Doing Business in Sicily Through the Port of Catania

Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the Province of Catania.  It is the second-largest city in Sicily.

Catania was one of Italy's most important and flourishing cultural, artistic, and political centers at the start of the Renaissance period which spans the 14th to the 17th century. Today, despite some problems, Catania has one of the most dynamic economies in all of Southern Italy. Italy's major exports are precision machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals and electric goods, but the country's more famous exports are in the fields of food, clothing, and luxury vehicles.

The Port Authority of Catania is a public corporation established with the tasks of programming, promoting, and controlling  the port operations, as well as being responsible for maintenance of common areas and port activities.

Doing Business in Sicily

It is possible to do business successfully with Sicilian firms, however there are some caveats that you should be aware of. Generally buying is much easier than selling.

The last time my uncle was in Catania he was overseeing a shipment of cotton yarn from Italy to the US. Fabric, particularly cotton, has been the major component in Italy’s textile trade. The US is Italy's third largest trading partner. My uncle also represents a number of retail stores who sell Italy’s famous brands such as Armani, Valentino, Versace, Benetton, and Prada. Although he is associated with all these high end fashion brands, does he himself wear them during his leisure time? Absolutely not! He's there hanging out in his hotel room talking to clients on the phone wearing the Batman t shirt he loves. When I ask him about it, he goes on a rant about how Batman is the real superhero who is his inspiration for living. He has a huge collection of Batman shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies that he bought online over the years. He also collects Batman comics and can tell you all the plots to every Batman movie ever made. To see this modest looking man in action, you would never know that he's a kid at heart and that heart beats for Batman!

Since Sicilians go on vacation in August, don't expect to accomplish much in July or August.

Sicily's major exports are pasta, wine, olive oil and other agricultural products, decorative and practical ceramics, and furniture. However, if you are thinking of selling textiles in Sicily, you will find that Sicilian firms usually don't buy from companies they don't know well. You will most likely need connections.

To avoid misunderstandings, it is best that ALL correspondence in Italian. If your firm does not have fluent native-speaking Italians within your company to handle such correspondence than it is advisable to hire a well-educated native speaker of Italian. Many Sicilian firms do not have fluent English speaking staff, so expect all communication to be done in Italian.

You will find there are many cultural differences between you and your Sicilian counterparts. Always define, in advance, as many details of the transaction as possible. Be prepared for schedules and shipping dates to NOT be rigorously respected.Even routine transactions like wire transfers can take much longer than you would expect almost anywhere else.

Be forewarned: generally most Sicilian businesses are slow to remit payments. It may take months, even years to be completely paid.

It's possible to work around these difficulties. Just expect them as a reality of doing business in Sicily. Therefore, as is the case in any foreign country where you plan to do business, retain a reliable consultant familiar with that country's language, customs and business environment. A good consultant can assist you in finding, and negotiating with those Sicilian firms suitable to your needs.

If you successfully navigate the maze of doing business in Sicily, most likely your goods will enter through the Port of Catania. Your Sicilian expert / consultant should be able to help your find a freight forwarder, truckers, and a logistics company to assist you in the transportation of your goods..


Contact Information for the Port of Catania


Port Location:



Port Name:


Port of Catania

Local Port Name:


Porto de Catania

Port Authority:


Autorita Portuale di Catania



Via Cardinale Dusmet 2/P CIRCUM
Catania, CT 95131



39 095 535888



39 095 536031



37° 29' 45" N



15° 5' 43" E




Port Type:



Port Size: