Remote Working from Cefalù, Sicily

Being a location independent worker, I spent January 2024 in a rented house in Sicily*.

*with my husband who took the month off work completely

Why we spent a whole month in one place

Last winter we travelled around Colombia, spending around 3 days in each place, and we got tired of bus stations, backpacking, finding the new wifi password and a place to eat. So we decided to stay in once place this year, which also makes it much easier for me to get on with work, and we knew we'd have a stable wifi connection up front.

Temperatures - Springtime in the middle of winter!

During our stay the temperature varied from 12 degrees to 22 degrees Celcius during the day. In Germany near Berlin it ranged from minus 12 to around zero during the day - one day it was 30 degrees higher here in Cefalu than Berlin!

Usually we would be walking around in a t-shirt and light jacket - when sitting around outside sometimes a jumper as well is good to have.

Where we stayed

I found an airbnb with an open fire in the lounge, a well equipped kitchen with washing machine, a nice terrace with a huge table, a front balcony overlooking the sea and a bathroom with a bath.

My work and how I work

When I'm not travelling I have a large desk with a 2-screen set-up - you can find out more in the video below

When I travel, I take my macbook air, a wacom tablet and a small microphone for video creation.

As of Jan 2024, I have 1 main client (Product Design online work), 2 ongoing private students (I create educational content and deliver it to them in online meetings one-on-one), and 1 contractor helping me with youtube optimisation who I also meet online.

My work in order of income priority is:

  1. Full-time freelance contract work (when I do 35-40 hrs per week on this I dial back other commitments)
  2. Part-time freelance work for clients (each client could be from 1-20 hours per week and it's changeable)
  3. Private tutoring & mentoring online
  4. Career Foundry - I'm a tutor and I mark students assignments
  5. Creating my own courses in Product Design, UX Design & Visual or UI Design
  6. Creating content to market my courses
  7. Doggy day care - this doesn't bring in much of an income, but it's a lifestyle choice to look after someone elses dog, walk it early in the morning, and hang out together all day in my summer garden (I only do this in the summer months)

There's a lot of flexibility in the above, since when I don't have urgent client work I can fill gaps with no. 5, 6 and 7 to build educational content & marketing content like videos and PDF slides to help students learn design.

How we got to Cefalu

We flew direct from Berlin to Catania with Easyjet. In the winter months there seems to be only 1 direct flight per week. After landing at Catania airport we walked about 800m to the Fontarossa train station and were lucky to immediately jump on a train to Messina. At Messina we changed for a train to Palermo which stops at Cefalu. It was really easy and very scenic since most of the train line hugs the coast!. Be aware though that there aren't that many trains per day, so be armed with train information in advance and a few options.


We didn't want the expense of hiring a car for a month, and didn't want to travel around the island in off season since not much is going on, most restaurants are closed etc, so we committed to walking the 50 minutes down the hill to the town and an hour back uphill with all our food and water several times per week! This was the kind of exercise that we'd never do unless forced to by way of needing to eat, and it was quite nice


It's supposed to be possible to drink the water on Sicily, but it tastes kind of oily and I noticed that when running a bath it really puts you off wanting to drink any of it. We always bought bottled 'frizzante' water (with gas bubbles) and made tea and ocffee with the tap water, although we eventually even used bottled water for hot drinks since the tap water put us off so much. On one of our walks we saw locals filling up loarge containers in their car from a tap high up in the hills, roughly in this location - 37.999842, 14.026073 - and that water tasted great.

Top Places we visited and Hiked to

We did walking day trips to:

A random Beach walk

Cefalu Castle

Map -

Lavatoio Medievale (Medieval wash house)

In the centre of Cefalu old town, very beautiful and worth popping in to

The Hill Sanctuary

Map -


Map -


and around Palermo for half a day where we saw:

The Fountain of Shame (left), the Mosaik Church (middle) and an interesting tile shop we visited

(Fountain of shame)
Fontana Pretoria, Piazza Pretoria, 90133 Palermo PA

(Mosaik Church)
Church of St. Mary of the Admiral, Piazza Bellini, 3, 90133 Palermo PA

(The Strangler Tree, at Steri Palace at Marina Square)
Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri, Piazza Marina, 60, 90133 Palermo PA

and we tried to see the Botanic Gardens, but it was locked at every gate

I don't really recommend going to visit Palermo, we didn't enjoy it very much plus it was difficult to find a place to eat, reasonably healthy reasonably priced food and it was an expensive and wearing day out


Gourmet Deco in Cefalu is the best, and there's also Conad a few minutes walk from Deco heading out of town.

Cefalù Town

Public Toilets

It took us a while to work this out, since there aren't so many, but there a toilets at

  • Cefalù train station - free!
  • Gourmet Deco Supermarket - free
  • An electronic one in the middle of the beach front - 50 cents

How to do this!

It's not easy to work as a freelancer and to build up the design skills necessary to land remote work, and not get bullied into commuting into an office every day. However your best chance at having a remote working lifestyle like this is to have excellent skills - in my case in Product, UX, UI and Visual Design.

I teach everything I know in my courses

Digital Product Design

This course covers the design thinking process, UX & Product Strategy. It has a much broader scope than a UX bootcamp, but you still end up having designed a digital product and with a portfolio case study all about it.

Visual Design Principles

This course covers essential graphic and visual design and how to apply the design principles in the scenario of being a UX or Product Designer and covers plenty of technical knowledge too, things that's not taught in UX Bootcamps.

Would you like this lifestyle, working location independent as a digital designer?