We are Simona and Davide, a couple of philosophers in our thirties, and Ulisse, our baby. 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 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 six months a year 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, art and music. Our philosophies tend 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. We speak basic english – if you speak some italian it's better!
Babysitting / child care
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
You can help us in many ways. At this time we are mainly restoring our house, mostly with green building. These months we are finishing to restore two rooms inside house, so especially if you are a builder, you are welcome!
If not, don't worry: there are also many works to do outside: in the vegetable garden (seeding and planting in spring, then tilling, mulching and manuring in summer...), in the olive grove (olive harvest in october, then pruning in winter), collecting firewood for the winter... You can help us also with our self-production: making bread, soap, jams and other preserves (and maybe beer and liquors if we'll have enough time!).
Moreover, you can help us also baby-sitting our son (born September 2017) 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.
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 :-)
Italian, sicilian, english
We can accommodate max. two persons in our camper (our house currently is under restoration so we don’t have yet a guest room) 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 tent). We have a bathroom in 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 outdoors, inside the cave, where we usually cook in the summertime. We cook and eat mostly vegetarian meals, organic if possible.
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, Frankfurt and Brussels. Alternatively you can fly to Catania Airport (85 km from us) and then take a bus to Ragusa.
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 to our village.
The nearest bus station is 7 km away (of course we would bring you there by car). There are many buses each day to Ragusa (25 km) and to Catania (85 km). From Ragusa you can reach other baroque Sicilian cities (Ibla, Modica, Scicli) and various beautiful beaches in summertime (Marina di Ragusa, Donnalucata, Camarina). From Catania you can reach Mount Etna (the tallest active volcano in Europe).
Anyway, from our home you can walk through the woods, go for a bike ride (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...)
My Photo Album