As a digital nomad, the world becomes your office. And when that world includes Rome, the eternal city, a blend of history, art, and urban life, it’s not just about work but about immersing oneself in a culture that’s centuries old. Rome, with its grand Colosseum, fragrant espresso, and bustling piazzas, offers more than just sightseeing. Here’s a guide for digital nomads looking to explore Rome, ensuring a balance of work and leisure.
- Connectivity and Workspaces:
Wi-Fi in Rome: Most hotels, hostels, and B&Bs offer free Wi-Fi. It’s essential to check the speed if you’re handling video calls or heavy data tasks.
Co-working spaces: Rome has seen a surge in co-working spaces. Some of the notable ones include:
Talent Garden Rome: A modern space offering private desks, meeting rooms, and community events.
Coworking Spazio 14: Located near the Trastevere station, it offers a serene environment and ample networking opportunities.
Cafés for work: Roman cafés are generally accepting of digital nomads, but always order something regularly if you plan to sit for long hours. Some nomad-friendly cafes include:
Antico Caffè Greco: One of Rome’s oldest cafes, it offers an elegant atmosphere to work in.
Barnum Café: A more laid-back vibe with reliable Wi-Fi.
- Accommodation Options:
Long-term Stays: Renting an apartment is economical for longer durations. Websites like Airbnb and Spotahome can help find suitable accommodations.
Hostels and Co-living Spaces: These are great for networking and meeting fellow digital nomads. The RomeHello is a popular hostel that even has a co-working area.
- Leisure Activities and Networking:
Meetups: Websites like Meetup.com have multiple groups in Rome for digital nomads and expats. These gatherings can be an excellent opportunity for networking or just socializing.
Exploring Rome: While Rome has countless landmarks, some must-visits include the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Pantheon, and Vatican City. Remember to take leisurely walks through neighborhoods like Trastevere or Monti to soak in the local vibes.
- Digital Nomad-Friendly Eateries:
Food in Rome is a delight. While most restaurants are welcoming, some digital nomad-friendly places include:
Pizzarium: Known for its delicious pizza and free Wi-Fi.
Cafè Café Rome: A peaceful place to work with a diverse menu.
- Health and Wellbeing:
Gyms and Yoga Studios: There are numerous gyms in Rome, and many offer pay-as-you-go options. For yoga enthusiasts, Zem Yoga Studio near Campo de’ Fiori is highly recommended.
Green Spaces: Parks like Villa Borghese and Villa Doria Pamphili are perfect for a relaxing break, jog, or even an outdoor work session.
- Getting Around:
Public Transport: Rome’s public transport system includes buses, trams, and the Metro. Buying a monthly pass can be economical for longer stays.
Biking: Rome has become more bike-friendly. Platforms like oBike and Mobike offer shared cycling services, perfect for navigating the city’s narrow lanes.
- Local Sim and Mobile Connectivity:
For staying connected, consider purchasing a local SIM card. Telecom providers like TIM, Vodafone, and Wind offer various plans suitable for different needs.
- Cultural Etiquette and Tips:
Siesta Time: Remember, many local businesses shut down in the early afternoon for ‘riposo’, a short break. It’s best to plan your schedule around it.
Dress Code: While Rome is fairly modern, it’s respectful to dress modestly, especially when visiting churches or religious sites.
Learning Basic Italian: A few phrases can go a long way in making local connections.
- Budgeting and Expenses:
Rome can be expensive. However, knowing where to shop can save money. Local markets like Campo de’ Fiori or Testaccio Market can offer fresh produce at lower prices than supermarkets.
- Safety Tips:
Beware of Pickpockets: Touristy areas are often frequented by pickpockets. Always keep your belongings secure.
Stay Informed: Keep an eye on local news or expat forums for any updates, especially if traveling solo.
Rome offers a blend of old-world charm and modern amenities, making it a desirable destination for digital nomads. From its historical streets to contemporary co-working spaces, Rome promises an experience that’s rich, diverse, and inspiring. As you work amidst echoes of ancient civilizations, remember to savor the present, enjoy a gelato by the Trevi Fountain, or take a moment to appreciate the sunset over the Tiber. In Rome, work isn’t just work; it’s an adventure in history, culture, and life.
- Language and Communication:
While many Romans speak English, especially in the tourist-centric areas, having a grasp of basic Italian can enhance your experience manifold. Apps like Duolingo or Babbel can be helpful. Moreover, locals appreciate even the smallest effort to communicate in their language, fostering a warmer connection.
- Best Time to Visit:
The peak tourist seasons are summer (June to August) and around Christmas. As a digital nomad, you might prefer the shoulder seasons like spring (April to June) or fall (September to November). Not only is the weather pleasant, but the city is also less crowded, and accommodation prices are often lower.
- Local Events and Festivals:
Integrating with the local culture is fulfilling. Keep an eye out for events:
Festa della Primavera: The Roman spring festival, celebrated with food, music, and parades.
Rome Film Festival: Held in October, a delight for film enthusiasts.
- Cafes and Nightlife:
Rome’s nightlife is vibrant yet laid-back. For digital nomads who enjoy working late or need to catch up with different time zones, places like San Calisto in Trastevere or Scholars Lounge, an Irish pub, are open late.
- Local Tech Stores and Repairs:
Digital nomads rely heavily on tech. In case of emergencies, it’s good to know where to go:
Trony and Euronics are large chains in Rome where you can buy electronic gadgets.
For repairs, Doctor Computer Roma has received commendable reviews.
- Weekend Getaways and Breaks:
Being centrally located in Italy, Rome offers nomads the perfect base for quick getaways:
Florence: Just an hour and a half away by train.
Naples and the Amalfi Coast: Ideal for a weekend of pizza, sea, and relaxation.
- Emergency Services and Healthcare:
Ensure you have travel insurance. In case of medical emergencies, the Policlinico Umberto I hospital is centrally located. Pharmacies are scattered throughout the city, with many open 24/7.
- Engaging with the Local Digital Nomad Community:
Platforms like Nomad List and Workfrom are great for connecting with fellow digital nomads, sharing tips, or even collaborating on projects.
- Adopting the Roman Lifestyle:
When in Rome, do as the Romans do:
Embrace the “La Dolce Vita” (The Sweet Life) attitude.
Relish in long meals, often stretching over hours.
Dive into local literature or movies to get a deeper sense of the place.
- Final Tips:
Always have cash on hand, as not all places accept cards.
Get a reusable water bottle. Rome has numerous public fountains with potable water.
Rome is not just a city; it’s an experience, an emotion. As a digital nomad, it offers a unique blend of work and play. While its historic ruins and art masterpieces captivate your soul, the modern amenities ensure you stay productive. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so take your time to soak in its grandeur, sip on its wines, and create memories that will last a lifetime.