In Italia

What to know about Coworking In Italy in 2020

How many coworking spaces are there in Italy? Look at the interactive map and statistics on the most comprehensive list of shared work and coworking spaces in Italy.

How many coworking spaces are there in Italy?

Coworking spots in Italy are an alternative to working at the office or from home, which is nowadays getting more popular and well-known among most people. Probably you didn’t know that the very first coworking spaces in Italy started to pop out just 10 years ago, while in the USA this phenomenon had already begun 5 years earlier.

At the beginning of 2010 we couldn’t count more than 10 shared workspaces, made to accommodate independent professionals and companies, and they were all concentrated in the larger cities of North-Central Italy.

Lately coworking spots have been growing quickly in the whole Country. At the present day, given that this article is constantly updated, Italian Coworking counts over 700 spaces just on their platform, more or less 1 coworking space every 84’000 residents.

These shared spaces are now spread from big cities to very small villages and have become a popular organizational model for work in our Country, at least numerically.

It’s hard to keep track of the relative numbers in Italy, for 2 main reasons:

1. The Coworking Universe is very diverse:

The Italian way of coworking is characterized by very different situations, made up of spaces as small as 100 squared meters and investments in buildings as big as 5000 squared meters or more, independent providers, big companies with millions in revenue, associations and collateral experiences (opening a coworking space inside my company’s building etc.). These are all different models that require different organization, investments, vocation, motivations and objectives.

2. Statistics on the phenomenon have been either inexistent, unreliable or exclusive:

In late 2017, with an extensive web and social networks research, we were able to find over 500 coworking spaces. It’s been a surprise, later substantiated by more research (CNR – National Research Council of Italy). In 2018, collaborating with Forum PA on the ICityRate2018 report, we tracked over 650 coworking spots in Italy.  Since then we have been “cleaning” and maintaining our list of coworking spots that have been shut down (almost 70 between 2018 and 2019). We have uploaded the list online, with many other tools to monitor and support providers.

Italian Coworking in numbers

The growth of coworking spaces in Italy is confirmed for this year too. We have mapped 40 new spaces, with the shut down ones already taken into account. We surpassed the 700 mark and registered an increase in investments with a numerical increase of the multi-space providers.

The map below shows the spread of coworking spots in Italy at the end of November 2019. The map is interactive, that means you can highlight different geographical areas: Regions, Provinces and Municipalities, or search for a specific Municipality and find out the data you’re most interested in.

Coworking spaces can be found in every Region nowadays (but still not in every Province) and are widely spread from the North to the South to the Islands.

Coworking map of Italy: [MAP]

Coworking in Northern Italy: some numbers

60% of coworking providers operate in Northern Italy (425 spaces), with prevalence towards the North-West. Growth in those areas is also stronger than in the rest of the Country, with 27 new spaces from 2018. This is where the shared workspace model has succeeded the most, showing great vitality.

Lombardy, in particular, is without a doubt the region with most coworking spots, not only because it’s home to ¼ of all the Italian shared workspaces, but also because here we register the highest supply of spaces per capita (1 space every 52’000 residents) and the strongest growth of coworking spots compared to last year (+14).

In the rest of the North-West (without considering the Capitals of the Regions), Liguria and Piedmont host sensibly lower absolute and relative numbers of spaces. In Turin, though, we registered great vitality in 2019 with many new spaces tracked.

In the North-East, the most shared-spaces-dense Regions are Veneto (which has experienced a nice growth in the coworking sector during the last years) and Emilia-Romagna, with a high density per capita, not much lower than the one of Lombardy (1 space every 62’000 residents). Veneto specifically is the second largest Region when it comes to shared workspaces, which are homogenously spread between all the Provinces and can also be found in small town centers.

Differently, coworking spaces in the rest of the North-Italian Regions are mostly concentrated in the Capital of each Province, with densities around the national average.

Coworking is growing in the Center, South and Islands as well

We also registered a growth compared to 2018 in the Regions of Southern-Central Italy. In the central regions the growth is mostly linked to the biggest cities, i.e. Lazio, where coworking spaces are almost exclusively concentrated in Rome. Differently, the spread of shared workspaces in Tuscany is way more uniform and closer to the trend of the Northern Regions. Again, here the balance between active and shut down mapped spaces is positive.

It’s no surprise that shared workspaces have become popular in the South and in the Islands, too. Lots of spaces have opened during the last years (134), partly filling the existing strong gap. Apulia and Sicily are the Regions where this trend is most visible (also thanks to some regional policies), while coworking is being established more slowly in Regions like Campania (though the growth trend here is the strongest for 2019) and Calabria.

South: coworking numbers are good, investments aren’t

Anyway, while last year we gladly emphasized coworking growth in Southern Italy, today we must highlight the lack of investments, registered in 2019, by big players in the sector, which remain strongly absent below Rome (with few exceptions and rumors of next openings, always delayed). In these Regions the coworking universe remains mostly characterized by very small spaces. Naples is the most evident example of a metropolitan city with a very limited shared workspace offer. Therefore, although with a growing trend, shared spaces in the South keeps being focused on single individuals and independent spaces, rarely connected to any network and, generally, with few available resources and services.

Cities with most coworking spaces

On the other hand, it’s no surprise that Milan, with 91 active mapped spaces, is the Municipality with the highest number of shared workspaces in Italy, both absolutely (13% of the Italian spaces) and relatively (density-wise, we have 1 space every 14’000 residents). It’s no coincidence, therefore, that “Coworking” is the most researched keyword in Milan with regards to shared workspaces for 2019.

Rome is in second place, with 57 mapped spaces and 1 space every 45’000 residents, with an interesting growth compared to 2018. Generally, during the last two years, shared workspaces offer has grown also qualitatively in the Capital: in fact, opposite to what we said about Southern Italy, big investments have been made in Rome in the last two years , both by big players like Talent Garden and Copernico (EUR) and by small independent providers that have invested considerable amounts of money. Have a look at our guide on coworking spaces in Rome.

In third place we have Turin (24 spaces, 1 every 36’000), where, in 2019, we mapped a big number of new coworking spots. Behind Turin we have Florence (17), Bologna (14), Verona and Venice (12).

Compared to 2018, coworking spaces are growing in almost every main city, not every single one of them though: look at the map above for details, select the Municipal geographical option or use the search tool in order to find the Municipality of your interest.

The Southern cities with most active spaces are Naples (14) and Palermo (13): here the density is sensibly lower than the national average.

Coworking in small town centers

As we already discovered in the first 2018 report, Italian coworking spaces are not limited to big cities anymore. Looking at the total number, more than 1 space in 4 is found to be in a town with less than 50’000 inhabitants and half of them can be found in small towns with less than 20’000 inhabitants.

During the last years, many coworking situations have opened in towns that are not very densely populated or in villages right next to metropolitan areas. In many cases it’s a matter of “brave coworking”, because survival in peripheral and less dynamic situations requires stimulating the demand, i.e. adapting the coworking model to the local reality (sometimes trying too hard?). Many interesting experiments can actually be found in very small villages, like rural coworking, social coworking, spaces managed both by private and public entities, in a sort of mixed management, coworking in labs and professional practices.

In those small villages that are right next to a metropolitan area, residents are also experimenting what could be called Commuting Coworking, which offers the convenience of working near one’s home some days per week, also thanks to the establishing of smart working.

Coworking in villages with less than 5’000 inhabitants

It’s still Kioosco the coworking spot in the smallest village: Pieve di Bono-Prezzo (TN) with a little more than 1’500 inhabitants.

With respect to other villages, we have almost 20 shared workspaces in villages with less than 5’000 inhabitants, like Lotto Cinque in Malgrate (Lecce), Bam Lab in Carrù (CN), Warehouse Factory in San Costanzo (PU).

Potential expansion areas

source: Istat 2011 & italiancoworking.it

Looking at a raw indicator like the resident density, it’s clear that there are still big margins for the growth of coworking in Italy, both in big cities (more than 100’000 inhabitants) and small ones.

In the biggest urban areas (more than 100’000 inhabitants) we have 1 space every 37’000 residents on average, while in regular towns (50-100’000 inhabitants) density decreases sensibly (obviously), with lows of 1 space every 240’000 residents in small towns with less than 20’000 inhabitants.

If you check out the graph below the map you can have some fun finding out cities/Provinces/Regions with lower coworking space density per resident (the darkest blocks).

Which is your experience in a coworking in Italy? Do you have any idea or a place that you think is perfect for a new coworking space? Share us your idea and let’s help the Italian ecosystem to shine!

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