Winter in Sicily

Sant'Agata Catania
Lights in Villa Bellini for Sant’Agata celebrations, Feb 3rd to 5th, annually

It’s winter in Sicily and I haven’t posted a thing for the last while as I ran into some website issues which refused to go away. But you are not reading this to hear about my problems, in fact you don’t care, nor should you. Your problems are far more pressing and concerning, as they pertain to you.

Now this wouldn’t be a blog in the conventional sense unless I posted some rambling, badly thought out, mush every now and then. So here I go.

It’s winter in Sicily and surprisingly for those who don’t understand seasons or weather in general, it’s actually cold here. So it may have been snowing in the north of Europe over the past while and you say how lucky you are that it’s nice and warm in Sicily.

Well as I alluded to, it’s not warm, well at least not at night. Daytime it can reach 19 C which, let’s face it, is not bad for January, but night time brings an altogether different reality. Our beautiful 19 C could drop to 4 C and a 15 C drop inside a few hours damn well makes itself known to you. The next few days here are set to be 1 C to 2 C at night which is colder than in Ireland at the moment.

Sant'Agata Catania
Chaos in the middle of town, Sant’Agata

Another factor that people forget when considering Sicily, is that central heating hasn’t been invented here yet. We suffer in unheated houses for the 2 month winter, feeling suitably sorry for ourselves. An essential purchase is a stufa, or heater which will drive your electricity costs into the roof, just where most of the heat goes also. Our 18-foot ceilings mean that a warm room is an impossibility, better just go to bed and have a cuddle, or hibernate if you’re single.

As I mentioned, we do feel quite sorry for ourselves here, especially as most expats moved to Sicily to escape the phenomenon of winter entirely. We just can’t accept not being able to sit outside, without those perpetually awful, gas heaters which singe you hair, make your face red and just sort of tower over you threateningly.

sant'agata catania
Strange little van seen at Sant’ Agata 2012

People, and I blame bar-owners, just can’t accept that when it’s cold, when it’s winter in Sicily, you should perhaps spend some time indoors. Nature dictates that we must huddle together for a few months of the year playing cards and drinking hot whiskey. It’s not a bad deal.

The time to wear speedos will come again, although there is really never an appropriate time to wear speedos. Until then we should eat seasonal fruit and veg, warm ourselves, and complain about politics, not because we know anything about it, but because we want to appear more intellectual.

So get your hot whiskey ready, become intimate with your stufa, and wait for this indoor season to pass. It’s winter in Sicily also.


John P Brady writes fiction, articles and a blog about life in Italy, where he has chosen to make his home.  His first book, a collection, entitled Back to the Gaff has been recently published by Roadside Fiction.  It concerns the wild happenings in Dublin by night and documents the attitudes of the youth in modern Irish society.  Keep up to date with his writing by subscribing:


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Back to the Gaff

Scandalous Narratives of Contemporary Ireland

Dublin, Ireland, Irish writing, short stories

Back to the Gaff is a book by new author John P Brady, which describes the excessive and outrageous nature of Irish night life. Meet an array of eccentric individuals who populate the bars of Dublin, living lives of decadence and abandon. Their frolics inevitably lead to a trip ‘back to the gaff,’ which in Dublin-speak means gravitating towards someone’s place of residence where the depravity continues.

Ebook and Paperback available: 




John P. Brady is an Irish writer, Financial Trader and occasional journalist.  He divides his time between Ireland and Italy.  His interests include travel writing, social comment and eccentric debauchery. His first book, Back to the Gaff, described as "Trainspotting meets Dubliners" is available. Buy the ebook

4 thoughts on “Winter in Sicily

  • January 25, 2013 at 19:26

    Brrr! I’ve got another 2 days in England before heading back to Catania. It may be snowy here, but right at this moment I’m sitting as close as I can without melting my macbook to an open log fire, which makes up for it. No such luxuries in Catania – although at least they know how to make a decent hot chocolate there. I’ll be going for the hibernation option when I get back. See you in March …

  • February 10, 2013 at 02:13

    Well i haven’t been to sicily in the winter, though i can tell you that last May it was too cold to beach, and that the beach facilities weren’t even open yet. I’d say for sure in january it’s going to be downright cold and many places will be closed for winter holiday or rennovation. Last february there were record snowfalls down south, that hit sicily too, with temperatures around freezing. So i’m not sure how pleasant a winter trip would be, though perhaps someone who has done it could tell you better.

    • March 11, 2013 at 14:58

      Yes I love that myth…Is there a statue somewhere in Catania about it?


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