Meet the Rodolico family – four generation boat makers from Sicily

Dreaming of building wooden boats on the coast of the sea? Fishing in the mornings?  

Make your hands dirty while mastering the ancient art of boat marking from one of the oldest family’s in Sicily?

This dream has been waiting for you. 

Learn from the amazing Rodolico family who have been repairing boats in the traditional way for 200 years. 

Learn for a month for 2290€. (accommodation and flights not included)
The price for the month is set by each Patron and 100% of the sum goes to them. The platform only adds a 15% service fee at the end to make sure we can go on with the platform and offer you 24/7 support.

Four generations of boat making

The Rodolico family have been building and repairing boats for four generations in Acitrezza. They are a part of Sicilian history since the year 1800.

Their passion for the sea and boats runs in the family DNA. Their workshop in the harbour of Acitrezza is one of the few left that still practices this ancient craft.

Giovanni, like his father Salvatore is a skilled woodworker, able to build small and medium-sized boats of very high quality, some of them decorated and painted in the marvellous colours of Sicily with passion and dedication.

If you choose this dream your typical day will includes a lots of fishing in the early mornings and then spending time in their workshop on the costs of the Ionian Sea.

The Rodolico family is much loved by the community of Acitrezza for the cultural and historical values they have been able to preserve.


The last masters of the ancient craft

Today the family no longer build impressive fishing boats. Their last piece was finished by 1989.

For centuries boats and ships of all shapes and sizes were traditionally constructed of wood. In 1942, the first fiberglass boat was manufactured. These boats were lighter, offering greater buoyancy and better fuel efficiency. They were also far more resilient than wood or aluminum, resulting in a boat that was far less prone to damage.

Luckily the Rodolicos are here to stay – they still do maintenance and construction of small wooden boats.

The art runs in the family DNA. You are either born to be a boat maker or you don’t have the talent as they say.

Unfortunately Salvatore and Giovanni will be the last ones to build boats in Acitrezza.

The last of the Rodolico family, Martino decided to pursue a different life thus ending the 200 year old heritage.


Why the Rodolico’s?

The harbour of Acitrezza was born at the end of 1800 thanks to Salvatore Rodolico who together with his son Sebastian, began to build wooden boats for clients in Catania.

The original construction site was located in the area called “stagnitta” – today “Via Rodolico”.

Passed into the hands of the young Sebastiano and Giovanni Rodolico (Salvatore’s sons), they continue the centuries-old art of giving life to wooden boats.

The family builds wooden boats as they once did, entirely by hand. No computers, no modern techniques.

If you want to learn from the best this is your chance – come and join the family and help us preserve the ancient art of boat making.


What will happen on your Dream?

You will spend an amazing month learning how to build boats
You will be part of the daily routine of the Rodolico family - fishing and building wooden boats by hand
You will meet amazing local people and learn the family history
You will spend the month exploring Acitrezza and the nearby cities such as Catania and Taormina
You will enjoy the amazing local dishes prepared by the Rodolico family
You can stay in private apartment in town

How it works?

We connect you with the right people. You choose your dream for the month and get the best service from your Patron.

Need a place to relax? –  A fancy loft, sea view apartment or a traditional house with homey feel? Your call. Choose your home for the month freely or ask our Patrons for their tips. In some cases you need to be close to your Patron so our team is prepared to offer you an amazing place to live and do your dream.

Eat. Drink. Repeat – Be prepared for amazing food and tasting all the time – and some extra pounds. So worry not – you will have a morning espresso and big lunches with your Patron. You will cook, you will eat and you will definitely have fun. Want to taste the local places as well for inspiration? Ask for our tips.

Safety first – It is relatively unlikely that you will be a victim of petty theft or other crime. But be careful!

Getting Around – We have plenty of tours to discover the area but if you want to go on your own we suggest you rent a Vespa or a car. Ask for our suggestions and we are happy to help. As for the public transportation – the trains are often late, but the buses, well, they are late too 🙂

Driving in Sicily – People are very fast, not always following the rules. It can get very intense on the road so drive safe!

So if you choose to travel like this don’t stress a lot – remember when in Rome do like the Romans do and relax.

Suggested daily budget – 50-60 EUR / 52-62 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in your chosen home, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals with your Patron and using local transportation.)


Welcome to beautiful Sicily – everything you need to know

“To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all”


Sicily is the largest of the Italian islands, separated from the Continent by the Strait of Messina and surrounded by the Ionian, the Tyrrhenian and the Mediterranean Seas.

It is one of the pearls of Southern Italy and can be discovered, understood and experienced through a series of itineraries dedicated to areas of interest ranging from nature to history and traditions.

Read more: Conde Nest Travel // Lonely Planet

Things to explore

Sicily is renowned for its steet food –Try an arancina (deep-fried saffron rice ball), panelle (chickpea fritters), sfincione (rustic, Sicilian-style “pizza”), polpo bollito (a boiled mini-octopus), and — if you dare — pani ca’ meusa…the famed spleen sandwich.
Take the cable car to Mount Etna, the second most active volcano in the world
Sicilians are some of the most enjoyable people to simply interact with – enjoy small talk with amazing local people
Discover Sicily’s wonderful natural attractions like Parco Regionale delle Madonie, Parco dei Nebrodi and Parco Regionale dell’Etna, do canyoning in the Alcantara River Park or enjoy swimming in the crystal clear waters in the park of Belice
Rent A Car – Bicycle – Scooter – Exploring Sicily by car is the best way for see the most of it

Money Saving Tips

Get the menu of the day Ask for our daily tips on the best places to eat and what to ask for.
Bargain No matter what is the item always try to reduce price.
Get city passes Plan your visits and ask for discounts.
Free walking tours Great way to explore the city and get some local tips.