We have a villa in Sicily on the foothills of Mount Etna, just outside a small town, and divide our time between UK and Sicily and are a bilingual household.
Our house is spacious, with beautiful views of Mount Etna, the sea, and Taormina in the distance. Etna is ideal for nature lovers (spectacular landscape, donkey and horse riding, hiking, quad biking), and there are several pretty towns in Eastern Sicily, vineyards, archeaological sites as well as beaches. We've welcomed guests here from around the world for many years. Our background and interests are the arts, travel and animal welfare.
Please note we can't assist with workawayers seeking Italian citizenship/residence
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Sicily has a rich cultural lanscape and there is plenty of sightseeing of both architectural and natural sites including Mount Etna, Taormina, beaches etc.
We also have a house full of books if travellers want a quieter stay.
In the surrounding area, English is not necessarily always spoken if travellers want a fuller immersion into the Italian language.
The main current task is garden maintenance, mainly leaves, weeds and some brambles to clear, watering, as well as cleaning the pool. The bulk of this has been done but constant upkeep is needed.
Volunteers should preferably have some experience of burning and/or using compost heaps to dispose of garden waste.
The house also needs to be given a clean and check to see everything is in its place (attention to detail is a must) and some exterior paint touch-ups in a few limited areas might be needed.
There is also the possibility that we would ask a workawayer to allow access and keep an eye on workmen installing a tank in the garden (to be confirmed).
Please note that due to covid restrictions we cannot travel to the house for now so you would be on your own and our pets are not at the villa either but we can be in regular whatsapp/email contact to supervise the tasks and we are in touch with locals who can provide back-up if needed. Bear in mind also that someone would come to view the house during the stay.
Our expected hours are lower than usual as we aren't there to provide meals.
As this is partly a house sitting situation, you would need to be fairly self-sufficient and a little Italian would be useful. Having your own transport would also be a help during the covid crisis.
A comfortable bedroom and private ensuite bathroom available in the house, suitable for one or two people.
Volunteers are expected to keep and leave their space clean and tidy and help with daily household tasks, ie. washing up/taking out trash in addition to the main work.
UPDATE: Any information here relating to local transport will currently be dependent on Covid-19 regulations which are in a state of constant flux.
There are buses from the nearby town going to Catania, and to nearby villages in the surrounding area.
There is also little train called the Circumetnea which can be taken for a sightseeing tour, stopping at various small towns around Mount Etna.
That said, local transport is quite limited but all our volunteers have found it easy to hitch a ride.
Apart from the nearby world-famous resort of Taormina and stunning Mount Etna, further afield are the beautiful baroque towns of southeast Sicily.
Several of these sites, including Catania, are UNESCO world heritage sites.
The local village is pretty and has basic shops and a bar but it's very quiet so not suitable if you want a very lively local town.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
This host has indicated that they love having digital nomads stay.
3 hours a day, 5 days a week