"Opening the gates to Cummari is a bit like opening the gates to Catania. Much like Catania itself, Cummari feels a bit like a little secret. Behind what an untrained eye can perceive as a rough façade opens a small world of beauty and warmth. It’s not an exclusive club, on the contrary, it’s a welcoming community, but you have to know what you are looking for to find it. And once you’re in on the secret, you’re in. Because once you have entered the door to Cummari, other doors in Catania will automatically open – secret spots, happenings and events– you will quickly become part of the city beyond tourist traps.
In a city full of bustle, Cummari is also a safe space to be in, and to come home to. It’s a calm haven to rest your head, while still managing to create space for social activities and connections to be made. It’s a space where women of all backgrounds come, but who have in common that they are independent, driven and adventurous. Cummari offers a unique combination of space to focus and be ambitious, but also to socialise, explore and go on adventures. Michelle and Igor are tireless, never-ending wells of information and will go out of their way to share their knowledge about the city, but also an insight to life in Sicily in general.
Cummari is the perfect place for someone who wants to connect with other remote-working women, learn about culture and life in Sicily, and who also want a tranquil space to call home during their stay."
~S, Digital Nomad & Professional Originally from Sweden
"Being able to stay at Cummari House feels like almost divine intervention; it was better than anything I could have wished for! As a solo female digital nomad, I was looking for community, coworking, and friendship in a way that would balance out with my own independent lifestyle, and Cummari absolutely delivered.
The house itself is amazing; just off of the very center district (like a few minutes' walk), you duck into a nondescript doorway, through a quiet pink courtyard, and up one floor is the apartment! It has been beautifully renovated, and owners Michelle and Igor have thought of absolutely everything. This was truly the first time that I could breathe easy in an accommodation and didn't have to hunt all over for something or go out and buy something silly. From coffee to laundry soap to full-length mirror to a place for all of your things to live (drawers, baskets, boxes...!), I wanted for nothing.
Because there are only three women living there at a time, it is quiet and relaxed; after sleeping in due to the lush, soft, clean bed and the black out shutters, I would throw open the doors to my balcony for some fresh air and sunshine, make coffee in the Italian moka, and borrow the house's yoga set to start a perfect day every day. The other women living in the house were absolutely lovely and of the same mindset; independent, driven, adventurous, and friendly. I really appreciated having a friendly face to share a glass of wine with or to pop around the corner for a bite to eat, as well as their advice and local tips! We'd chill on the balcony, chat at the kitchen table, and then go do our own things, whether that was working, walking, or going to hang out at the beach.
However, what really makes Cummari House a truly magical experience are the owners, Michelle and Igor. Michelle is an inspiration and always available for questions, tips, and support. They even came to cook us a big family meal one night, which was so special.
I can't imagine what my time in Catania would have been like without the Cummari experience (it's Sicily, so probably great, to be fair), but because of it Catania has a little piece of my heart, and I can't wait to come back for more."
~N, Digital Nomad & Professional, Originally from USA
"Cummari was home for me the few weeks I lived there. As a freelance journalist, I’ve been working remote for eight years, and as a Third Culture Kid, I’ve been living in different countries my whole life. It’s difficult to find places that feel like “home” when you’re traveling all the time, and this is an important feeling I look for. I knew that Cummari was for me when I inquired about rooms and Michelle wrote back with a lovely and warm email explaining how daily life is like in Catania and the culture of Sicily. It was different than responses from other coliving spaces I received, which were one-sentence answers or directing me to a website.
I’ve stayed in many hotels and initially, I just wanted a place where I could do laundry and be surrounded by cozy furniture, but I found much more than that in Cummari – I found a community. Many of the women were in the same boat as me – veteran travelers who have seen the world and wanted a stable base for a bit while having adventures in Sicily. I appreciated having my own room and space at Cummari but it was nice having people in the house, too. Especially when Michelle and Igor dropped by to cook pasta and feed us yummy chocolate-filled Sicilian desserts. I can be a neat freak, and was glad that all my roommates tidied up after themselves and always left the kitchen clean. It felt so nice living with grown-ups! Not only that, I shared many deep conversations with my roommates about work, traveling, family, relationships, etc.
I loved exploring Sicily’s beaches and mountains but my best memories are of going out with my roommates to eat pizza and have an aperitivo (such a Sicilian practice). As women enter their 30s, there’s pressure to behave a certain way, to stop traveling and “settle down.” But I learned so much from this group of women in Cummari. It was nice seeing women my age living life on their own terms, doing what they want to do and simply being happy. We helped each other realize not to take life too seriously and find happiness in the little moments. Actually, one of the most fun nights was when we had been stuck at home for days because of a hurricane and one of my roommates cooked delicious risotto and we ate and drank wine.
I can’t wait to return to Cummari – hopefully next year – not just for the Sicilian treats and sunshine but also to see who else I’ll meet and what they’ll teach me. Grazie mille Catania and Cummari!"
~D, Digital Nomad & Professional, Originally from Malaysia
"Michelle captures the magic and meaning of cummari providing a one of a kind travel and authentic Italian living experience. Each of us solo travellers arrives a stranger and leaves a cummari. Even Catania the city and the region became my cummari.
My experience staying at Cummari was everything I had hoped for and then some. From a spontaneous ski adventure on Mt Etna to a cooking lesson with Nonna Maria, Michelle imbues a lovely essence in everything she touches. I am looking forward to spending more time at Cummari.
~ L, Digital Nomad, Astrologist & Professor, Originally from USA