Remote Living and Working in Italy

Italy is a wonderful country to live and work in - if you're lucky enough to be able to work remotely why not spend a few months in Tuscany with your laptop? Being a digital Nomad is a wonderful experience, but you may well need a visa to stay within the law in Italy. During the pandemic we saw the launch of a special kind of visa aimed at remote workers, people who can work from anywhere in the world. Many countries set up these Digital Nomad visas with the aim of attracting foreign remote workers into their economies. Normally these visas grant qualifying individuals residency rights in the country for a specific amount of time, usually between six months to two years. While the Italian government has yet to launch its own Digital Nomad Visa, the legislation has now been passed so the process is well on its way.

relaxing as a digital nomad in umbria
An evening in Castelonchio, where I was working with a beautiful view of Lake Trasimeno

What is the Italian Digital Nomad Visa?

The legislation for the Italian Digital Nomad Visa has only recently been passed into law, and no visas have yet been issued, so the requirements are unclear. All we know so far is that applicants will need to be able to evidence that they have been doing their job for a significant amount of time and will probably also entail a minimum income requirement, though the amount is not yet known. It's also thought that applicants will be required to have health insurance, an “adequate” place to live and a clean criminal record.

Italian self-employment visa

While the Italian Digital Nomad Visa is yet to be launched, and we won't know full details until later on, non-EU nationals can still work remotely in Italy through the Italian Self-employment Visa. The requirements are similar to those envisaged for the Digital Nomad Visa: qualifying self-employed individuals must meet a minimum income requirement set by the Italian government, hold a clean criminal record, and have a comprehensive health insurance plan as well.

Those who are succesful in their application are issued a renewable permit with an initial one-year validity. This can be renewed, if conditions are met, and after the fifth year of residency, they may receive their permanent residence permit. Additionally, individuals are capable of including their immediate family members in their applications for residency.

It is important to note that digital nomads will have to pay Italian Tax, but foreign professionals and remote workers who relocate to Italy through the Self-employed Visa will only have to pay taxes on five percent of their annual income. All this makes spending some time in Italy an attractive proposition for those whose work allows them to travel.

digital nomad in tuscany, italy
Staying in Dan's House, my view was of the hills of the montagnola, looking toward Siena

Eligibility checklist for an Italian Self-employed Visa

Digital nomads who want to live and work in Italy via the Self-employed Visa will have to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be a non-EU or non-EEA national
  • Hold a clean criminal record
  • Show proof of suitable accommodation in an Italian region
  • Have an annual gross income of at least €8,500 earned one year prior to their visa application, or promised as contractual compensation for services provided to Italian clients or an Italian company
  • Have health insurance to cover their hospitalization or medical expenses in Italy for the first 30 days of their entry
  • Demonstrate a certificate of ‘no impediment’ for them to provide their freelance services and highly qualified work activities in Italy
  • Show proof of sufficient economic funds to maintain their stay and perform their services

How to apply for a Freelance Visa in Italy

This article from Etias is a useful resource, as well as offering the option of applying for an ETIAS first, a visa-waiver from the European Travel Information and Authorisation System.

What is ETIAS and how can I get one.

With an ETIAS you can visit an EU country of choice for up to 90 days, per 180 day period, while working on your business. This will enable you to have the flexibility to try living in a few different EU countries before selecting your ideal location.

Where to live and work in Italy as a Digital Nomad

We've put together a list of our rental properties that are happy to take longer rentals, particularly in low and shoulder seasons, and that have decent wifi and heating, as a starting point for finding a place to live and work in Tuscany.

Workcation villas

Villa di Mezzo, close to Pisa, is a great house for an extended stay or a workcation