Moving to Catania discussion

Negative reviews


Hi. Remember that Sicily is one of the poorest regions of Italy (and Europe). Palermo and Catania aren't wealthy, rich or touristy places, so you'll find roughness in both. That's daily life for a lot of people here...

Catania have its issues but there are nice and cleaner parts, like the neighborhood around corso Italia, pricey but close to the center.

As a general rule in the old center of Catania, streets north of via Vittorio Emanuele are in much better shape than the "south side" close to the pescheria and port.

John Hill

Hello everyone who is teaching or has taught in Italy. I’ve been living here for over ten tears. I’m TEFL and CELTA certified with a degree. I’m American married to an Italian and working here is a nightmare, everybody loves to take advantage of your services as an English teacher. State or private it doesn’t matter you always get nailed in the end. Private lessons pay very well if you have enough people who are willing to pay 20 euros an hour. Let’s not talk about schools they are all parasites but you need them in the end if you want to earn some cash. I work for three schools, two companies and do private lessons and i still have a hard time making ends meet especially in the summer. Here in Catania everything closes down and everyone goes to the sea. To sum up a few topics Italians love to eat, drink and waste there time doing nothing that’s why this country is or has been falling apart since I’ve been here, besides all the negs Italy is a wonderful place to live and visit, at least once in your life. If any doubts please feel free to e-mail me at Peace…

Neutral reviews


You'll be much better off in the centre than in the suburbs, but it's not cheap to find somewhere to rent - you have alot of students in competition for rooms and flats. You'll also have alot of competition for teaching ENglish, it aint that easy. Are you a qualified teacher with CELTA or TEFL? Nobody will want English lessons in the summer, they start in October.

Bring enough money to not need to work for at least 6 months.


Hi, I lived in Catania for a few months, from February to June last year and may be moving back this september.

I am a TEFL teacher and found work before I arrived, this may be advisable, but if you arrive in the summer you could go round with your CV, there are quite a few schools around.

I lived out of the city centre (near Corso Italia) and still found it to be lively (noisy) and there are cafes, bars and restaurants everywhere so that was no problem. Depending on what you want, you could rent a room in a shared house for around 200 euros a month and this would be a good way to meet people and get to know the area a bit before deciding where to settle.

There is lots going on in Catania but it is a lare city and has some parts which are not very pretty or safe, my partner was mugged and a few friends had bags stolen out of cars etc, but if you are sensible then I don't think it is a terrible place to live.

The weather is lovely, the food is fabulous, the people are friendly and there are lots of nice places in sicily to visit. there are a lot of Americans nearby and a few groups of english speakers...



I lived in Catania for 4 years. 2 years as military and 2 years as not. Catania is a tough place to find work, however the medical field is your best bet, since its pretty large in Sicily. 

I would follow the advice of the previous poster about getting your paperwork to become a nurse practitioner. I have a few relatives that do this, just know the pay is something like 40-60K a year, and that is a good salary there. 

For your husband, check out the jobs on the sigonella military base website, or USA jobs. I saw jobs on there for recreation aid, or manager. They dont pay so well, but you do get access to the base. Food and alcohol on base is much cheaper and tax free. Plus this job is guaranteed. You also might want to look for jobs at the Sigonella Hospital as well. They have shortages there so they may hire you. Sigonella is located about 10 KM from Catania. 

My second advise is to have around 20K euro saved before you go there. Yea you can stay with Grandma, but the 20K will hold you over for about 6 months there while you look for a job. Ideally, get something with the base lined up before, since they pay more than the locals, and its guaranteed work. Also there are tons of other perks that come with that employment that you might miss later on after living there ofr 2-3 years...

Like American movies in English at the Theater, Peanut Butter, large size steaks, etc.

Positive reviews

Alberto Maccarrone

I lived in Catania until 20, then, after one year of study in the University of Catania, I decided to go to study abroad. So, I understood that Catania has a lot of interesting things for young adults. First of all Catania is a city where people with different culture and different background live togheter, it has a very interesting start-up ecosystem and it has a cozy nighlife that isn’t easy to find in other cities in Italy. The lack of job is a real problem, but If you want to develop a digital project or create something innovative Catania offers a lot of opportunities. I love Catania, although it is a city full of contradictions. Actually it is contradiction the best thing you’ll get from Catania : as a young adult you have the possibility to offer a new perspective about problems and you really can be the agent of great changes.

Davide Nicolucci

I’m originally from Catania, Sicily, I left the city when I was just 13 years old but I come back every year to pay visit to my relatives and friends.

The scariest part of it all, is that in almost 20 years, absolutely NOTHING has changed.

To literally answer your question: What are the best aspects of living in Catania, Italy as a young adult?

Here’s my top 5 list

  1. Food, you just can’t beat Sicilian food and Catania is quite good
  2. Living conditions are actually good, if you’re able to place yourself in a good area and avoid the city center or the poor areas - yes, there’s a lot of really poor places in Sicily, in Italy, even more than in Asia where I’m living now and this makes me sick.
  3. It’s relatively cheap: with an average salary (1500€ up /month) you can live with dignity and be able to afford the most common needs.
  4. The scenario and the natural lands are just amazing.
  5. People are friendly, but beware to not piss them off.

As other people are answering about Catania not being suitable for young people, I wouldn’t be so negative against this city. A lot of my friends have left Catania and did come back after a few months spent abroad or in other cities of Italy because they couldn’t find any of the 5 things mentioned above or just simply because they missed their beloved city so much.

Also true that if you’re looking for a job that will make you rich, you’d probably be looking somewhere else.



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


I'm from Catania and I can tell you this: public transport is a bit tricky in this area, so my suggestion is to always go for buses.

Inside catania avoid at all costs taxis, we don't have a nice taxi culture, and getting a taxi may result very very expensive. A nice car rental solution would be car sharing, we have Enjoy by ENI but you won't make in time between two days for the account verification.

From catania from and to taormina: there are many trains from "Stazione Centrale" but that train station is slowly getting abandoned, so you won't find much services.

In front of that train station you wil find a square where there are two bus stations: yellow buses are local city buses, to move inside the city. Going 50mt ahead you'll find coach buses, to move outside the city. If you want to go Siracusa, that's my best bet. There are also trains, but they're quite uncommon and you may have to wait 6 hours between one another.

There are a lot of places to visit: as you said, a guided tour on mt. etna would be great on summer.

While going or coming from Taormina, i'd greatly suggest you to visit Acitrezza and Acicastello, all of them are sea places, just like taormina, but a bit more ol' fashioned. And don't forget Giardini Naxos.

food suggestions:

  • go to some bar for breakfast and order "granita ca brioscia", which essentially is a sweet flavoured ice grated cream, served with a round pastry. You will have to choose between one or two flavours to combine, and i'd gratly suggest you: Gelsi and mandorla. In taormina, which is in Messina metropolitan area, you must order "Menza ca panna" (half chocolate and half with whipped cream).

  • eat as many Arancini as you can. Keep attention on how you pronunce them: Catania and Siracusa calls them Arancino for singular, Arancini for more. Palermo and west side of sicily calls them Arancina and Arancine. Saying it wrong may led you to an unwanted fight with people moving hands and saying "chi spacchiu dici" (what the fuck are you saying?") /s

  • If you live Catania by night, find some place to eat a nice sandwich with horsemeat.


Seconded. Spent 4 months living in Siracusa last year and found it to be a wonderful place. Ortigia in particular. Highlights were breakfast in Angela's bakery on Corso Umberto I, the food market near Temple of Apollo, dinner at aLevante, and try the Siracusa fish & chips at the end of Via Roma.


My family is from Catania. There are ridiculous amounts of malls there now. You wont have to worry about shopping. There are tons of shops on Via Etnea and a flea market during the day in the city center. Make sure to visit Mt Etna and little greek ruins in the city center. My favorite "beach" is Isole Ciclopi in Acitrezza, right outside of the city. You can also try out the playa just south of the harbor. Horse meat on via plebiscito is amazing. Feel free to ask questions.


I'm not a local but one of the best holidays I ever had was in Catania.

Caltagirone is just an awesome town, go see it.

About the food you're better off asking the locals, Catania is kind of a big city, so you'll find good ethnic restaurants, but remember that Italian food is just regional food, so it'll be different from what you ate in Campania. Sicilian sweets and desserts are the most luxurious in all of Italy, but probably you already know that.

When you can, at breakfast, find a good bar and order granita and cornetto.

Marina Nocera

Catania is affordable.

You can rent a 3 bedroom apt. for 700 Euros a month, in the city centre. The price drops at about 500/600 for suburbs.

Food is quite cheap, and farmers markets are held almost every day.

Many good restaurants have a price range of 12–15 Euros per person.

I’d say you can live a comfortable life with a 1500/1600 Euros salary.