Close-up of a young freelancer.

Freelancing in Italy? Here are the top 9 Italian cities

Want to make it as a freelancer in Italy? These are the places with the highest chance for success.

22 min read

Being a digital nomad means having the freedom to organize your schedule however you want. You’re not tied to an office, a boss, or a specific routine, which means you can follow your career anywhere it takes you. In Italy, there are nine cities that stand out from the rest as the best spots for freelancers to set up shop. If you’re considering freelancing in Italy, consult this guide to find the right destination for you.

Northwest Italy—freelancing in Milan, Turin, and Genoa

The Milan Cathedral.

Besides being the most populated Italian city, Milan is highly international. It’s the capital of finance in Italy, and one of the major fashion capitals of the world. It offers lively nightlife and an interesting array of art. In Milan, it’s easy to connect with the rest of the country via train or plane. The city’s public transportation is well-organized, too. According to ICity’s Rank 2020 annual report, it ranks as the third most digital city in Italy. Many tech professionals consider it one of the best Italian cities to live in. Working in Milan gives you the chance to connect with other freelancers and talented professionals from all over the world.

Coworking spaces in Milan: Talent Garden, EcoWorking, Campus Coworking, Freelancer Island

How much does it cost to live in Milan?

  • Cost of living plus rent index: 65.09 (country average: 49,13)
  • Average monthly cost of a 1-bedroom apartment: €1109,25 in the city center, €732,50 outside of the city center (the country average is respectively €596,41 and €451,97)
  • Average cost of a 3-course meal for 2 people: €70,00 (vs country average of €55,00)
  • Average monthly cost for public transportation: €39,00 (vs country average of €35,00)

Source: Numbeo.

Panorama of the city of Turin.

If Milan doesn’t sound like your scene, why not consider Turin? This elegant city has a rich history as Italy’s former capital. At the same time, it’s an innovative, futuristic city that is slightly more affordable than Milan. Turin was also ranked among the top 10 smartest capitals of the country in the ICity Rank 2020 report.

Coworking spaces in Turin:Talent Garden, OGR, Loft, Copernico Garibaldi

How much does it cost to live in Turin?

  • Cost of living plus rent index: 48.71 (country average: 49.13)
  • Average monthly cost of a 1-bedroom apartment: €566,79 in the city center, €394,29 outside of the city center (the country average is respectively €596,41 and €451,97)
  • Average cost of a 3-course meal for 2 people: €50 (vs country average of €55,00)
  • Average monthly cost for public transportation: €38,00 (vs country average of €35,00)
The port of Genoa.

Another great option for freelancers in Northwest Italy is Genoa. Genoa boasts the largest and most important port in Italy, amazing food, and an incredible seaside. Digital nomads flock to it for its low prices and overall beauty. While it’s slightly less dynamic than Milan or Turin, it’s the perfect destination for balancing work with relaxation at some of Italy’s most enchanting beaches. The ICity Rank 2020 report notes that Genoa is advanced when it comes to digitization. What’s more, there’s no shortage of coworking spaces to choose from.

Coworking spaces in Genoa: Talent Garden, COWO, CWG, Social Hub

How much does it cost to live in Genoa?

  • Cost of living plus rent index: 50.77 (country average: 49.13)
  • Average monthly cost of a 1-bedroom apartment: €566,88  in the city center, €404,38 outside of the city center (the country average is respectively €596,41 and €451,97)
  • Average cost of a 3-course meal for 2 people: €52,50 (vs country average of €55,00)
  • Average monthly cost for public transportation: €46,00 (vs country average of €35,00)

Northeast Italy—freelancing in Bologna and Trieste

A typical street in Bologna.

Bologna ranks second on the list of Italian digital capitals in the ICity Rank 2020 report. Plus, it’s in the top five Italian cities in terms of coworking spaces. Its atmosphere is inspiring and artistic. The University of Bologna—the oldest in the Western world—attracts students from all over globe. So many young people instill the city with a lively, progressive, and modern energy.

Coworking spaces in Bologna:The Student Hotel, Granata coworking, Nuntiabo, Luogo Comune

How much does it cost to live in Bologna?

  • Cost of living plus rent index: 53.36 (country average: 49.13)
  • Average monthly cost of a 1-bedroom apartment: €703,70  in the city center, €558,89 outside of the city center (the country average is respectively €596,41 and €451,97)
  • Average cost of a 3-course meal for 2 people: €60,00 (vs country average of €55,00)
  • Average monthly cost for public transportation: €36,00 (vs country average of €35,00)
The Canal grande in Trieste.

If you prefer a somewhat lesser-known city, Trieste is a magnificent port city that hasn’t yet been fully discovered by digital nomads—despite the fact that it offers excellent internet connectivity, infrastructure, and good air quality. Its varied artistic and architectural sites, as well as its proximity to Slovenia, make it a top choice for those who want to live in a culturally stimulating and international, albeit peaceful, environment.

Coworking spaces in Trieste: sNodo, Laby, Dancing House

How much does it cost to live in Trieste?

  • Cost of living plus rent index: 49.30 (country average: 49.13)
  • Average monthly cost of a 1-bedroom apartment: €510,45 in the city center, €400,00 outside of the city center (the country average is respectively €596,41 and €451,97)
  • Average cost of a 3-course meal for 2 people: €50,00 (vs country average of €55,00)
  • Average monthly cost for public transportation: €35,00 (vs country average of €35,00)

Central Italy—freelancing in Florence and Rome

Panorama of the city of Florence and the Arno river.

Internationally acclaimed for its artistic and architectural heritage, Florence is one of the most famous cities in all of Italy. It’s also been named the capital of digital transformation 2020 in the ICity Rank 2020 report. If you decide to build your career as a freelancer in Florence, you can easily find cutting-edge technology and high-speed internet connections to help support your work. The Region of Tuscany also offers a voucher to those with an Italian VAT number that covers the cost of renting a coworking space.

Coworking spaces in Florence: Smart-hub, 91C, Nana Bianca

How much does it cost to live in Florence?

  • Cost of living plus rent index: 54.47 (country average: 49.13)
  • Average monthly cost of a 1-bedroom apartment: €773,48 in the city center, €605,42 outside of the city center (the country average is respectively €596,41 and €451,97)
  • Average cost of a 3-course meal for 2 people: €60,00 (vs country average of €55,00)
  • Average monthly cost for public transportation: €35,00 (vs country average of €35,00)
Piazza di Spagna in Rome.

Rome is the center of Italian political life. It’s one of the most important hubs when it comes to trade and services in Italy. In the Eternal City, you can explore ancient history, admire breath-taking views, and try delicious foods. Working in Rome also means being able to count on modern and technological workspaces. In fact, it ranks fourth in ICity Rank’s 2020 report.

Coworking spaces in Rome:Talent Garden, Ala/34, BinarioUno, Cowall

How much does it cost to live in Rome?

  • Cost of living plus rent index: 58.14 (country average: 49.13)
  • Average monthly cost of a 1-bedroom apartment: €912,76 in the city center, €624,12 outside of the city center (the country average is respectively €596,41 and €451,97)
  • Average cost of a 3-course meal for 2 people: €60,00 (vs country average of €55,00)
  • Average monthly cost for public transportation: €35,00 (vs country average of €35,00)

Southern Italy—freelancing in Naples and Bari

A typical street in Naples.

Naples, famous throughout the world for being the birthplace of pizza, is an affordable city. It combines amazing beaches, some of the most spectacular historical sites in the country, and incredible food. It only received a “fair” rating in the ICity Rank 2020 report from a technological point of view, but it does maintain a good variety of coworking spaces.

Coworking spaces in Naples: Lavoratorio, re.work, Lab46

How much does it cost to live in Naples?

  • Cost of living plus rent index: 46.56 (country average: 49.13)
  • Average monthly cost of a 1-bedroom apartment: €640,62 in the city center, €432,35 outside of the city center (the country average is respectively €596,41 and €451,97)
  • Average cost of a 3-course meal for 2 people: €50,00 (vs country average of €55,00)
  • Average monthly cost for public transportation: €43,50 (vs country average of €35,00)
A typical narrow street in Bari.

Bari is a peaceful city by the sea that is very affordable—and it ranks as “advanced” when it comes to being a digital city. It’s the ideal destination for digital nomads looking for an alternative to big city living. It comes with all the cultural vitality of a university town that boasts more than 50,000 students.

Coworking spaces in Bari: Spazio14, Impact Hub Bari, Faro Futuro

How much does it cost to live in Bari?

  • Cost of living plus rent index: 41.18 (country average: 49.13)
  • Average monthly cost of a 1-bedroom apartment: €506,25 in the city center, €385,71 outside of the city center (the country average is respectively €596,41 and €451,97)
  • Average cost of a 3-course meal for 2 people: €50,00 (vs country average of €55,00)
  • Average monthly cost for public transportation: €29,00 (vs country average of €35,00)

If you’re considering taking your freelance career on the road, you’re not alone. Data from anyplace shows that there are currently an estimated 10 million freelancers who work while traveling around the world. Tech developments in recent years have made it increasingly possible to work traditional office jobs from remote locations. This has led to what’s now called the workation (a combination of work and vacation). Find time to relax in idyllic locations without ever compromising your career.

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it’s no surprise that plenty of people are choosing Italy for their workation destination. If you’re thinking of joining them, this short introduction will get you up to speed on everything you need to know about taking your freelance workation in Italy.

man typing on a laptop.

Workation and digital nomads

People who take workations are generally classified as “digital nomads.” These types of professionals don’t have a fixed workplace, but instead work remotely from wherever they choose. That might mean cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, hostels, libraries—anywhere with a decent wifi connection is a viable workplace for a digital nomad.

Digital nomads generally work in a freelance capacity, rather than for one single employer. Cultivating a diverse network of clients helps them build the flexible schedules required for their mobile lifestyle.

Work: smart working and freelance work in Italy

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing measures mean more and more companies are embracing remote work. While most people have been forced to work from home, the loosening of corona restrictions means people will now have even more opportunities to take their remote work wherever they choose. 

According to an Airbnb survey from October 2020, 66% of Italians plan to work away from their place of residence at some point in the future, at least for a little while. What’s more, Smart Working Observatory of the Polytechnic University of Milan reports that there were roughly 5 million smart workers in Italy in November 2020—”smart workers” refers to digital nomads and other unconventional workers who operate outside the context of traditional office culture. This number is expected to grow in 2021.

Working culture in Italy has come a long way over the past year, in terms of technological development. New collaboration tools, teleconferencing platforms, and cutting-edge software now help workers from a variety of industries handle their tasks remotely. To make things even easier, mobile internet costs in Italy are among the lowest in Europe.

Plus, Italy ranks first in Europe when it comes to the number of freelancers and self-employed professionals. Italian freelance sites such as AddLance, as well as international ones like Upwork, Freelancer, Twago, and Fiverr make working while traveling in Italy even simpler.

Vacation in Italy—paradise for digital nomads

From the peaks of the Alps down to the coast of Sicily, it’s impossible to capture the essence of Italy in one single description. For that reason, it’s often said that there are “a thousand different Italies.” Beaches, mountains, and cities, all teeming with art, lakes, and rolling hills. Working while traveling in Italy will allow you to take in picturesque landscapes, historic art and architecture, and world-renowned food and wine.

Work as a freelancer in Italy with N26

Unfamiliar bureaucracy and foreign language can make moving to another country fairly complicated. That’s why N26 is committed to offering you all the support you need to manage your professional finances, wherever you are. No need to bother with tiring branch visits or stacks of paperwork—simple open your account directly from your smart phone in just 8 minutes. All our services are available in English, Italian, French, Spanish, or German.

If you’re planning a workation in Italy, check out the N26 plans designed for freelancers. All N26 business accounts come with perks like cashback on all card purchases and instant push notifications whenever money enters or leaves your account. Choose the free N26 Business Standard account, or go premium for even more benefits like extensive insurance and sub-accounts to help you organize your money. Visit our comparison page to find the plan that’s right for you and check out this article for more information on who can sign up for a business account with N26.

If you’re considering taking your freelance career on the road, you’re not alone. Data from anyplace shows that there are currently an estimated 10 million freelancers who work while traveling around the world. Tech developments in recent years have made it increasingly possible to work traditional office jobs from remote locations. This has led to what’s now called the workation (a combination of work and vacation). Find time to relax in idyllic locations without ever compromising your career.

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it’s no surprise that plenty of people are choosing Italy for their workation destination. If you’re thinking of joining them, this short introduction will get you up to speed on everything you need to know about taking your freelance workation in Italy.

man typing on a laptop.

Workation and digital nomads

People who take workations are generally classified as “digital nomads.” These types of professionals don’t have a fixed workplace, but instead work remotely from wherever they choose. That might mean cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, hostels, libraries—anywhere with a decent wifi connection is a viable workplace for a digital nomad.

Digital nomads generally work in a freelance capacity, rather than for one single employer. Cultivating a diverse network of clients helps them build the flexible schedules required for their mobile lifestyle.

Work: smart working and freelance work in Italy

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing measures mean more and more companies are embracing remote work. While most people have been forced to work from home, the loosening of corona restrictions means people will now have even more opportunities to take their remote work wherever they choose. 

According to an Airbnb survey from October 2020, 66% of Italians plan to work away from their place of residence at some point in the future, at least for a little while. What’s more, Smart Working Observatory of the Polytechnic University of Milan reports that there were roughly 5 million smart workers in Italy in November 2020—”smart workers” refers to digital nomads and other unconventional workers who operate outside the context of traditional office culture. This number is expected to grow in 2021.

Working culture in Italy has come a long way over the past year, in terms of technological development. New collaboration tools, teleconferencing platforms, and cutting-edge software now help workers from a variety of industries handle their tasks remotely. To make things even easier, mobile internet costs in Italy are among the lowest in Europe.

Plus, Italy ranks first in Europe when it comes to the number of freelancers and self-employed professionals. Italian freelance sites such as AddLance, as well as international ones like Upwork, Freelancer, Twago, and Fiverr make working while traveling in Italy even simpler.

Vacation in Italy—paradise for digital nomads

From the peaks of the Alps down to the coast of Sicily, it’s impossible to capture the essence of Italy in one single description. For that reason, it’s often said that there are “a thousand different Italies.” Beaches, mountains, and cities, all teeming with art, lakes, and rolling hills. Working while traveling in Italy will allow you to take in picturesque landscapes, historic art and architecture, and world-renowned food and wine.

N26 for business

The 100% mobile bank for busy entrepreneurs. Get 0.1% cashback, a free Mastercard and more
Get a business bank account (new tab)
Hand holding a N26 business debit card.

Work as a freelancer in Italy with N26

Unfamiliar bureaucracy and foreign language can make moving to another country fairly complicated. That’s why N26 is committed to offering you all the support you need to manage your professional finances, wherever you are. No need to bother with tiring branch visits or stacks of paperwork—simple open your account directly from your smart phone in just 8 minutes. All our services are available in English, Italian, French, Spanish, or German.

If you’re planning a workation in Italy, check out the N26 plans designed for freelancers. All N26 business accounts come with perks like cashback on all card purchases and instant push notifications whenever money enters or leaves your account. Choose the free N26 Business Standard account, or go premium for even more benefits like extensive insurance and sub-accounts to help you organize your money. Visit our comparison page to find the plan that’s right for you and check out this article for more information on who can sign up for a business account with N26.If you’re considering taking your freelance career on the road, you’re not alone. Data from anyplace shows that there are currently an estimated 10 million freelancers who work while traveling around the world. Tech developments in recent years have made it increasingly possible to work traditional office jobs from remote locations. This has led to what’s now called the workation (a combination of work and vacation). Find time to relax in idyllic locations without ever compromising your career.

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it’s no surprise that plenty of people are choosing Italy for their workation destination. If you’re thinking of joining them, this short introduction will get you up to speed on everything you need to know about taking your freelance workation in Italy.

man typing on a laptop.

Workation and digital nomads

People who take workations are generally classified as “digital nomads.” These types of professionals don’t have a fixed workplace, but instead work remotely from wherever they choose. That might mean cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, hostels, libraries—anywhere with a decent wifi connection is a viable workplace for a digital nomad.

Digital nomads generally work in a freelance capacity, rather than for one single employer. Cultivating a diverse network of clients helps them build the flexible schedules required for their mobile lifestyle.

Work: smart working and freelance work in Italy

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing measures mean more and more companies are embracing remote work. While most people have been forced to work from home, the loosening of corona restrictions means people will now have even more opportunities to take their remote work wherever they choose. 

According to an Airbnb survey from October 2020, 66% of Italians plan to work away from their place of residence at some point in the future, at least for a little while. What’s more, Smart Working Observatory of the Polytechnic University of Milan reports that there were roughly 5 million smart workers in Italy in November 2020—”smart workers” refers to digital nomads and other unconventional workers who operate outside the context of traditional office culture. This number is expected to grow in 2021.

Working culture in Italy has come a long way over the past year, in terms of technological development. New collaboration tools, teleconferencing platforms, and cutting-edge software now help workers from a variety of industries handle their tasks remotely. To make things even easier, mobile internet costs in Italy are among the lowest in Europe.

Plus, Italy ranks first in Europe when it comes to the number of freelancers and self-employed professionals. Italian freelance sites such as AddLance, as well as international ones like Upwork, Freelancer, Twago, and Fiverr make working while traveling in Italy even simpler.

Vacation in Italy—paradise for digital nomads

From the peaks of the Alps down to the coast of Sicily, it’s impossible to capture the essence of Italy in one single description. For that reason, it’s often said that there are “a thousand different Italies.” Beaches, mountains, and cities, all teeming with art, lakes, and rolling hills. Working while traveling in Italy will allow you to take in picturesque landscapes, historic art and architecture, and world-renowned food and wine.

N26 for business

The 100% mobile bank for busy entrepreneurs. Get 0.1% cashback, a free Mastercard and more
Get a business bank account (new tab)
Hand holding a N26 business debit card.

Work as a freelancer in Italy with N26

Unfamiliar bureaucracy and foreign language can make moving to another country fairly complicated. That’s why N26 is committed to offering you all the support you need to manage your professional finances, wherever you are. No need to bother with tiring branch visits or stacks of paperwork—simple open your account directly from your smart phone in just 8 minutes. All our services are available in English, Italian, French, Spanish, or German.

If you’re planning a workation in Italy, check out the N26 plans designed for freelancers. All N26 business accounts come with perks like cashback on all card purchases and instant push notifications whenever money enters or leaves your account. Choose the free N26 Business Standard account, or go premium for even more benefits like extensive insurance and sub-accounts to help you organize your money. Visit our comparison page to find the plan that’s right for you and check out this article for more information on who can sign up for a business account with N26.

If you’re considering taking your freelance career on the road, you’re not alone. Data from anyplace shows that there are currently an estimated 10 million freelancers who work while traveling around the world. Tech developments in recent years have made it increasingly possible to work traditional office jobs from remote locations. This has led to what’s now called the workation (a combination of work and vacation). Find time to relax in idyllic locations without ever compromising your career.

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it’s no surprise that plenty of people are choosing Italy for their workation destination. If you’re thinking of joining them, this short introduction will get you up to speed on everything you need to know about taking your freelance workation in Italy.

man typing on a laptop.

Workation and digital nomads

People who take workations are generally classified as “digital nomads.” These types of professionals don’t have a fixed workplace, but instead work remotely from wherever they choose. That might mean cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, hostels, libraries—anywhere with a decent wifi connection is a viable workplace for a digital nomad.

Digital nomads generally work in a freelance capacity, rather than for one single employer. Cultivating a diverse network of clients helps them build the flexible schedules required for their mobile lifestyle.

Work: smart working and freelance work in Italy

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns and social distancing measures mean more and more companies are embracing remote work. While most people have been forced to work from home, the loosening of corona restrictions means people will now have even more opportunities to take their remote work wherever they choose. 

According to an Airbnb survey from October 2020, 66% of Italians plan to work away from their place of residence at some point in the future, at least for a little while. What’s more, Smart Working Observatory of the Polytechnic University of Milan reports that there were roughly 5 million smart workers in Italy in November 2020—”smart workers” refers to digital nomads and other unconventional workers who operate outside the context of traditional office culture. This number is expected to grow in 2021.

Working culture in Italy has come a long way over the past year, in terms of technological development. New collaboration tools, teleconferencing platforms, and cutting-edge software now help workers from a variety of industries handle their tasks remotely. To make things even easier, mobile internet costs in Italy are among the lowest in Europe.

Plus, Italy ranks first in Europe when it comes to the number of freelancers and self-employed professionals. Italian freelance sites such as AddLance, as well as international ones like Upwork, Freelancer, Twago, and Fiverr make working while traveling in Italy even simpler.

Vacation in Italy—paradise for digital nomads

From the peaks of the Alps down to the coast of Sicily, it’s impossible to capture the essence of Italy in one single description. For that reason, it’s often said that there are “a thousand different Italies.” Beaches, mountains, and cities, all teeming with art, lakes, and rolling hills. Working while traveling in Italy will allow you to take in picturesque landscapes, historic art and architecture, and world-renowned food and wine.

Work as a freelancer in Italy with N26

Unfamiliar bureaucracy and foreign language can make moving to another country fairly complicated. That’s why N26 is committed to offering you all the support you need to manage your professional finances, wherever you are. No need to bother with tiring branch visits or stacks of paperwork—simple open your account directly from your smart phone in just 8 minutes. All our services are available in English, Italian, French, Spanish, or German.

If you’re planning a workation in Italy, check out the N26 plans designed for freelancers. All N26 business accounts come with perks like cashback on all card purchases and instant push notifications whenever money enters or leaves your account. Choose the free N26 Business Standard account, or go premium for even more benefits like extensive insurance and sub-accounts to help you organize your money. Visit our comparison page to find the plan that’s right for you and check out this article for more information on who can sign up for a business account with N26.

N26 for business

The 100% mobile bank for busy entrepreneurs. Get 0.1% cashback, a free Mastercard and more
Get a business bank account (new tab)
Hand holding a N26 business debit card.

Working as a freelancer in Italy with N26

Whatever your destination, freelancing means managing and organizing your personal and professional life well. At N26, we offer you the tools you need to manage your business finances like a pro. Our N26 free Business Standard account brings benefits like 0.1% cashback on all purchases you make with your N26 debit Mastercard. Or, go premium for even more cashback and other perks like savings and budgeting tools and extensive insurance. All N26 plans for Italy-based customers come with their own Italian IBAN—a necessity for handling your bills and other finances in Italy.

What’s more, our app and Customer Support are available in English, Italian, German, French, and Spanish. Find the N26 business account that’s right for you and open it in just 8 minutes, directly from your smartphone.

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