While on our recent trip to visit family in Sicily (our 4th trip to this area), we made the time to visit Hackspace Catania, the first makerspace in Italy (if I understood them correctly) which opened 3 years ago in a quiet street in downtown Catania, Sicily. I had found the space during my pre-trip research for interesting places I wanted to see during this visit.
With my recent involvement in Hackerspace LA, here in the San Fernando Valley, it made perfect sense to check out as many other makerspaces I could to get some ideas and simply see how other sites were organized. After a couple of emails, we set a time to visit and planned on taking the two older boys in the family along with us. I thought they would find the group very interesting, along with their father and might even provide them a location for classes and events to learn more about technology.
Arriving in a relatively quiet street in Catania -- where an old palazzo sits on one corner -- we located the space by its address, but also by the small logo on the door -- an H in a gear -- based on the Open Hardware logo. Yep, this must be the place!
We were greeted by several members of Hackspace Catania including Emilio Messina, Riccardo Puglisi, Massimiliano Marchese and Massimiliano Sapuppo. Here is a picture of our entire group on the Hackspace Catania Facebook Page.
Everyone was extremely welcoming -- as is often the case in the makerspace world -- and they eagerly showed off their space and their projects. The space is relatively small, with a main floor and a half-mezzanine above. The main floor holds fold up tables that can be lowered for classes, an amazing DJ-Scratching system designed and built by members, a projector system and the usual eclectic collection of tech and artwork found in most makerspaces.
A back workroom included many tools and 2 large homemade CNC machines -- one prototype made of wood and another, in progress, constructed out of aluminum. Upstairs housed a small gaming space with couch, a 3-d printer and an impressive collection of retro computers including a Commodore PET, Commodore 64, Atari 2600 and more. I expressed my dismay -- with a laugh -- that they didn't have an Apple IIe, my first computer.
Hackspace Catania performs a lot of outreach around the area, especially with students, and also produces high-end paid classes on topics like Drones, 3-D printing, Arduino and more which help to support the space.
After an hour or so, we packed up to head to a family event a little further down the coast, but everyone in my group was very impressed by what they saw and the people they met. The family wasn't really sure exactly what Hackspace Catania was about, but once we started walking around it became very clear and I hope that they will visit and engage with the group whenever they can in the future.
Thanks to everyone at Hackspace Catania for making it such a great visit! Keep on making and making the world a better place!
The palazzo across the street!
Here is a complete slideshow of our day (along with a few other photos) so you can see the entire space I described above.
Hackspace Catania Web Site
Hackspace Catania Facebook Page
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