the skin of your adopted home and maybe even start to complain about it like us Italians do.
How does Italy compare to other European countries as a digital nomad destination?
The high cost of living in big cities and in high season can discourage potential nomads from choosing Italy as their temporary home. But if you’re prepared to do your research, you can find communities where it’s affordable to live full-time. Read on for our insider tips.
Amazing nature for creative nomads: Calabria
Calabria is a region that has long been under-estimated by both Italian and foreign tourists. But it’s worth another look as it’s got a lot going for it.
‘La Rivoluzione delle Seppie’ is a self defined 'hyper-collective” of creative professionals, based in Calabria.
They are bringing remote workers together in the village of Belmondo Calabro, with stays available from autumn 2022 to spring 2023.
La Rivoluzione delle Seppie organises co-working spaces and a collective kitchen in a ‘casetta’, or small house, in the village’s old town.
Architects, artists, academics and creative people are all welcome to join and meet other like-minded individuals while having the space to develop their own projects.
Remote working in remote villages: Sardinia
In the village of Laconi, in the heart of Sardinia, a local community of creatives and professionals called Treballu has built a space for digital nomads and remote workers. They have a century-old house, close to Aymerich Park, where you can work from.
If you’re craving sun and sea, Treballu has organised a 10-day workation retreat for nomads. From 19th-28th September the sandy beaches of Badesi could be your office.
Between the Balkans and the Alps: Friuli Venezia Giulia
While Italy’s much anticipated digital nomad visa is still in the works, Airbnb has decided to focus on the country by adding two local hubs to ‘Live and Work Anywhere’, its remote work scheme that supports employers to partner with local governments.
Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of these hubs. This lesser known Italian region is in the north east corner of the country. Bordering Austria and Slovenia it has a strong multicultural legacy and a multilingual history that differentiate it from other Italian destinations. Trieste, the main city, overlooks the sea, and the wine hills of Collio are just a short car ride away.
Trieste has a few new digital nomad friendly stays, like Hotello (a hostel with designated working areas and meeting rooms) and a network of co-working spaces is available in the city centre.
But why stay in the city when the Alps are right behind you? The De Gaspari refuge offers 2-10 day stays full of yoga, treks, fresh air and great food. They also guarantee a 4G connection, even at 1,767 metres above sea level.
Also consider the village of Sauris, the highest in Friuli Venezia Giulia, located in a green valley dominated by the peaks of the Dolomites. The 5G network has been updated precisely to encourage smart working. There’s also lots of hotels where guests can feel part of the community. They are part of the ‘albergo diffuso’ system: a sustainable network of restored houses scattered around the village.
For a never-ending summer: Salento, Puglia
Airbnb is also promoting Salento as an ideal digital nomad destination. It’s busy with tourists during the summer but the autumn and winter months are quieter, allowing for nomads to get to know the locals.
CoDreaming Living Space has been set up in Lecce, a university town. Here you can share a house with like-minded local people, learn the traditional dance of ‘pizzica’ and enjoy both the legacies of ancient Greek culture and the lively contemporary one.
Italian foodie paradise: Lazio
If eating as much Italian food as possible is on your to-do list, we’ve got the perfect place for you. The Eatinerant organises long stays and one-week retreats based in Capranica, in the central region of Lazio. It’s designed for “everyone who finds joy in eating well, enjoying the sun & outdoor activities, discovering the world with like-minded people.” There’ll also be a bit of time for work, with co-working spaces and high speed wi-fi throughout the villa.
Peaceful beauty and great wine: Tuscany
Tuscany is world famous for its postcard-like landscapes of rolling hills and mediaeval towns. Situated in the centre of the country, it’s easily reachable from Milan and Rome by train.
Many foreigners buy property here and make the move full-time. But local authorities want to make Tuscany a hub of remote work, too. They have especially focused on lesser known areas, improving broadband and promoting small urban centres.
Santa Flora is one of those little villages. This small community, organised by the collective Kino, aims to “bring digital nomads and remote workers to the hidden gems of Italy” by organising long stays at affordable prices. They are organising a retreat for the month of October in Santa Flora, but you can also contact them for stays in Basilicata, Puglia and Sicily.
If hills are not enough and you want to be surrounded by the sea, Isola d’Elba has been promoting winter stays. There’s lots of accommodation to choose from, all with strong wifi, empty beaches and lots of affordable options.
Finally, if you want to explore undiscovered Tuscany, head to the region of Lunigiana. Here Le Farfalle in Cammino, a local NGO, is keen to attract digital nomads to the village of Pontremoli. You will be close enough to Milan and Genova, set between the sea and the mountains, with different accommodation options, coworking facilities and a like-minded community.