8 must-haves for every digital nomad, and where to find them
An income source you can generate 100% remotely
This is definitely your best starting point. To enjoy the digital nomad experience to the fullest, you need an income source, or preferably two, that you can generate 100% remotely, wherever you are in the world. Freelance professionals have an advantage here, but this opportunity is also open to any employees who can do their work without having to go to the office and can move around freely with the certainty of a stable income. If you don’t have this financial security, however, you simply have to choose where you travel to and stay more carefully, and perhaps find a supplementary source of income locally.
Being able to manage your own schedule is no small advantage. You can take a walk in the morning before sitting down at your computer or extend your lunch break so you can explore the city and enjoy local delicacies with no need to rush. Or you can finish up work early for the day, so you can immerse yourself in local life, among shops, aperitifs and museums.
The must-have for any digital nomad: the laptop. The best laptop should be light and have a long battery life, so you’re not constantly searching for a power outlet. A number of often indispensable devices come along with the laptop, including an external hard drive for backing up important files, and some headphones so you can make conference calls undisturbed.
A good Internet connection
Italy has an excellent Internet network. In the most isolated places where super-fast Internet connections are not always possible, the mobile network and the generosity of telephone operators in distributing data, which can also be used to connect devices such as laptops and tablets, will come in very handy. And if you accidentally find yourself somewhere without a connection, cafes and libraries can be a lifeline!
Excellent value for money
Choosing a place to stay for medium or long periods of time means facing accommodation costs that you would not have to budget for if you stayed at home. This is one of the reasons why digital nomads often opt for Southern Italy and the Italian Islands, where you can get more favourable temperatures throughout the year, a lower cost of living than in other parts of Italy and the ability to travel effortlessly from the sea to the mountains.
This is why people tend to prefer more remote places over big cities: you can save money by experiencing everyday life in small towns, with larger cities less than an hour away.
Cultural and leisure activities
Digital nomads are not only looking for a different everyday life, but also for experiences that you just can’t get at home: cultural and food and wine events between work breaks, trips and tours on your days off.
Anyone who loves excursions is sure to enjoy a digital nomad life in South Tyrol or Sardinia, while for unique cultural events you may choose Liguria during the Nervi Music Ballet Festival or Tuscany to immerse yourself in the Lucca Summer Festival.
Local traditions to experience
As well as cultural events, you can also have authentic and traditional experiences linked to a specific area. In Ferrara in February, for example, you can witness the historical re-enactment of the Renaissance Carnival of the Este family. Or if you choose to be captivated by the high-altitude magic of the Aosta Valley at the end of the summer, you can watch as the cows descend from the alpine pastures and return to their stables at the bottom of the valley.
Contact with nature
Digital nomads search for what is generally not available on their doorstep. Those who live and work in the city are often inclined to seek out experiences that are more in touch with nature, and the good news is that in Italy you can do just that without travelling too far off the beaten track. Quite the opposite! Think of Tuscany, with the beautiful hills between Siena, Florence and Arezzo, or Abruzzo, with the Gran Sasso National Park surrounded by towns and villages of unique beauty. Or Veneto, with the Po Delta Park, which is easily accessible from Venice and Padua.
Do you have everything you need to experience the digital nomad lifestyle? Get your laptop, choose your location, and you're ready to go!