Before discussing Italian VAT with your foreign customers (most of which will probably be businesses), I suggest to familiarise yourself with the reverse charge mechanism and/or to discuss this with your tax advisor.
The thing is, I know you don 't have to get registered for VAT in some countries and I've heard that some people have had trouble getting their client to accept to pay that 20% extra for VAT, bue we still have to pay it!
For starters, take a look at EU Directive 77/388/EEC (I have marked the relevant parts in bold):
Supply of services
1. The place where a service is supplied shall be deemed to be the place where the supplier has established his business or has a fixed establishment from which the service is supplied or, in the absence of such a place of business or fixed establishment, the place where he has his permanent address or usually resides.
2. However: (a) the place of the supply of services connected with immovable property, including the services of estate agents and experts, and of services for preparing and coordinating construction works, such as the services of architects and of firms providing on-site supervision, shall be the place where the property is situated;
(b) the place where transport services are supplied shall be the place where transport takes place, having regard to the distances covered;
(c) the place of the supply of services relating to: - cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment or similar activities, including the activities of the organizers of such activities, and where appropriate, the supply of ancillary services,
- ancillary transport activities such as loading, unloading, handling and similar activities,
- valuations of movable tangible property,
- work on movable tangible property,
shall be the place where those services are physically carried out;
(d) in the case of hiring out of movable tangible property, with the exception of all forms of transport, which is exported by the lessor from one Member State with a view to its being used in another Member State, the place of supply of the service shall be the place of utilization;
(e) the place where the following services are supplied when performed for customers established outside the Community or for taxable persons established in the Community but not in the same country as the supplier, shall be the place where the customer has established his business or has a fixed establishment to which the service is supplied or, in the absence of such a place, the place where he has his permanent address or usually resides: - transfers and assignments of copyrights, patents, licences, trade marks and similar rights,
- advertising services,
- services of consultants, engineers, consultancy bureaux, lawyers, accountants and other similar services, as well as data processing and the supplying of information,