Living in Sicily: My Catania Accommodation

Front Gate

My stint in Sicily lasted over a year and it was amazing.  I’ve never even considered going to Sicily until my uncle told me about everything there is to see there.  Once I started googling the pictures of Sicily like Taormina I was hooked and knew I had to go and visit to see all the tourist attractions in Sicily.  Once I started looking for accommodation in Sicily I started to get a feel for the best places to find apartments.  I spoke to people that have already lived there and reached out to travelers that have visited the quaint southern island.  Since Sicily is a still not considered a major tourist attraction, and never will be because of all the things to see in northern Europe, the prices are much cheaper in comparison to the rest of Europe.

Living Room

Whenever I am looking for accommodation around the world I always like to find places that aren’t catered to tourists.  In addition to that I also wanted to find a city that was reasonably large to find all your conveniences.  The largest cities in Sicily are Palermo, Catania, and Agrigento (not in that order).  I didn’t want to go to Palermo because I was truly considering how the mafia nostra (Sicilian Mafia) ran things there, my options were limited to Agrigento and Catania.  The United States has a military base near Catania which opens up huge opportunities for accommodations.  Many Sicilians have rented places to Americans and have retrofitted apartments to include all American conveniences like air conditioning and all major appliances.

2nd living area with stairs to loft

Catania hosts the busiest airport in Sicily and while being located on the east coast it has access to all major interstates that connect the island making it easier to see all the things to do in Sicily.  I was able to find a great place in San Pietro Clarenza which is located high on Mount Etna just 20 minutes from Catania.

Sunset from the front Patio, on a clear day you could see the entire coast of Sicily

I made my home in a two bedroom and two bath with an incredible view of the coast.  On a clear day I was able to see all the way to Siracusa (see picture below).  Since I was still in college I changed my major just to be able to live and go to school there and get my college degree as promised to my mother (Im such a sweet son I know this).  As with any place in Europe the mass transit was impecable and I took the bus to school everyday.  I also had a loft  on the 2nd story of my house which provided great views of the coast as well.

View from backyard patio of Mount Etna

I did ship my car to Italy which gave me a great way to get around the island (it only takes a few hours).  I learned valuable Sicily travel advice on my trip to Malta when I needed to reset my 3 months in Italy.  Since I had to work and travel during the week it was nice to be able to drive around the island when I wanted to see all the tourist attractions.  If you’re considering moving to Europe make sure you consider Sicily.  It is not as charming as Paris or as romantic as Venice, but it’s not as bad on your wallet either.


  1. Erin I actually didn't rent an apt this time I bought it. I sub leased the apt for a period of time to ensure that I really did like it there so I paid the mortgage under the sub lease agreement. Once I decided that I really did like it there I decided buy it outright, they can get pretty pricey thought still being in parts of Europe. You could find a nice place on the outskirts of Catania for pretty reasonable

  2. Hi There,
    thanks for your wonderful blog. Live must be great in Sicily. We are planning to retire in Sicily. We love the beach, golf and modern amenities. Where do you think we should be looking for a house? Any help suggestions will be fantastic.

    1. Really depends on what you want in terms of conveniences Manny. You could find a place secluded and also places near the city as well. I lived on the East coast near the city of Catania. If you want to retire in Sicily I don’t think anyplace would necessarily be bad

  3. My GF and I have been talking pretty heartedly about buying several acres of land out around Palermo (she has family there and a portion of the city, kind of like a suburb, is named after her family. And I am of Italian decent and grew up in an Italian home.) But we are wanting to get several acres so that we can just live off the land. Any suggestions on how we would get started?

  4. Hey, Catania sounds great. I am thinking of moving there myself. Do you have the contact details for the owners of the house you stayed. How much was the rent?


    1. Sorry Richard but don’t have that contact info anymore. There is a very large community of locals that rent to foreigners because of the US Military Base there. I don’t think you will have a hard time finding a place. We lived in a small town calls San Pietro Clarenza up on Mt. Etna.

  5. great post!!!you just said it so simple.my name is joya I’m 58 and before i turn 60 sept 3,1956 I want to move to sicily.I was there when i was 15 and my cousin was 19….. that for another time!!!!
    i promised to retire to the Island that my grandparents came to NYC Lower east side,he walks by their Tenament ,every day when he walks his dog.I want a house 2bed 2bath,garden,i want that “Charming place,”that my kids can come home for the holidays.
    hope you het back to me to help me!

  6. I just read your post.my wife and I stayed in a small place called letojanni which was a fishing village.a lovely little place to stay.not far from anywhere you need to get to.45 minutes from the airport great spot.
    Yours max

    1. No you shouldn’t have too many problems only speaking English, most people understand you. However if you decided to venture out into the smaller more isolated towns you may have difficulty. As a general rule of thumb the bigger towns and villages will have more people who speak English. Learning even the basics of the language will help you alot and make your travel there more rewarding.

  7. But how does one go about finding somewhere to live? The only thing my googling reveals is holiday apartments without any guarantee of being trustwortht – cant find any regular estate agent offices?

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