Cindy Hayes, (Catania, Sicily)

First Person: real life in Italy

Each month we introduce you to someone who has made the dream of picking up and moving to the Bel Paese a reality.
In their own words they share the good parts, the bad parts and the just plain absurd moments of day-to-day life in Italy.

ID Card:
My name is Cindy Hayes; I am an American living in Italy. I am 48 years old, single and having a blast here!

I teach advanced levels of English to professionals and upper university students, which includes the American culture as well as the language.

I have a daughter that is in the US Navy, married and has just given me a beautiful new granddaughter. I have spent time exploring much of the world, including living in China for more than a year.

So I have a pretty good basis for my opinion of Italy! If any of you are planning to come to Italy, in particular Sicily, feel free to email me at:

Currently living in: I am living in Catania, Sicily. It is the largest city on the island and during normal business hours, there are upwards of a million people. It is not the capital but it is the center of commerce. We sit at the foot of Mount Etna, the volcano. The eruptions have stopped again as have the earthquakes, but even at their most active none of the activity was much of a threat to the city. There are small hamlets that were affected on the sides of the volcano, but the people take it all in stride. After all, what is the excitement of living on a volcano if not for a few tremors and lava flows in your back yard?

By way of:
I am from Nebraska, primarily the Lincoln area. I lived for several years in the western part of the state near the Wyoming border and worked for the Nebraska Department of Social Services for almost 20 years. I left Nebraska permanently in 1998 to travel and find myself. I have lived in Italy, Slovenia, China and Australia since that time with extended visits also in Guam where my daughter was stationed in the US Navy. My favorite places in Italy: Rome, Assisi, Venice, Sorrento and Ortigia, the tiny island part of Siracusa.

How (or why) did you get here from there?
I had always had this dream of living in Italy. Everyone told me I was crazy or they just laughed off my dream as something eccentric. For years I would watch my Italian movies and read of their history secretly. I have no Italian heritage, so really am not sure what the fascination is. I only know, that for as long as I can remember?.Italy has owned my dreams.

What role did language skills play in your experience?
None! I arrived in Rome several years ago speaking not a word of Italian!!! It is not difficult to get by in a foreign country if you are warm, sincere and willing to accept the fact that you are ignorant. Spoken language is such a small part of what any of us have to learn. The Italians are incredibly well educated, they speak several languages and most of them speak English at some level or other. But even in the spots of the interior where English is not so common, I was able to buy food, make accommodation arrangements, shop and visit any site I wished. Language is much more than words.

Your biggest challenge:
Without a doubt: bureaucracy! And not just the Italian; the American bureaucracy is just as inhibiting. Getting accurate information as to immigration and visas is almost impossible. The laws are evolving daily due to the European Union?s influence so it is often difficult to find someone that actually has current information AND knows how to implement it. The American Embassy in Rome is very nice, but the availability of information is generic at best. And the consulate office in Palermo is nonexistent?.they don?t even answer their phones!

What did you do to feel at home or adapt here?
I opened myself up to the possibility that perhaps my life up to the point I had entered Italy was only one form of reality. The values I had as an American living in the fast lane were not applicable in an ancient and culturally rich country. I learned to relax, set priorities based on smiling rather than dollars and most of all I listened and watched the people around me. Do I agree with everything they believe? No?..of course not. But I learned that there are many ways to perceive a thing, and that each of those perceptions can be a

(e.g. tricks for learning the language, getting along at work, securing a
supply of stain remover from home, joining an association.

I love this question?.it shows your heart! Tricks for learning the language?..hmm?.I guess the most important thing is just not take it too seriously. Be polite, sincere and warm. The difference in dialects can be intimidating, but if you listen to the rhythm and music of the language, somehow it just sort of grows inside you. The streets are the best place to learn to speak, every shop and street vendor is willing to give lessons in pronunciation and vocabulary. And if you need a translator, ask a child!

What do you still have to get used to/learn?
Siciliano! It is different from the Italian language and is so soft and sensual. I live in a neighborhood that used to be one of the most dangerous in Catania, but is now just ?quaint.? However, they all speak Sicilian rather than Italian. It is like living in what I imagine 1920?s Chicago would have been like. The culture is a bit different, but in no way is it inferior. It is rich in the very culture that has made Sicily such a survivor. They have been invaded by just about everyone in the world, and still maintained their cultural basis. It is exquisite

Compare an aspect (or aspects) of your home town (or other place you’ve
lived) to current town.
I can?t really compare living in Catania to living in Nebraska. It would be like comparing oranges and ladybugs! Food is much cheaper here. Housing is expensive in the city when compared to other places in Sicily, but not to the US. However, there is no way to prepare anyone for the traffic! It is terrible! And I have driven in China, Japan, London, Malta, Australia and even Los Angeles. Catania has streets that are several hundred years old. There is no plan or grid, because the city grew up around the foot of the volcano and shaped its streets to run around the hills and valleys reaching the sea. Someone along the way tried to organize things by setting up a system of one-way streets. However there seems to be no logic in the design that I can find. And you have to remember, they are only one-way if you are not a taxi or bus. For those elite vehicles, there are no really set rules. And then there are the scooters, and yes I have one too. There are rules for them, but no one really knows what they are!

Latest pursuits:
My latest pursuits include watching the geography of a land change before my very eyes due to lava flows, learning the intricate rules of dating in Catania versus the rules in the rest of Italy, finding the best discos and dancing places, trying to prioritize my favorite wines in my life, learning about Italian cheeses and the most important of all?.sitting on my terrace and looking at either the volcano?s plumes or the sailing boats on the sea. And I have lately discovered off roading Italian style. It is so civilized.

A preconceived notion about Italians/Italy that is not true:
That the men are aggressive testosteron-filled brutes! Yes, they appreciate women and love to look at us. But they are gentlemen and if you are not interested, they politely nod and offer other kinds of assistance. They do not mean offense by their frank looks, it is just one of the cultural norms here and should be accepted as such. I find the men here charming and sweet and have often had strangers ask me if I need assistance if they see me walking in the dark. Many a time, someone in the neighborhood has walked me to my door without saying a word. Just a smile and nod of their head when we part. I work until after nine most nights and so in the winter I often walk home, which is about two miles. When I enter the area near my home, I will hear voices in the darkness asking me if everything is OK. I never experienced that kind of protection circle anywhere else.

A preconceived notion about Italians/Italy that is true:
Customer service is a nonexistent concept in most places. They do not do anything in a hurry and rarely will you find a truly happy clerk. I get greeted by name and receive smiles and greetings now in many places, but it took time. The tourist places are of course more genial, but if you stray into the normal world here, you will often find shop clerks that act as if they are not pleased to make a sale! It is not true of course. It is just another facet of a culture that is different from ours. You have to be patient and remember that there is a huge difference in Italian time and American time. For example, if they say it takes ten minutes to walk some place, expect it to take at least 30. It is the same with service.

Your response to the following question: “I really want to live here, but I don’t speak Italian or have a job. What do you think?”
I would say to talk to some of us that have been here more than once and for an extended time. It depends on the intent, expectations, and preconceived ideas of the person wanting to come over here. If you are willing to admit that you will have to learn everything in a new way, then you will love it. But if you try to live here with your American values and attitudes, you will find yourself running into innumerable walls. Tolerance is not just a concept, it is a way of life.

How would you sum up your Italian experience in a word (and why)?
Love. I learned to love myself here, I learned to love my country (the USA) in a completely different way here in Italy, I learned to love those things about the world that were only concepts before coming here, and most of all I learned that it is possible to love a place completely.

Italy’s best kept secret (music, culture, food, way to get round things)
Intelligence! I am not sure how, but somehow much of the world looks at Italy as a nice quaint historical place from the movies and Roman epic poetry. The Italians are so broad minded in so many areas it is uncanny. They speak several languages, which is not only logical but necessary considering their location and level of commerce. They still learn ancient Greek, Latin and philosophy in their grade schools. The number of premium mathematicians, engineers, physicists and other scientists in this city alone is staggering. They debate political situations with extreme grace and passion and with a level of knowledge that I have never encountered anywhere else.

42 thoughts on “Cindy Hayes, (Catania, Sicily)

  1. I am planning on looking for a vacation/retirement home in Sicily when I am there in September. I had a couple of questions on her experience in relocating.

  2. Hi i am krissy and i am in a band called sweet children (rock on) LOL but anyways i use to live in a town called Portifino Italy when i was younger, and then my parents split up and everything in my life got worse until SC. I love Italy and anyone who is thinking of going there I would encourage you to. And also I love the romance of Italy especially when you are with you boyfriend and on a boat all alone…well you get the picture…LOL well there is soooooooo much to do but i can’t explain it all i can’t even do it any more because i am on tour in the united States right now so I don’t really know what else to say except for Italy is my most favorite place on earth.

    luv, KK from Sweet Children

  3. I will be living Texas in May to go to Catania for 3 months. My boyfriend of about 2 years is in the Italian navy and is currently in catania. Any suggestions on how to get used to life there or anything? This will be my 3rd time in Italy but the first where I actually will be there for a long period of time and have to do things on my own. Im a tad nervous but I hear catania is quite nice, and that to get adjusted I need to forget what american lifestyle is. Any suggestions? I would appreciate it so much. Thank you!!

  4. Dear Cindy, I just loved all you wrote, your manner of expression. We are planning to move to Italy permanently in 2 to 3 years and are coming in July for 2 weeks to tour the various regions and choose our favorite area to buy a home. I am Italian and am seeking Italian citizenship through my maternal grandparents. I am so excited! I just am having such a hard time deciding where to fly in from and which exact regions to look at. I live in Plattekill, New York.We have 2 weeks, however, I already know that I truly would love to live in a hilly, costal area, near the water. It does not have to be really on the water, but a short distance. I do not wish to live in a flat area. I would like southern Italy, for the warmer climate. I am Sicilian. How concerned should I be about the lava form the volcano? How often does the lava flow? I would consider Catania, however, we are wondering how often we should worry about that happening.
    Also, do you experience ptoblems die to the Mafia? If we purchase a home in Catania, could they influence the deal and cause a problem with the fees, etc? I am wondering if I should choose Messina, instead. I loved Taormina when we went to Sicily? Is Catania like that, wht the orange clay roofs of the homes, or is Catania filled with the flat topped modern type buildings? Sorry for all the questions? I appreciate any advice you can give me, as Ineed to book the air soon and decide on which city to start from-Rome, do the east and west coast and end in Catania, or just stick to only the mainland.Thank yolu vey much for reading this novel. lol I truly appreciate it. I am a seventh grade mathematics teacher, by the way. Wonder if I can get a job teaching English somewhere? Any chance? Thanks, again. Hope to hear from you. MaryAnn Weisner

  5. Hello Cindy, I enjoyed your descriptions of your life in Catania. I am a senior and an artist planning to travel to Caccamo in Palermo to buy a modest house in a beautiful landscape of mountains and valleys, six miles from Termini Immerese. If you could recommend a lawyer and notorario to negotiate the transaction with the seller and broker I would feel more confidant about the purchase.The broker is on the net I will appreciate your help, if you can manage it. I may arrive in two weeks. Thank you, Patrick Geoghegan USA

  6. You said a lot of real things in what you wrote. It is not hard to see why America is obsessed with Sicily. The thing is americans and sicilians are different. A sicilian could be free but chooses a death into culture. They know the difference between happiness and misery, good and bad, but are humans too. As far as romance to throw an american girl to a sicilian will leave him confused although he is smart enough to touch her mind and make her feel love it may not be the best thing for them. America is just a place which rapes cultures and replaces them with money hungry attitudes, it is a shame. Even in the fifties Sicilian americans were still more sicilian but now anything goes. It is no wonder 75% of americans are pessimists. Divorce is common fakeness is everywhere and some americans choose to flee and think they know the people they encounter but only observe because without language as communication you are just an onlooker, also sicilians are not quick to accept you into their sacram circles but will have no problem taking your money and telling you whats wrong in their world and yours. A dream is just a dream the world is a greater reality that crushes it and packs it in a bag suffocates it by enlclosing in in the velonious plastic.

  7. Hello Cindy,
    My wife and I will be visiting Sicily in October at the end of a Mediterranean cruise. We will be staying with a friend in the the US Navy who is stationed at NAS Sigonella for one week. Since my wife and I will both be retired just before the cruise, we are looking at areas for retirement. Our friend can give us lots of information from her perspective, a temporary resident who will be returning permanently to the USA later, but we would like to hear from someone who made a permanent move. We, of course, are very interested in the cost of housing, cost of living, taxes and the “strings that must be pulled” to allow a foreigner to live in Sicily. Since there is a large US Navy installation near Catania and I am retired from the USAF, we would probably be most interested in settling there so that we could draw on their services as well as the Sicilian culture.
    Any information or leads you could give us is most appreciated.

    Chuck Murray

  8. I love Agrigento….I have visited many times….I would like to go to live there next year if possible….I am half Italian…my mother was born in Catania but lived mostly in Rome…she met my father through the 45 war and came to England…

    I am married to a Tunisian man who lives in Sicily. A work migrant who cannot find work….There is little work for anyone unless educated…But the life is cheap and the fruit and wine are plentiful…It is much colder than I expected in winter and extremely hot in summer for a very long period…

    I agree about bureaucracy and I am somewhat fearful of how the Sicilians will view an English woman and a Tunisian man living there….I sense there is segregation…..I have a couple of Sicilian friends who will help but I expect to be in the middle of two very different cultures, with my own values being pulled here and there…..

    The attractions are the quality of the food, the sunshine, the culture the warmth of the people, the intriguing possibilities and the going back in time….Thanks for letting me indulge my dream even if only on a page…. I hope to paint and sell my work….teach English and have friends to stay…..make new friends and live “La Dolce Vita”.

  9. Hi Cindy,
    Presently I am researching my family tree. I am of Sicilian heritage and am saving up for a trip to Italy, Sicily, and Monaco. My great grandmother’s name was Grimaldi and I am trying to see if we have a direct line to Prince Ranier Grimaldi in Monaco. Someone who was there says most Grimaldi’s are decendents of royalty. I think it would fabulous to find this out.

    My grandparents were from Caccamo and Caltabiano, Catania, Sicily. Do you know who I could contact, that speaks English, to research my lineage in Sicily? I’m looking for birth dates, names of great, great grandparents, marriages, etc. I was told that churches have the most information on births and deaths, but I wouldn’t know what churches to contact or how to do it with the language barrier. I do not speak any Italian.

    Do you know of anyone there that would be willing to contact me and help with this massive request? I have been working on my family tree for over a year now and the European side is where I am lacking information. Do they have, like we do here in the USA, Vital Statistics Bureaus, or anything of that sort?

  10. hi,

    I am an American woman 44 yrs old living in Noto, about 1 hour south from you , for the past 2 1/2 years. before that 3 years in Greece. I also spent a year living in Omaha ,Nebraska many years ago but was born near Providence, Rhode Island. When I get all the “mafia” questions from people I have to laugh and remind them of what it has always been like back in my city. In Noto we have only had a stolen donkey in the past 2 years. I always feel so safe.
    I too have learned to love myself here and it feels like this has always been home. I nevr want to see snow again unless while looking up at Mt Etna.
    Please email me if you ever have time to meet up!

  11. Dear Cindy,
    Greetings! I’m an Italian American with plans to spend part of the year in Italy. As an American, I have listened to numerous stereotypes about Italians. Your views were refreshing and closer to the truth. The ancient and culturally rich country of Italy has much to offer. As far as I’m concerned, they are leagues ahead of us in the art of living. I am willing to trade a little bureaucratic ease for a more sane way of life. If you have the time and inclination, please e-mail me. I have a few questions.

    Best regards,

  12. Hi there, hope u r well. I found your blog quite by accident, you may find this a strange request, but my daughter has up sticks from london and moved to Sicily (Catania) and I wondereds just how easy is it for a young woman to fit into the sicilian lifestyle!. I was there last month and I must admit her B/F’s family are lovely and have3 very much taken to her, but as it seems she may be there for a long time, she is planing on starting up a business there, (another story)I just mwondered what your opinion is of the country as a whole and maybe the sort of problems she may enc ounter. I am prob. an over protective mother but hey wha\t she doesn’t know wont hurt her!!! be v. pleased to get your opinion, thanks a lot muriel.

  13. Dear Cindy:
    I just read all of the prior e-mails you have received and I had to LOL. You could make a great deal of money being a genealogist, real estate agent, interpretor of philosophy, poetry, providing instruction of reading (to American’s, which I am)…direction to reading a sub title.
    Kudo’s (I know, old school)to you and Mr. Murray (I also am from the Clan of Murray/(Canfield/De Phillip) 1350’s). Mr. Murray engaged in proper reading of information, in which you previously provided; thus, Mr. Murray did not need to
    ask about information already given. Also, Mr. Murray’s sentence structure and grammar was an indication that he should be an educator of the English Language or American Standard in Sicily, and not the other “teacher’s” who inquired about teaching EL or AS in Sicily or Italy. I am a former “educator” (not enough money to support a seventeen year old), and I am embarrassed, due to the inappropriate grammar, in which the other “teachers” had in their sentences.
    I was an Air Force Brat and proud of it, Army wife, (well, deep subject-boots needed) :), LOL, and CINCUSNAVEUR Executive Administrative Assistant for the CINCUSNAVEUR/USCOMEASTLANT Commander (Some paper work) :)…to Executive Administrative Assistant (a lot of paper work) through the N432 :). GOOD TIMES, GOOD TIMES, and I mean it.
    For those of you who do not understand and/or failed World History and Geography in the fifth grade, Sicilians are Sicilians and Italian’s are Italian’s. Come on people, think outside of the match box!!! LOL :). I had the opportunity to spend time (Orders) in North Africa, Germany, England, coast to coast CONAS, and vacationed through out Europe as an AFB. I just wish I remembered Arabic, French Arabic, and Berber (would be helpful at this time).
    When my little prince (son) goes off to UNC, I am looking forward to returning to Italy and getting the opportunity to spend time in Sicily.
    Thank you so very much for providing an incredible amount of information about SICILY.

    With appreciation,

    D. Martel

  14. hi cindy, i am transfering to sicily next year and wanted to know if you can give me some help. i tried sending you an email but i got a failure notification letting me know it was not delivered.

  15. I, too, tried to sent an email that bounced back. My family is living in Catania this year (Aug 08- July 09) and was interested in contacting you. Drop me a line if you’d like to get in touch.

  16. Hi Cindy,
    I’m in Catania at the moment. I’m looking to settle here – love everthing about this place. Can you drop me an email when you get a chance. Thanks

  17. Hi….My husband is from Enna…we live in CA but also have a home here in Enna…looking for friends.

    Currently in Enna…leaving this week back to CA…back In May…I hope


    Connie Milano

  18. Hello everyone. While on vacation last week I met a man from Catania. I plan on coming there to visit him in the next few months (March – April 2009). I have started Italian lessons so that we will be able to communicate but from what I am reading everyone speak Sicilian. What is going to help me communcate? He is 29 years old, do you think someone in his age is speaking Italian or Sicilian? Also, would love to meet up with anyone in the area when I arrive, so please let me know if you are interested.


  19. Hello Cindy,
    my name is Robert from the states. My grandparents were all sicilian which I am very proud.
    Can you please email me ? I want to buy something from catania and am having a problem. I thought perhaps you could offer me some advice. grazie

  20. Hi.I am looking for someone to look into my family in Ramacca I don’t think it will be too hard..I have lots of info..Will be visiting Sicily July 1, 2009..any suggestions??

    Thank You
    Camille Fisichella Albanese

  21. Hi Cindy My daughter and I are planning on moving to Sicily next March. We will be going to the Language school in Catania for the month then moving somewhere in Italy. How hard was it for you to get permission to stay without having a job. I am planning on applying for elective residency since I am retired but I don’t know what kind of permit to stay my daughter should apply for. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    Maryann Valenti

  22. Hi Cindy,
    I am currently researching my family history. My father Joseph Paglia was born in Catania, my mother Josephine DiSilvestro was sent to Catania to marry him in 1948. I am trying to find the name of the Church and any other information I can, do you have any suggestions? They were married Oct. 30th, 1948. Both sides are from Catania, excluding my Father’s Mother who was from Spain (Rosa Alvares). I would appreciate any help you can offer. My husband and I would love to visit Catania soon!
    Josie Kriss (Paglia)

  23. Hi, Will be in Catania for a week the end of Sept 09. Currently doing paperwork to move to Italy and this will be accomplished in July 2010 when Phil gets dual citizenship. I am interested in connecting with an agency which does addiction counseling so that I could work when I get there. I know I have to apply for work permit before I move there and need a work contact.
    Hope all still goes well with you in Catania.
    Emma and Phil

  24. Hi!

    I am currently living in Genoa but I want to go to live in Siracusa and teach English there.

    It would be great to hook up!

    Take care,


  25. I have been researching about Sicily, so this blog was very helpful. My husband is currently working in Catania area, and my son and I are going to be moving there to join my husband. I would love to make new connections in the area!

  26. Hi Cindy- I am also from the wonderful city of Lincoln and possess a great love for Italy. Next year, we will be moving to Sigonella as my husband will be stationed there. Our daughter will be going on 3, and eventually, we would like to enroll her in a Catholic- or even secular preschool or Montessori. Do you know anything about American children going to local schools? We want to immerse ourselves in the culture. Any insights you have would be so appreciated.
    Take care-

  27. Do you know of any American or English speaking communities in Catania? I may be moving there in a few months.


  28. Hi Cindy,

    I am an artist planning to go to Sicily for two-three months painting (maybe some small sculptures)in Feb this year. This will be a serious work trip (not a tourist vacation) so I won’t need much beyond a simple apartment with kitchen, work room (dining room?) and bed. I will have to rely upon some kind of transportation to get to landscape locations, check out different areas etc. Would probably take lunch and supper in small eateries. Can you give me a thumbnail idea of expenses? I do speak Spanish and assume that I can make some sort of shift-over to Italian and dialect when necessary) Thanks so much. John

  29. h would love to meet you haveben lving here n sicsily for over 15 years, sophia

  30. Hi Cindy
    I was delighted to read your post about your new start in Catania, inspiring. I am currently in the planning stages of a move there myself. I was wondering if you could recommend a good part of town to live. I hear it’s quite dangerous in some areas. I would want to be in the centre if poss as I socialise a lot. I have lived in Italy before so have the language.
    I was actually planning to do some English lessons there! I don’t want to steal your business! Do you think it’s viable to do some private lessons and get by financially? Have you any advice?
    Thanks and I’ll understand if you don’t want to give away all your secrets!

  31. Hi Cindy,

    My husband and I want to relocate from Pennsylavania to Sicily. After reading your site, we’re seriously considering Catania. We’re looking for a place where we can find beauty, slowness, intellectual stimulation, good food and literature….etc…. If we were to move there, we would have a base income of about $50,000.00. I was unable to find the average cost of living there. Do you think we could rent a decent sized placed that’s quiet and eat and live well? We know finding work is tough. We are both English teachers here, and I have an ESL cert. Is it feasible to think we might be able to make some extra cash tutoring or teaching somewhere? Please get back to me when you can, and thanks so much for the vivid desctiption of your life in Catania!

  32. Hi Cindy,
    My wife and I will be moving to Sicily in March-April timeframe. I am civil service and will be working at NAS Sigonella. We are nerves about the move but its something that we look forward in doing. We have visited italy many times but it has just been that “visiting”. We will live there at least 5 years. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for areas to live. We perfer a house than an apartment. And we do not care to be in the middle of the city. do you have any suggestion as where we can start our house hunting adventure? Thanks

  33. Cindy,
    Clients will be visiting Sicily on a tour but then would like to explore her Italian roots. She is wanting to travel to Enna and Villa Rosa from her hotel in Caltanissetta. Would you suggest a car rental or what are the bus or train services?
    Are there taxis that would take her to Villa Rosa?
    Thanking you in advance for any help!

  34. Hello Cindy,

    I am a sculptor and single mother of two 10 year olds that speak and read and write english and french. We are coming to Catania for three months at the beginning of 2013, so I can work with my old friend and mecene, Antonio Presti on various cultural projects there. We are now in Tusa and would like to meet with you when we come to catania on Friday and, or over the weekend. I am looking for an affordable 5th grade education for my kids while I will be working on my sculpture projects there. If you could help us, we would really appreciate it. My number is 33 687 38 06 18, or thank you for e-mailing me back to this address, all best, Susanne

  35. Hi Cindy,

    I’m an American teaching English in Ukraine right now. I’m CELTA certified and have about 5 years experience. I’m looking to teach English specifically in Catania but I’m having trouble searching for a list of schools there, private or otherwise. Would you be so kind as to write a quick list of English language schools in Catania for me? It would be greatly appreciated! Also, this was a really interesting article, thanks for sharing your experience. All the Best.

  36. Dear Cindy,
    i love your way of talking so much and your proactive way of thinking. i’m from Egypt and i’ll be travelling to Enna in May with my kid. i’ve made several researches for English or private schools there, but with no use… he is almost 8 years old and frankly speaking i don’t know what should i do?? do you there are any private or English schools. he doesn’t know Italian at all but speaks English due to his British school in Egypt..
    please, i need your advice
    thank you in advance

  37. Everyone (including myself of course) interested in moving to Sicily should come across this page. It has REALLY helped me a lot. I will be visiting for the first time next year and I plan on moving there permanently sometime after my visit. I cannot wait! Thank you for posting this very helpful website. 🙂

  38. Hola Cindy.
    I am moving to Sicily at the beginning of the next year. I am coming from Florida but I am originally from Colombia. Like you I am following my dream of living in Europe with all the history and beautiful cities. I am selling everything I owe so is my boyfriend.
    I came a across your page and I was blowing away. Thanks so much for all the great information.
    I don’t know if you still active in this email but I am taking my chances and crossing my fingers.
    I am 42 ex US ARMY and at the moment in the NAVY RESERVES. my boyfriend is retired from the ARMY.
    I was wondering if you can help me with some questions.
    Thanks again in advance. I really hope you read this email.

    Sandra Cuesta

  39. I’ve been living in Sicily for nearly 17 years. There are lots of opportunities available to native speakers of English, however, be prudent when going to private schools!

  40. Hello, we are looking to move to Catania for about a year and have children the ages 16, 13, and 8. Do you know of any schools that teach in English besides the Military School?

  41. Hi Cindy. this is so valuable. Thank you for sharing. We are looking to move to Catania in a bout a year and half. How can we find the good neighborhoods to live in? Do you currently rent or own? Can you recommend any good Realtors in Catania? My wife will be applying for her Italian citizenship soon. Were you able to just move over there and stay for an extended period of time or did you have to find a job?

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