We are Simona and Davide, a couple of 36-year-old philosophers, and Ulisse, our baby (born in 2017). We live in an old stone country house in a sunny untouched place in Sicily near Chiaramonte Gulfi (Ragusa). We own an hectare of land where we are practicing organic farming and permaculture. Here we have about sixty olive trees, some old oaks, pines, cypresses, indian figs, many fruit trees (figs, orange and lemon trees, pomegranates, pear, plum, almond and carob trees) and an organic vegetable garden. There is a little cave on our land, and in wintertime, if it rains enough, a stream flows through our valley. We live with a variable number of cats and kittens and with Nìura, our dog.
We have embraced a simple and slow way of life, far away from city traffic and without TV (we love peace and quiet). Our common interests, other than philosophy, are books, movies and music. Our philosophy tends towards freethinking, rationalism and anarchism. In addition, Davide plays guitar and loves DIYing, and Simona practices yoga and likes sewing.
Our philosophical house is a convivial place where we exchange ideas and experiences and work together. You can come here and stay with us for two weeks or more on agreement.
Babysitting / child care
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Helping us you can learn how to restore an old house (recovering stone walls, building new walls, making hydraulic and electrical systems, plastering and flooring), how to grow a vegetable garden, and plenty more. Also you can improve your italian talking with us (we can help you with Italian grammar too).
But we hope that you especially learn from us how to live in a simple way and close to nature, with no formal employment or regular job and using less money as possible :-)
You can help us in many ways!
Especially in the summertime we work restoring old parts of our house (we finished to restore the main rooms inside in summer 2018), mostly with green building, because we really like lime mortar and stonework!
There are also many works to do outside: in the vegetable garden (seeding and planting in spring, then tilling, mulching and manuring in summer until the harvest...), in the olive grove (picking olives in autumn, then pruning trees in winter), collecting firewood for the winter...
You can help us also with our self-production: making bread, soap, jams and other preserves like tomato sauce (and maybe beer and liquors if we'll have enough time!).
Moreover, you can help us also staying and playing with our son while we are working.
To work you need working shoes (or at least hiking shoes), old or cheap clothes (it is likely that you get dirty at work), and also sunglasses, sunscreen and hat if you want (here in summer it's very hot and sunny!). We'll provide you work gloves if you need and you don't have it.
Italian, sicilian, english
We can accommodate max. two persons in our camper (our house at this moment is an open space so we don’t have yet a proper guest room inside: just a couch...) and more people in tent, if the camper is busy (if you prefer you can still camp in tent under the oaks: there is a lot of space around the home, and we can provide you with a good tent). Both the camper and the tent have a double bed: we will provide you sheets, pillows and blankets.
We have a bathroom inside the house with a laundry and a shower, but we prefer to use the outdoor compost toilet to produces humanure. We have a common kitchen inside and another kitchen outdoor where we usually cook in the summertime.
We cook and eat mostly vegetarian meals, organic if possible. We eat bread and pasta almost everyday, so keep this in mind if you are celiac or prefer a gluten-free diet.
In the summertime we grow a beautiful vegetable garden, so we'll eat exclusively self-made food with plenty of tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, peppers, zucchini and onions!
The best way to come here probably is by plane. Comiso Airport (13 km away from our house) actually provides flights from Rome, Milan, Pisa, London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Brussels. If you land in Comiso we can pick up you with our car. Alternatively you can fly to Catania Airport (85 km from us) and then take a bus from there to Ragusa, provided by Interbus (you can search schedule on their website). Just get off at the "Coffa" bus station, 20 minutes before Ragusa (if in doubt, ask the driver: it's a Lukoil gas station, 7 km away from our home) and we'll pick up you in the car.
Coming here by train is more complicated. Sadly, in Sicily, trains are very slow and inefficient. Anyway the nearest train station is in Ragusa, 30 km away from us. From there you can easily take a bus (Interbus again) to Coffa.
If you want to travel, the best way is the usual bus. We can bring you to Coffa station by car, and there you can take a bus: there are many buses each day from/to Ragusa (25 km) and from/to Catania (85 km). Moreover, once a week we usually go directly to Ragusa for our affairs, so you can come with us and avoid the bus!
You can visit especially Ibla (the best part of Ragusa!), and from Ragusa you can reach other baroque Sicilian cities (like Modica and Scicli) and various beautiful beaches in summertime (Marina di Ragusa and Donnalucata above all). From Catania you can reach Mount Etna (the tallest active volcano in Europe) but maybe it's a bit hard to do in only a day.
Anyway, from our home you can walk through the woods, go for a bike ride on the countryside (also reaching the center of Chiaramonte Gulfi if you are in good shape!), or simply stay under the trees reading and thinking in peace, playing guitar or whatever else you want...
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
5 hours per day, 5 days a week (or rather 25 hours per week - some days full, some days part time, some days free, depending on the period and on the works...)