With its buzzing markets, affordable prices and a mishmash of the ancient and modern world, Palermo, Sicily, is a sanctuary for digital nomads. Here are seven of the best coworking spaces:
Despite sitting at the foot of one of Europe’s most prominent countries, Sicily still manages to fly under the radar for a lot of people. But things are changing. While still popular mainly among Italians seeking an easy summer holiday, Sicily, and its capital Palermo, is fast attracting digital nomads seduced by cheap prices and a place where the diverse culture and edgy grit hasn’t yet been completely whitewashed by a yuppy influx. Palermo now sports a great selection of coworking spots for anyone looking to find a place to work among the gothic architecture, Byzantine mosaics, bustling street markets and ice cream brioches for breakfast. Here are seven of the best:
Located in the old Ducrot factory, not far from the Cathedral and fascinating 12th century Zisa Palace, the Cre.Zi workspace takes up the furniture company’s former canteen. There is in total 1000sqm of work spaces, coworking areas, conference rooms, film-making labs and workshops. The chances are you’ll come to this huge space for solo work and to munch the crostinis with caper cream and anchovies, and leave immersed in a new project with one of the many groups of ambitious locals and expats who call Cre.Zi. Plus home during the day times. Prices are competitive at €20 for single day workstation and €100 all month.
Via Paolo Gili, 4, 90138/ www.creziplus.it
Coworking Palermo Empower
For something a little less casual, Empower has a multilevel open space with flexible shared hot desks and private workstations. Daily, weekly or monthly work plans are available, which include the workstation, use of a chest of drawers, bookcase, phone, wifi and a reception at the front. It’s all elegantly furnished and businesslike and even features a ‘management room’ to meet clients or conduct interviews for an extra charge. The only issue is, this level of professional coworking doesn’t come cheap, especially considering how affordable a lot of the country is, with shared workstations costing €100 Euros for a five day week. A private desk is €300. But as anyone knows, really growing a startup from a cafe environment takes its toll in the end so a well-managed set-up pays off.
C.so Calatafimi, 1002/A, 90131/ www.coworkingpalermo.it
If you are sick of your coworking spaces looking either like a doctor’s waiting room or with that trite off-the-peg urban aesthetic, BeetCommunity is a welcome change. The coworking spaces are located in what looks like a Sicilian grandmother’s house, complete with sixties palm tree wallpaper and chequered floor tiles. The coworking consists of a spacious working environment equipped with eight computer work stations, graphic tablets, desks, chairs and lockers with lock and key. It’s a community project and it shows – it’s a welcoming place that encourages people to work together and exchange ideas. The basic coworking package, with mobile desk, library space and coffee costs 350€ per month and the full package with use of a multi-function room, locker and mail comes in at 450€.
Via Agrigento 14 / www.beetcommunity.com
Located in the elegant and modern Gasperi-Sciuti-Notarbartolo area of Palermo, these co-working studios and co-working spaces are aimed at authors, artists and photographers, with opportunities to exhibit within the building. Everything is gallery-like, with white walls and a minimalist aesthetic and the services on offer for all creatives are mind-boggling, with meeting rooms and product presentation assistance. The northwestern neighborhood of Il Capo isn’t far away either, with its tiny winding alleyways (and people waiting to take loose wallets) providing inspiration for the work weary.
via Notarbartolo 36/38 / www.studios-servizi.com
This relaxed coworking space is situated in the buzzing Albergheria district, with the frenetic Ballaro market by day and raucous nightlife come dark. This is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to see a lot of the main attractions, such as Palazzo dei Normanni, the Cathedral, as well as working as most things are on the doorstep. There are two kinds of desks, standard and flex, in a bright and quiet environment, as well as two meeting rooms to meet clients or coworkers, and an open space for presentations. Coworkers are encouraged to cook and eat together too in the well-equipped kitchen – this is definitely a place for freelancers who like to socialise rather than work quietly alone. A personal desk is 140€ a month while a hot desk starts at 8€ for a half day. If you want to use the meeting room and get a mailbox it’s another 100€ for the first month and 80€ thereafter.
Via Alloro 64 / www.eunoi.it
Tell locals that you are off with your brand-new Apple Macbook to work in Borgo Vecchio and you might hear a sharp intake of breath. This is, to put it nicely, a less touristy part of town with a lively nightlife and an authentic Sicilian feel. In other words, it pays to be a bit more aware of your surroundings than the other more northerly districts – but it’s certainly interesting and authentic Palermo. Magnisi Studio runs with this outsider approach, making it a more left field hub for energetic creatives who like to be edgy in their creations and their way to work. There’s even a cafeteria, offering exceptional locally-sourced products and relaxing aperitifs to wind down. A workstation is 5€ for three hours, 15€ for a full day and 248€ for a whole month.
Via E. Amari / https://magnisi.com
Born in 2014, Moltivolti is a happy place. This restaurant and coworking space was created by a group of 14 people from eight different countries and promotes diversity and community through good food and well-placed plug sockets. All in all it’s just a nice place to work, meet like minded people and eat food that has come straight from the market a few metres away.
Via Giuseppe Mario Puglia / www.moltivolti.org