Cummari - a coliving and coworking space that addresses the distinctive needs of female nomads
Cummari is a place for solo female travellers, artists, and digital nomads to find inspiration, although all genders and identities are welcome and are vital to supporting Cummari's vision and existence.
Cate Maiolini and Virginia Scapinelli recently co-hosted a Co-Liv event that invited Michelle Titus - the founder of Cummari coliving and coworking house in Catania, Sicily - to share why providing spaces for female nomads is so important.
Cummari is a concept built on previous experiences as a digital nomad. Since 2006, Michelle, who previously worked as an international correspondent, was constantly travelling across Europe, North America, Australia and Southeast Asia. In certain locations, she struggled to find suitable housing for work and comfort. As she shared this problem with other solo female travellers, Michelle started finding housing for female nomads.
In 2019, Michelle bought Cummari in Catania, Sicily, a building that had been abandoned for over 8 years. She renovated it with a holistic approach, whilst collaborating with local artisans who created bespoke furniture and painted murals for the space. This provides Cummari with a distinctive luxuriousness of a boutique hotel. Evoking feelings of relaxation, Cummari fills a gap that Michelle felt had been missing from so many spaces she’d stayed in during her previous career, and what she felt had been missing from spaces for nomads, particularly women, in general.
Cummari is designed for women, but all genders and identities are welcome. It attracts both professional women, who spend their time working around the kitchen table, and creative women, who immerse themselves in the local culture. Some artists who’ve stayed at Cummari have even left their work to be displayed at the space. One regular comment made by Michelle’s guests is that Cummari makes them feel safe, a factor that should always be considered when providing spaces for women. Michelle also explains that Cummari’s “unexpected perk” is how it breaks down age barriers, having hosted women aged between 30 and 60 since it opened. Cummari can therefore be described as a truly multi-generational space.
Having opened its doors only four months ago, Cummari has so far hosted female guests from over 10 different countries, half of which extended their time at Cummari during their stay. Cummari is currently fully booked for the start of 2022. Its success can exemplify the growing popularity of niche coliving offerings.
So, what’s next for Cummari? Michelle’s upcoming project involves renovating the farm that she bought in 2018. She’s currently working with Grippaldi Vivera architects. The farm’s location, at the start of the Etna Wine Trail, is perfect for nomads seeking a rural retreat. It will also be designed with its original usage in mind - the site is an old mill. It sounds like an exciting project for Michelle, and we look forward to welcoming her back for another discussion after she launches!