Moving to Sicily: 5 Essential Tips

There are lessons and lessons in life. There are those that are pure beauty and inspiration, those we must all face as growing pains, those that were totally unplanned, but you were meant to face to become stronger, and, lastly, there are those that made absolutely no sense. Life is a journey and if there are lessons we can share to help others in their own journey, it is our responsibility to do so.

After much consideration, my family decided to move back to Sicily in September 2015. The past two years have been incredibly filled with new and revisited lessons for us, as many inspirational and unforgettable moments as well as tragi-comic ones. Thankfully, we are equipped with deep faith, a strong spirit and a good sense of humor. I have been reminded along the way, that if you have these three things – you will be ok anywhere in the world. So, let’s talk Sicily.

If you have always dreamed of or considered moving to the sunny island of Sicily, I am here to share five of many essential tips to consider before a change of sea. Please know that these are tips based on our personal experience and only an introduction. We are experts in Sicily {and Italy} and can be of further assistance to you and your family for further consultations. We live here. We are all fully trilingual {Sicilian, Italian, English} and we also speak a few other languages {Spanish, French, Portuguese}. We have studied, lived, worked, and traveled internationally and have developed a cultural sensitivity towards others. We would be honored and delighted to hear your stories and assist you in making your dream a reality, step-by-step!

5 Essential Tips for Moving to Sicily

  1. Research Sicilian destinations that may be of interest to you and travel a few times to the exact city/town/village where you envision living. Perhaps, do so in different seasons so that you get a real taste of what life is about during the entire year.
  2. Strategize an exact budget for the purchase and renovation of your house and also living expenses. This is also based on your exact wish: will you retire in Sicily? Do you plan to buy a home just for vacationing a few months of the year? Do you plan to raise your family with small children in Sicily? Do you just want a weekend hideaway on the island? If you plan to simply rent – then we need to discuss other considerations.
  3. Plan for at least one full year – I repeat: at least one full year, if not a bit longer – for a full property renovation. Buying property in Sicily is not as easy as it seems. We have the local knowledge and connections to real estate agents and brokers. You will also need a lot of guidance and assistance (and translations) of the necessary legal and official documentation needed. We will act as your representatives, interpreters and liaisons until your project is completed.
  4. Sign up for an Italian language class today! It is incredible to see how many children and young people in Sicily speak English today mostly in tourist cities more than in smaller towns/villages. If you plan to retreat in a smaller town, off the beaten path, the majority of the population will be older and will only speak Sicilian or Italian.
  5. The process of assimilation into any culture, Sicilian or not, will take a minimum of a year. Along the way you may experience culture shock or reverse culture shock; feelings of nostalgia, loneliness and estrangement. Do not let these feelings overwhelm you. If you do your research well and consider the pros and cons for your life as analytically as possible (we can help you assess and define these goals and sincerely tell you whether Sicily is the best destination for you), you will not have any regrets. So what are you waiting for? Contact us today – we are passionate about our native island and culture and thank you for choosing and trusting our family to help you in this beautiful chapter of your lives!

Francesca and her sister, Giovanna, are the owners of “Sicilian Sisters Travel” an online travel boutique specializing in personalized journeys to Sicily and Italy. They invite you to visit their Facebook page and website for more info: