Information about the villas
small Sicilian details
The information about holiday homes is important, since house owners on Sicily are often faced with problems, which many tourists often aren’t used to (anymore) and can be a cause for nuisance.
Water, or rather, the lack of it, can sometimes be cause for trouble in the summer months as of July. We know from experience only about Noto. However, we don’t think that the situation in other parts of Sicily is any different.
The water supplier in Noto only opens the taps 4-5 hours per day, depending on the part of town. Tourists don’t normally notice anything, since the tanks on the roofs automatically fill up and provide enough water for 1-2 days.
The lack of water becomes a bit more noticeable in the summer when the pressure sinks and the pressure pumps begin to rumble and whistle in the midday heat.
In recent years, many B&Bs and apartements in town have had to have water delivered to them in August because it started to become scarce.
Holiday homes in the countryside are almost solely supplied by their own wells or water is bought at a high cost and delivered in tankers.
You need to know that water in Europe‘s southern countries is a valuable resource. That brings us to the second problem, which often accentuates the first.
Power cuts happen every so often on Sicily, mainly due to thunder storms (late summer), maintenance works or high electricity consume (only at the height of summer).
Since, as we’ve already mentioned, cisterns are filled up using pressure pumps, power cuts are accompanied ba a lack of water supplies.
Another problem is the number of are conditioners, which, when all used at the same time in high summer, can cause a voltage drop. That, in turn, causes modern electric equipment to stop working.
In addition, we’d like to inform you, that a normal contract with the electricity supplier ENEL only provides for 3.3 Kilowatts.
That means that not paying a substantial additional amount for 6 or 10 Kilowatts leads every so often to blown fuses.
There’s no need to panic though. Despite the above-mentioned deficiencies, almost all stays in Sicily take place without any problems, which is due to Sicilian‘s incredible willingness to help and their even bigger talent at improvising.
The biological cesspit isn’t really a problem. It only becomes one because humans are absolute creatures of habit.
Although in every country in southern Europe signs bearing the message “please either throw very little or no toilet paper into the toilet. No tampons, no sanitary towels etc. allowed.” are hung up by the toilets, there is always a tourist who manages to block the pipes.
All houses in the countryside – and that’s the majority of nice holiday homes on Sicily – have their own biological cesspit. That means they aren’t connected to the drainage system. Instead, all toilet contents are led into a simple cement container, where the water seeps into the earth.
Too much toilet paper can lead to blockages and nasty surprises.
Many access roads to the country houses as well as to several beaches in natural reserves aren’t tarmaced and are usually in a fairly bad condition.
Whether that’s any cause for concern strongly depends on the car rented out.
Unfortunately, rental companies often lend out cars with little ground clearance, which quickly graze the ground and give those clients a headache, who previously read in their contracts that damages beneath the car are mostly excluded from the complete exception to insurance excess.
The simple Fiat Panda is an optimal vehicle for Sicily, for several people own the Mini Suv’s like Fiat 500 X, Ford Ecosport etc.
We’ve already adressed the subject of waste disposal. We would, however, still like to point out that waste isn’t collected from houses in the countryside or by the sea. In the settlements in Lido di Noto there are big containers. Guests staying in holiday homes in the countryside unfortunately have to bring their waste to the local recycling centres.
The arrangements regarding local recycling centres are different from one municipality to the next. Since the majority of our holiday homes are in the area surrounding Noto, we unfortunately have to adress this sore subject. A real nuisance is that the local water disposal company has until now refused to accept taking separated waste in the mornings. That results in having to plan an extra trip to the recycling centre between 2:30 and 6:30 pm. Recent complaints – including from us – seem to have helped though and a new waste disposal centre is currently being built, which will hopefully bring with it a change in opening hours.
Most houses on Sicily are supplied with gas for cooking. Often it’s just the stove, which uses a flame. Sometimes it’s also the oven.
The reason gas is still so widely used is probably due to the aforementioned problem of most households only being supplied with 3.3 Kilowatts at one time. If you’re worried about gas leakages, just turn off the tap when it’s not being used.
On Sicily, you’ll meet stray dogs every now and then.
They are a problem for to reasons. Firstly, for those who are worried about their condition. Secondly, for those who are scared of them when going for a run or a hike.
Many dogs seem not to belong to anyone although they do. Most owners take good care of their dogs. Chained-up guard dogs or ones which are underfed, are become rarer. Stray dogs themselves aren’t dangerous; on the contrary, they’re more frightened than anything else.
We attempt to convince most house owners of the importance of an internet connection. Most listen to us. However, the quality of the connection is rarely as good as it is in towns.