Buying Property in Sicily: Safety Tips & Investment Guide for Foreign Buyers

Luca Moretti,  Friday, 5 April 2024

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When the word "Sicily" is mentioned, images of picturesque landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture are often conjured up. Yet, for many, these idyllic visions are sometimes overshadowed by the island's association with the Mafia, a criminal organization deeply embedded in popular culture and historical narratives. This reputation can raise concerns for foreigners considering purchasing a second home on the island. However, Sicily today is a mosaic of tradition and modernity, where the concerns linked to its past are increasingly being addressed through stringent measures and community resilience. Here's what potential homeowners should know.

Understanding the Current Scenario

Sicily's association with the Mafia, specifically Cosa Nostra, is rooted in a complex history that dates back to the 19th century. While it's undeniable that the Mafia has had a significant impact on the island's social, economic, and political life, it's also true that the situation today is not as dire as it once was. The Italian government, along with local Sicilian authorities, has made substantial progress in combating organized crime, leading to a much safer environment for both residents and visitors.

Is Sicily Safe for Foreign Homebuyers?

The short answer is yes. The perception of Sicily as a criminal hotbed is outdated, with the island offering a welcoming and safe environment for foreigners looking to buy property. The Sicilian real estate market is mature and competitive, with a wide range of properties available, from historic villas to modern apartments, all set against the backdrop of breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage.

Precautions to Take

While Sicily is generally safe, as with any property purchase, especially abroad, due diligence is crucial. Here are some precautions and steps potential buyers should consider:

  • Legal Assistance: Engage with a reputable local attorney who understands the Sicilian real estate market and can navigate the legal complexities of buying property in Italy. This is crucial for ensuring that all legal requirements are met and that the property is free from any encumbrances or legal issues.
  • Research: Conduct thorough research on the area where you're considering purchasing a property. Look into local crime rates, community safety initiatives, and any potential developments that could affect the property's value and your quality of life.
  • Integration Efforts: Understanding and respecting local customs and communities can go a long way in ensuring a smooth transition. Consider learning the Italian language and engaging with community activities to build relationships with your neighbors.
  • Security Measures: While Sicily is safe, taking standard security precautions with your property is advisable. Consider installing a security system, using sturdy locks, and ensuring that the property is well-lit.
  • Insurance: Property and personal insurance can provide an extra layer of security, covering potential damages or losses that might occur.


The decision to purchase a second home in Sicily should not be overshadowed by outdated stereotypes about the Mafia. The island offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, beautiful landscapes, and a warm welcoming community. With the right precautions and a thoughtful approach, buying a home in Sicily can be a safe, rewarding investment into a lifestyle that celebrates the best of Italian tradition and the unique charm of Sicilian life.

Our comprehensive guide is the perfect companion if you are considering moving to Italy or are already living there. Learn all about buying a house, mastering the Italian language, finding a job, experiencing the culture and discovering tourist attractions. With this guide, you'll have all the information you need to live successfully in Italy. Read on now to discover it all!


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All types of Italian property for sale by private sellers and estate agents. Find your perfect houses, farmhouses or apartment in all regions of Italy including Liguria, Tuscany, Umbria and Marche. 

Trattoria Italy Rural Sicily faces depopulation due to economic struggles, an aging populace, and poor services. Interior regions like Enna and Caltanissetta are hardest hit, impacting locals' quality of life. However, this trend offers foreigners low-cost property opportunities, albeit with challenges in restoration and integration. 
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