The town of Caltanissetta, is ideally located in the centre of Sicily. It is a medium sized town of 60,000 people. I have been teaching here in a British Institutes school for 5 months. Most of my work is with children in elementary and middle schools, teaching general English, Cambridge exam preparation and PONS, the English projects paid for by the EEC.
In my opinion, the school is very professional in its conduct, resources and work load. I have a lot of varied work, the books and CDs are looked after and plentiful (not falling to bits, like other schools i have taught in) and the owners of the school are very kind and helpful. Wages are paid in cash and on time. I live alone in a comfortable flat and the landlady, who lives in Palermo, has never met me (which i have thought strange but to others who don`t enjoy seeing the landlord, is ideal.)
The school even has a computer room for students. This is something i have never seen in Italy before.
However, there are two negatives. As i said, the town is quite large but to someone who has worked all over Italy, Caltanissetta is the most boring place, i have ever worked in. It is easy to get to big cities like Palermo and Catania on the bus and to the beautiful, little town in the south called Agrigento.
There is very little to do here (i was warned before i came) and you can become quite lonely if you don`t have a car. There are no shopping centres to sit and watch the world go by and it can become difficult, to find things to do, when you have no work.
I wanted to explore the country and mountains around here but i don`t have a motor, so i have spent many hours, over a beer in an empty bar. If you like live sport, forget it. It is a place, clogged with traffic, unfriendly and monotonous. It is untouched by tourism though and a good place to see a genuine, Sicilian culture.
Be ready to see a lot of immigrants here though. There is a big detention centre in town and the pretty, historical centre, is full of Nigerians, Tunisians and others.
Secondly, my fellow teachers are friendly but are established here. If you want to have coffees and meals with staff, forget it. They have husbands, children and friends here and you are forgotten really.
The school has had teachers come and go, on a regular basis. This is a shame because it is a good place to develop your career, see some of Sicily and have fun with students and in lessons. If you are a person, who likes your own company, can speak good Italian and wants to hide away for the winter, British Institutes in Caltanissetta, is ideal.
If you want to go to a place with trains to everywhere, a place where teachers have a good chin wag over pizza and coffee and bounce ideas off each other, forget it and look somewhere else.