Sicilia Fotogenica

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These are the Scala dei Turchi (the Turkish Steps).  It is a well-known and popular beach due to the formation of the cliff.  The striations give the cliff the appearance of steps.

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This is my favourite beach, Eraclea Minoa – pristine, quiet and close to Cianciana

Fresh Sicilian Food

Valley of the Temples

Swimming in Sicily

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10 thoughts on “Sicilia Fotogenica

  1. Hi Diane. Thanks for responding. Was initially considering South of Spain as I know it better but I believe things are more stable in Italy. I have a few questions. How is crime in Cianciana , any problems with illegal migrants? Also public transportation is it any good or better to have a car? Is it easy to get a helper to clean occasionally and how much does it cost? I have2 miniature dogs, are there many parks or green areas in the city centre? Also would you say there is much tolerance for dogs or much of a dog ‘ culture’. Thanks so much!!! Sorry for all the questions just trying to see if this is a place I can make home.

    • Hi Trudy. I will do my best to answer your questions.
      1. Crime. There is very little crime that touches people in their day to day lives in Cianciana. It is not crime free, of course, nowhere is. But we, and many other expats I know, leave their homes and head for their country of origin without worrying about break ins. I walk around in the middle of the night without fear. I haven’t seen any vandalism. There isn’t even much of a problem with “drunk and disorderly”. There are a few migrants – I can’t comment on if they are illegal or not – but I have, in three years, only once had someone ask me for money.
      2. Cianciana is small enough that you don’t need a car in the town. We go days without even starting our car up. There is excellent bus service to and from Palermo – including the airport, good service to and from Agrigento and Sciacca but there is no bus service to take you to the beach. Also, if you are wanting to go to other parts of Sicily – Catania, Siracusa, Messina, Trapani, etc. the bus routes are convoluted and difficult to figure out even looking them up online. We decided that, for us, a car was the way to go. Buying a car is easy and can be quite cheap but insuring it is more of a challenge. Unless you are an Italian citizen, you need to have a residency card to get insurance and a residency card, depending on what citizenship you have, can take one day to six months to get. Also, it is important to shop around for insurance as we got quotes that went from €400 to €3000 for the same time period. We went to the small car lot to buy our car and Rosario – the owner – went out of his way to help us get inexpensive insurance.
      3. It is very easy to get someone to clean for you, there are a number of reliable people in town. I am not sure what they charge, but I will ask my friend who cleans a number of expats houses.
      4. Dogs. Lots of people in Cianciana have dogs – especially small dogs. Walking them is easy – ten minutes walk and you are out of town and are in the country. There is one large park on the edge of town also. Most people either like or tolerate dogs. A few are afraid of them but I have never seen anyone antagonistic towards dogs at all. There are, however, in Sicily, lots of feral dogs – and cats. Not so many in Cianciana (there is a couple who do dog rescue) but you will see them a lot in other towns.

      Feel free to ask any other questions either from me or from the English speaking realtor in Cianciana at MyHouse. http://www.ciancianamyhouse.it They can answer the really specific questions about buying a house or apartment. Oh, one last thing. The older houses or apartments (as in 100 years or more) are generally better builds than the newer construction. There are small houses/apartments available in the old part of town. A friend from the US just bought a cute little loft apartment last summer in the old section of Cianciana.

      • Thaty again. Wow thanks so much for writing back and for the detailed response. I can almost see myself there. shttp://www.ciancianamyhouse.it/p/VENDESI_NEI_PAESI_VICINI_Vendesi_ad_Alessandria_della_Rocca/CASA__VIA_CELLINI__ALESSANDRIA/IT/1091

        That was really helpful. I’m actually looking at a property on the site, it’s the one for €14200.(above). Might do a bit of refurbishment. Do you know that part of town at all, it looks like an older structure. Anything you can tell me about the place. You’re a gem for all your help honestly. This is super exciting.

      • Hi Trudy,
        First thing is, this place is not in Cianciana. It is in Alessandra della Rocca which is the next town over on the way to Palermo. Alessandra is a lovely little town with nice restaurants but it doesn’t have the same expat base that Cianciana does. Not that I’m saying you must live somewhere full of foreigners, but there are some advantages to having at least a few around.

        1. There is always someone around when you feel like pulling your hair out who knows exactly what you are talking about.

        2. Having a lot of expats around means the town is used to foreigners and perhaps is more welcoming and accepting of foreigners (definitely the case in Cianciana).

        3. There are Sicilians around who speak at least some English that can help you out until you have enough of the language under your belt to be able to operate in Italian.

        As far as the house itself goes, it looks like a cute place with some nice architectural features. And I would say it is most likely not a new build. When we started looking, we emailed a list of must haves to MyHouse and made a list of houses/apartments on their site that we wanted to see. We saw 25 or so houses in 3 days, narrowed the list down, visited 10 again, and finally narrowed down to 2. The last two we visited with a contractor and heard what he had to say before we made our decision. I know some people will buy a place site unseen but that would not be my recommendation. It’s a good idea to see what is available, what part of town it is in and what part of town you like, and talk to people who have been through what you are doing that can tell you some of the pitfalls and plusses. Something to consider also is that most houses are sold with no kitchens. So, even though there is a kitchen shown, there will likely be no appliances, cabinets, counters, or sinks in the kitchen. There are places around that sell kitchens as a package (kind of like Ikea – in fact there is an Ikea in Catania) so it is just a matter of getting someone to install it.

        Again, anymore questions, please feel free.

  2. Wow I am so glad I stumbled upon you Diane, I suddenly realise what a novice I am in all this. I think I have a LOT to learn and consider before committing to a property. I really like this little place but as you say there is a lot on the market so I am going to try and see if I can get over there over the xmas break or in the new year and take a look around before I make a final decision on anything as it really is an important decision to make. I hope you will be around would be nice to meet you and get a few further pointers.. I promise to be out of your hair once I get a place 🙂

    • Hi Trudy,
      I have an answer for you about having a cleaner come in. I asked my friend who does house-cleaning and this is what she said: “Hi Diane we normally do 7 hours work that is 7 euros an hour but that includes beddings freshly washed all house cleaned from top to bottom plus balcony or terrazza cleaned and washed and outside front door about 50 euro’s”

      I really think going over there to look is important. Sadly we won’t be there for Christmas but I would love to meet sometime – and if you end up in Cianciana we likely will. Don’t worry about getting out of my hair, I love talking Cianciana with anyone who will listen. If you like, we can keep in touch through my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MySicilianHome

      Good luck with the house hunting! Let me know how it goes.

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