Who hasn’t dreamt about moving to Italy, eating pasta, drinking wine, and living la dolce vita? One of the best things about being a digital nomad is being able to make dreams like this a reality! Italy is one of the latest countries to announce a digital nomad visa. So, get ready to pack up your suitcase, brush up on your Italian, and sift through our ultimate guide for the Italy digital nomad visa. We’ll go over everything you need to know about this exciting new opportunity, including how to apply, other visas for digital nomads, tax requirements, the best cities to live in Italy, and much more! Andiamo!
Does Italy Have a Digital Nomad Visa?
There is, or rather, there will be, a digital nomad visa in Italy. But hold your horses before you apply. While Italy announced and approved a digital nomad visa on March 28, 2022, it has not started accepting applications for a digital nomad visa yet. However, there are several self employment and long-term visa options that will allow you to live and work remotely in Italy as a digital nomad.
Italy Digital Nomad Visa
The Italian government announced a digital nomad visa on March 28, 2022. There has not been much information announced about the specifications and requirements of this visa. But for now, we know the following:
- You must be a citizen of a country that is not in the European Union (EU)
- You must work for a company that is not based in Italy
- You must be a highly-qualified individual
- Health insurance and a Permesso di Soggiorno (residence permit) will be required
The Italian government has not yet specified what a “highly-skilled individual” means or whether or not digital nomads will be required to have a college degree. But this visa is expected to include many different professions that are popular with digital nomads.
There will also likely be an annual or monthly income minimum set. The income requirements for other countries vary, but it is generally between $1,000 to $3,000 per month.
What Other Visas Can Digital Nomads Use in Italy?
You will have to wait for the Italian government to formally announce the Italy digital nomad visa, but there are other options for digital nomads in Italy in the meantime.
Italy Self-Employment Visa
The most common alternative visa for digital nomads in Italy is the self employment visa. This visa targets foreigners who plan to start a business or invest in Italy and those who will perform freelance work while in the country. As the digital nomad visa has not been officially implemented yet, most digital nomads that currently live in Italy use this visa.
Check out our full guide on the Italy self employment visa for more on this.
Requirements for the Italy Self Employment Visa
- You must not be an EU citizen
- Proof of accommodation in Italy
- Clean criminal record with no convictions
- Approved Nulla Osta (form allowing foreigners to work in Italy)
- Health insurance to cover medical expenses in Italy for at least the first 30 days in the country
- Proof of suitable income from the previous year; the minimum annual income is €8,400
- 2 passport-sized photos
How to Apply for the Italy Self Employment Visa
We will update this page when the application process for the digital nomad visa in Italy has been announced, but for now, here is the process for the Italy self employment visa.
Step One: Wait For the Decreto Flussi to Open Applications for Work Visas
Foreigners are not able to apply to work in Italy whenever they want. The Italian government only opens applications for foreign work visas to the country for a few months each year. So, it is not possible to apply before this.
Step Two: Obtain a Nulla Osta
Every foreigner who plans to live and work in Italy must get a Nulla Osta. This is essentially an authorization by the Italian government for you to work or be self-employed within the country. Normally, this authorization is done by the employer, but in the case of this visa, you’ll have to sort it out yourself.
Step Three: Apply for the Visa in Your Home Country
Once you have received a Nulla Osta, you can apply for your Italy self employment visa in your home country at the Italian embassy or consulate. This will involve you filling out a proper application and making an appointment.
Step Four: Enter Italy and Apply for Residency (Permesso di Soggiorno)
Once you have been granted the visa, your next step is to apply for your Italian residency, called Permesso di Soggiorno. You must do this within 10 days of arriving in Italy on your self employment visa.
The Italian work visa is one way to live and work in Italy, but this wouldn’t really apply to digital nomads. This is because in order to get a standard work visa, you will need to have landed a job with an Italian company. That said, if you are planning to find a job within Italy, this is the visa you will need to obtain. Here are the requirements for an Italian work visa:
- A signed employment contract with an Italian company
- A Nulla Osta work authorization
- Complicated application documents
- Proof of accommodation in Italy
- A passport that will be valid for at least 3 months after the work visa expires
- Passport sized photos
Once the work visa has been processed, you will have six months to enter Italy and obtain your residency card (Permesso di Soggiorno).
Working Holiday Visa
Another visa that could potentially work as a digital nomad visa in Italy is the working holiday visa. This unique visa is only offered to citizens of New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, and Canada. This visa allows you to stay in Italy for up to one year, and you can work for a total of six months while in the country (only 3 months per employer).
You can technically do remote work while on the working holiday visa, but it is a bit of a legal gray area and is not really the purpose of the visa.
Italy Golden Visa
The Italy Golden Visa is essentially a pathway to Italian citizenship by investment. You are required to invest a significant sum of money into the country, and then you will be given Italian residency. There are a few different investment options for the Italy Golden Visa.
- Invest €2 million into Italian government bonds
- Invest €500,000 into an Italian limited company
- Invest €250,000 into an Italian startup
- Donate €1 million to an Italian charity initiative
This visa applies to digital nomads who are thinking about investing in an Italian company or have the funds to essentially “pay their way” to citizenship in the company. Once you are granted the golden visa, you can get Italian citizenship after 10 years.
Cost of Italy Digital Nomad Visa
The exact cost of the Italy digital nomad visa is not known yet. But fees for the self-employment visa are reasonably affordable. You only have to pay €40 for a visa that is less than 12 months or €50 for one that lasts 1 to 2 years. That said, you will have to pay a few extra fees on top of the application fee. For example, there is an additional €16 tax, a €30 postage fee, and just over €30 for issuing the visa.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Digital Nomad Visa in Italy?
Processing times in Italy for visas can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months. For the self-employment visa, most applicants get the visa approved within 2 months, so we expect the timeframe for the digital nomad visa to be the same.
Digital Nomad Visa in Italy for EU Citizens
Citizens from the EU/EEA/Switzerland are not required to obtain a visa to live and work in Italy. So, if you are a digital nomad with an EU/EEA/Switzerland passport, you are in luck! You can simply move to Italy and set up shop without worrying about bureaucratic visa processes.
That said, EU/EEA citizens are still obligated to formally change their residency to Italy if they plan to stay in the country for more than three months.
Can You Live in Italy as a Digital Nomad on a Tourist Visa?
Citizens of 63 different countries are offered visa-free entry to the Schengen Area (which includes Italy) for 90 days. If you are from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Japan, South Korea, or any other country on this list, you don’t need a visa to enter Italy.
But, there is a huge legal gray area in the digital nomad world when it comes to working in a country remotely on a tourist visa. In most countries worldwide, Italy included, it is ILLEGAL to work remotely in the country while on a tourist visa. So you are not technically allowed to perform location-independent work in the country, even if your employer is located outside of the country.
When entering Italy on a tourist visa, the prime reason for your visit should be tourism, so if you want to work while in Italy, you are legally required to obtain a work visa of some sort.
Does this mean no one does it? Of course not. Many digital nomads travel to Italy while performing their standard workload. For the most part, the Italian government is happy to turn their heads to this. But it is always better for tax compliance and legality reasons to ensure you have a visa that allows you to work legally in the country.
Tax Requirements for Digital Nomads in Italy
Taxes is one of the biggest headaches digital nomads have to deal with, so countries with tax-free, reduced-tax, or easy tax systems for remote workers are a huge draw. Let’s take a closer look at the tax system for digital nomads in Italy.
Do Digital Nomads Have to Pay Taxes in Italy?
The short answer is yes, digital nomads must pay some taxes in Italy. That said, the tax rate is much lower than the standard Italian tax rate. The standard tax rate is between 23% and 43%, depending on how much you earn. But digital nomads on the self-employment visa are only required to pay 5% tax, and the Italy digital nomad visa is expected to have the same rates.
Is Italy a Good Place for Digital Nomads?
Italy may not be one of the most popping digital nomad countries in the world, but it is still definitely an amazing place to live for those with visas. With a slow pace of life, friendly locals, amazing food, and beautiful scenery, what’s not to love? There’s a huge draw for la dolce vita.
Here are some of the pros and cons of living in Italy as a digital nomad.
|Cost of living: Costs can be pretty low, especially outside of major cities like Rome and Milan.
|Can be pricy: It is still far more expensive than other nomad destinations like Thailand, Colombia, Portugal, or Mexico.
|Amazing food: It is no secret that Italian food is incredible. Imagine living with the best pasta and pizza in the world just down the street!
|Bureaucracy: Healthcare and immigration in Italy can be notoriously slow and cumbersome to navigate.
|Relaxed culture: Italian work culture is laid back. People enjoy long meals, and work doesn’t dominate their lives.
|Crowds: Italy is by no means a “hidden gem”. You’ll be sharing your home with MANY tourists.
|Friendly: The locals are friendly and welcoming to foreigners and remote workers.
|English is not commonly spoken: If you don’t speak Italian, you may struggle with some aspects of life here.
Best Cities in Italy for Digital Nomads
Italy is a country with countless amazing places to live. Whether you are looking for a big city cosmopolitan lifestyle or a quaint small town, this country has something to offer you. Here are some of the best and most popular cities for Italy digital nomad visa holders.
One of the most obvious choices for where to live as a digital nomad in Italy is Rome. Italy’s capital and largest city has a lot to offer digital nomads and can be a beautiful place to live, with amazing culture and all the amenities of a big city. That said, living in Rome has its downsides. It is one of the most expensive cities in Italy and can be a very crowded and chaotic place to live.
As Italy’s business hub and richest city, Milan is another great place to live as a digital nomad in Italy. Milan has many amenities, including ample coworking spaces, superb public transportation, and the best infrastructure in the country. However, Milanese people are known to be less open and welcoming than southern Italians, and the city is even more expensive than Rome.
Florence is a great city for digital nomads who want to be immersed in culture and tradition. And for a city so old and preserved, Florence has spectacular infrastructure. Florence is more expensive than some cities in Italy, but less so than Milan. The biggest drawback of living here is the HUGE crowds in summer, which can make the city feel suffocating.
Another city that is popular among digital nomad visa holders in Italy is Turin. This northern Italian city has excellent infrastructure and is close to the French and Swiss borders. Turin is a great place for digital nomads who want a city with good public transport and infrastructure but don’t want to live in a city as big as Milan. However, Turin, like other cities in northern Italy, is expensive, and it is not as exciting and vibrant as southern Italy destinations.
Sicily is not visited nearly as much as the rest of Italy, but the island is one of the country’s crown jewels. Palermo, Sicily’s biggest city, is one of the most affordable cities in Italy and has amazing food, culture, nightlife, and scenery. Plus, you have the entire fantastic island of Sicily in your backyard! Unfortunately, Palermo, and Sicily as a whole, lags behind mainland Europe in terms of infrastructure, which presents some struggles for digital nomads in Italy, the most pressing issue being poor Wifi connection.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in the literal birthplace of pizza? Naples is a lively and authentic Italian city with tons to do. This city is also nearby the beautiful Amalfi coast and has plenty of national parks. That said, Naples is not for everyone. The city is extremely crowded, chaotic, and has higher crime rates than other Italian cities. Naples is also less developed, with less digital-nomad-friendly infrastructure than Milan, Turin, or Rome.
Cost of Living in Italy for Digital Nomads
Italy is one of the more expensive countries for digital nomads. While there are more affordable destinations within the country, many of the most popular cities have high rent and living costs. Depending on your lifestyle and location, your digital nomad expenses in Italy could range from €900 to €3,500 per month.
Rent is obviously the biggest expense in Italy. Rent prices vary drastically depending on where you live. But generally, you can expect to pay around €350 to €650 per month for a private room in a shared apartment or around €800 to €2,500 for a studio apartment.
Healthcare in Italy for Digital Nomads
Italy has a very extensive public healthcare system. Italy’s public healthcare system covers all citizens and foreign residents, and while private healthcare does exist in the country, it is not nearly as important as in the USA.
If you have an Italy digital nomad visa and have already obtained your Italian residency card, you are automatically enrolled in the Italian National Health System. You may have to pay out-of-pocket for certain healthcare services, such as dentistry and cosmetic procedures, but most services are completely free!
Best Coworking Spaces in Italy
Some digital nomads prefer to work in home offices, while others prefer to get out of the house and work in coworking spaces or cafes. So, how does Italy hold up in this regard? As with many countries around the world, coworking spaces have been popping up left and right in many major Italian cities. There are currently more than 65 coworking spaces in Milan and 30 in Rome, with many more being built around the country.
Here are some of the best coworking spaces in Italy:
- Industrie Fluviali (Rome) – €2 an hour for the coworking space, €300 a month for a dedicated desk, or €1,100 a month for a private office.
- Yo Room (Milan) – Hourly plans from €7 an hour or €30 per day. There are also monthly packages ranging from €210 to €360 per month.
- Nana Bianca (Florence) – €20 a day, €150 per month for a flexible desk (limited to 10 visits per month), or €300 a month for a fixed desk with unlimited visits.
- Toolbox Coworking (Turin) – €15 a day or €100 per month for a flexible desk and €20 per day or €190 per month for a personal desk.
How to Find a Place to Live in Italy
One of the most important parts of getting your life set up as a digital nomad in Italy is finding a good place to live. While it is easy to find a reasonably priced apartment in Italy, you’ll want to be on the lookout for a few things that will make working remotely a bit easier.
- Strong wifi connection: This one is obvious. If you work from home, you want to ensure you have a solid and reliable wireless connection. Otherwise, your time in Italy is going to be overshadowed by frustration!
- Good location: Italian cities can sprawl, so just because you are technically in Rome doesn’t necessarily mean you are anywhere near the city center. So, research the best locations in the city you are moving to and make sure your accommodation is near public transport.
- Workspace: Some nomads prefer to work at cafes and coworking spaces, but others prefer working at home. So, depending on your priorities, ensure your apartment has a separate room or enough space to set up a work area.
- Furnishings: Not all apartments in Italy come fully furnished. You can certainly save a lot of money by renting an unfurnished apartment, but this may not be practical if you only plan to stay for a year or less. In Italy, the kitchen is also considered to be furniture, so unfurnished apartments will often be missing essential appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, ovens, and microwaves. If you’d rather skip the hassle of furnishing the entire apartment, look for an “appartamento arredato/ammobiliato” (furnished apartment) or “appartamento parzialmente arredato/ammobiliato” (partially funished apartment).
Where to Find Apartments in Italy?
Finding a good apartment is a huge part of the struggle of moving to a new country. Nowadays, the internet is king when it comes to apartment hunting. So, here are some of our top recommendations for websites and other methods for finding good digital nomad accommodation in Italy.
One of the easiest ways to find an apartment in Italy is through Facebook groups. In essentially every city around the country, you will find websites for finding apartments geared toward expats and foreigners. We recommend joining these groups, browsing posts from agencies or apartment owners to see if there are any apartments you like, and making a post yourself stating your budget and what kind of apartment you are looking for.
Here are some of the most popular Italian Facebook groups to join to find apartments around the country:
- Rooms and Apartments For Rent in Rome
- Rooms and Apartments For Rent in Milano
- Casa Vendo Affitto Firenze
- Appartamenti in Affitto a Torino
Rental Listing Sites
And here are the main rental listing sites to use in Italy:
Travel Accommodation Sites
As a digital nomad website, we don’t typically endorse travel accommodation sites. They are generally more expensive and can contribute to rising living costs in digital nomad destinations, such as Italy. To read more about this, check out our digital nomad ethics guide.
But with that said, these travel accommodation sites can come in handy when you first move to Italy. They can be a great stepping stone while you set up a more permanent abode.
Ready to Live La Dolce Vita?
So, there you have it! The Italy digital nomad visa. While it has not been released yet, it is just around the corner. That said, if you want to move to Italy ASAP, the self-employment visa is a great option that most digital nomads will qualify for.
Learn more about other digital nomad visas that are available on our digital nomad visa page!