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Am I the only expat teacher in Messina, Sicily?

 
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MarkCharlesStevens



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:47 pm    Post subject: Am I the only expat teacher in Messina, Sicily? Reply with quote

Hello,

I've lived in Italy for 2 years now - my Italian is passable and getting better - and I've just set up shop in Messina, Sicily. I have the most predictable expat job there is - TEFL teacher. Anyway, I was wondering if any of you who also live here could give me some advice, as I'm a little clueless about:

1. Skiing - I know you can ski on Etna, but when? Best way to get there on public transport? How much is gear hire / lift pass? Any experienced Etna skiers who can advise me?

2. Scuba diving - I've always wanted to do this but have absolutely zero idea how to start, where to go etc. Again, if anyone is familiar with how to do this in Messina or hereabouts, then please get in touch.

3. Chess - one of my passions. Does anyone play, know any chess clubs, any particular cafes where people gather to play etc?

4. Hill-walking near here - again, the same basic question as 1 and 2, above - any good routes or maps with routes?

5. Any shops for expat food?

6. Any libraries or bookshops that have English-language stuff, especially second-hand? Any expat book-swap groups?

7. Any club nights for rockabilly / mod / psyche / ska / reggae / punk music? I doubt that such nights take place here though. I used to DJ a bit in London and was thinking about starting something up, maybe at one of the universities, but I don't know how much call there would be.

8. Any expat hangouts? I hear that the university has quite a few international students - where do they knock about?

9. A matter of some urgency for me - an Italian teacher who would do Eng/Ital tandem lessons? They must be trained teachers - just being Italian madrelingua isn't enough.

Finally, if anyone wants to meet up for a drink with a rockabilly in his mid-30s who teaches TEFL and is obsessed with books, films, music and chess, please feel free to get in touch! markystevens@gmail.com

Many thanks,

Mark
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark
I'm not in Messina (though wouldn't mind it there!) so I can't really help you on clubs, activities etc. I haven't come across anyone else from Messina posting here, though there's another teacher in Sicily who occasionally posts.

Just a few observations
- no such thing as ordinance survey maps in Italy, as I've found out. You can download some maps from internet, but most people set off walking when they already know the terrain.
- scuba diving might only be a summer thing. Often you'll see dive centres open up on the beaches round about May time onwards.
- going up Etna on the lift costs quite a lot - not sure if these are the same lifts as those used for skiers. (Didn't know you could ski up there - would be a weird landscape for sure)

Have fun settling in!
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MarkCharlesStevens



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks mate! I like it here, though it's looking like my social life will be limited... by the way, I lived in Rome too and am fairly familiar with schools etc there, so if I can reciprocate with advice, feel free to ask...
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Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark

Sadly I'm no longer in Rome, but in Le Marche. Would be great if you could post with some updated info on schools etc in Rome!
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dackinator



Joined: 17 Sep 2010
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey I worked in messina for the first half of this year, at british centre of messina! Before that i worked in catania for half a year, so im fairly familiar with the local area.

Skiing season should start in december, there is a slope on the north side where you can hire gear and -maybe- get a ski lift. I recommend looking up on facebook "east coast sicily" and "dna shock". These are both organisations which are involved in etna ski/snowboarding and should be able to help you, they can give information and hold a lot of events too.

I can put you in touch with someone who does scuba diving out of acireale (near catania). If you're interested then send me a private message. They speak very little english, however. I never did scuba diving but know there are several organisations out there - water sports are very popular on the east coast.

For trekking theres an organisation which i was with, they would go on day long big hikes in the countryside. Really cool. I've forgotten the name but i think i have their booklet somewhere, i'll look over the weekend for you.

For english food the only place i ever found was el negrito on via garabaldi, which sells heinz baked beans, quakers oats, digestive biscuits, and some other stuff. Oh and a small shop on via san martino which sells english tea and jam.

I never found any punk spots in messina sadly, just cheesy italian pop clubs. And expats well like i said i only ever bumped into a couple of other english teachers while over there, and that was it. But I liked this. Who do you work for?

Let me know if theres any other info i can help with, the first month is always tough what with finding your feet!
I really enjoyed my time in messina and miss it a lot, so i hope you'll enjoy it. Make sure you visit other parts of sicily while you're there, the trains are cheap and there are some really great places to see.
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MarkCharlesStevens



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, thanks! That info's all gold dust. I tried to pm you but apparently I haven't posted enough to do so - could you please email me at markystevens@gmail.com? I'd be keen to talk with you, esp as I also work for British Centre!

Ta,

MarI
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pie in the sky



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about costis in Messina? How much would a room in a shared appartment in the city center come in at? It's hard to know what the salary on offer means until you know the costs of living there.
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