After our luxuriously spacious and almost private palace in Umbria, besides the visiting gardeners, pool maintenance, and handy man, our Sicilian home, Villa Il Suk, is at the opposite end of the spectrum, kind of. Maybe that was a bit harsh. We all have our own bedroom and bathroom.
It has million dollar views, no doubt about it, with a magical vista looking out to the Med. Sea with Isola Bella right in front of us. However, we have neighbours and one of those neighbours is our land lady / villa manager Antonia.
Antonia is a well-preserved middle-aged divorcee with a pretty teenage daughter. We can’t figure out if she also owns the villa we are staying in or if she is just the manager. Either way, the check in process with her explaining every single rule to us took over an hour. It went something like this:
- Pleeez, no smocking in the villa
- No noise between 2pm and 5pm in the villa or in the pool, pleez, the villa owners agreed to this rule (Ben, father of a 5 and noisy 3 year old scoffs at this!)
- Food and drink is forbidden in the pool area. Me: what about water? Antonia: Aqua? Si, si, no problema!
- Pleez, pleez, turn off the lights when you go out
- Ok you have air conditioning, pleez, it’s hot, turn it on now
- No rubbish in the hall way, you have to take it out to the big blue bin across the road
- Pleez, the bath towel is just for the bath, not the pool or the beach
- No noise after 11pm
- Here you have one set of keys. Protests from everyone – but one set of keys is no good for us! We are three couples / families and will have different timetables / schedules. It’s not enough, and certainly one set was not good enough. In the end, she gave us her set, so we had two sets of keys which is better than one, but still makes it tricky if there’s people going exploring / shopping / to the pool / beach / private rock beach / out, etc.
- You can use my internet key (dongle), no problem, but pleez, if you go out, pleez give it back. No problem, it is yours, but if you go out, pleez.
- Do you need the car park? No, ok, good. You don’t have a car? *concerned look* No problem, you can take a taxi to Giardini Naxos to the supermarket, it’s better if you need to do a big shop (later we discovered that a taxi cost 25 euro each way. That’s a super expensive supermarket shop!!
- The train station is just a 10 minute walk this way (later we find out that it’s 10 minutes if you are an Olympian walker representing a top tier country…for everyone else, it’s more 20-25 minutes).
- The funicular is just a 10 minute walk the other way
- Me: is there a bus to Giardini Naxos? *downturned mouth* ah, no, I dond know. Maybe?
- Some people drink the water in the tap. Me, no. I buy mineral water at the shop becozz I dond like…*face of disgust*
- Oh, one lassst thingg, only one lettino per villa – so if there are other owners at the pool, then you can only use one sun bed. Va been? (ok?). Um, not really ok – there are eight of us!
What we should have asked was:
- Where’s the toilet paper? Dishwashing liquid? Clothes detergent? Dishwasher powder / tablets? Bin bags? Salt? Pepper? Olive oil?Absolutely nothing was provided. Pretty average really. When you fly in from another country, you are hardly going to pack dishwashing liquid etc in your suitcase are you? And later in the week that is precisely what Walter said to her when he asked for more bin bags and she said she could give him one. After that little confrontation, we got three.
- How long do we get the internet key for? Just an hour per day if we can catch you at home? Not enough.
When we booked we were told we could be given an internet dongle – silly of us to presume that meant it was ours to use exclusively. Now you may understand why I haven’t been able to update Travelletto very often in Sicilia, and for that I’m sorry. Blame Antonia.
- Is there at least one sharp knife in the kitchen capable of slicing a tomato?
- Hello kettle? Is there a kettle to boil water? My mum likes an afternoon cup of tea, and now my husband is also drinking earl grey tea (go figure).
- Any wine glasses?
- Any spare light globes for Mum and Dad’s room / entry / bathroom?
- Is there any water pressure in Susie’s bathroom and have other guests had any trouble washing their hair under the drip drip drip that is meant to be a shower? (Zorba and I have an old but ok shower – lucky us!)
So the short-comings of the villa are made up for by the Hollywood infinity pool. Look at the pictures! Does it get any better than this?
And the private beach / rock beach that only residents of the condominium have access to.
Thank God for the views, the pool and for the private rock beach. If it weren’t for those, Walter would have packed his bags and no doubt made us do that too.
After our Umbrian palace, which felt 5-star, Villa Il Suk is fitted out like a 2-star with million dollar views. I’m totally happy with it and don’t plan on using the blunt warped knife that much as we’ll be eating out. But for Susie and the kids, it’s a little frustrating.