Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A mail-order villa of dreams

Renting a villa after perusing a few pictures on the internet carries with it many of the same risks as mail-order brides. The less concrete knowledge you have of what you are getting into, the more unrealistic your expectations.
Remarkably, what we found on arriving in Sicily was a villa of dreams, full of tiled floors, arched ceilings and covered with grape vines. It looks like it was built in the 1600s but was actually built in 1969, which means that it has lots of romance AND the plumbing works.

The villa sits near the town of Trecastagni on the slopes of Mount Etna. It has a small pool, where we plant ourselves on sunny days, and an airy kitchen where we cook most of our meals. The roads around the villa are full of farmers selling fresh fruit and vegetables, and the towns have a wealth of small shops selling local specialties like a country salami, pecorino cheese and local olives.