Monday, August 09, 2004

House hunting

On Saturday afternoon, Kendra, my sponsor, and Lisa, TAG teacher and Italian speaker, took two other new teachers and me to see three available houses. All three were up the volcano (Mt. Etna) and near each other.

House #1: This was the house that the former special ed teacher recommended to me (and recommended me to her landlords). First of all, it is in the cutest Sicilian town I've seen so far, Nicolosi. It's a little touristy town with tons of shops, restaurants, etc., right at the edge of the Etna National Park. Lots of trees, parks, trailheads, and views of Etna. It has a town square and frequent festivals (St. Anthony, at the moment). Then, the house is in a very nice neighborhood that is quiet. The street is unusually wide for Sicily, and there is a view of Etna. The house itself sits back off the street behind two gates. It's a one-story bungalow-type with patios all around. The living-dining room are sunken and have hardwood floors. There's a fireplace in the living room. the kitchen is small but does have built-in appliances and cabinets, not always the case here. Bedrooms are small--one is larger than the other two. There is a bath (with BATHTUB) and a shower in the "mud-laundry"room. There is also a half-bath. No garage, but gated parking. There is an out-building. The yard is very nicely landscaped with lots of trees, shrubs, herbs, etc. No grass to speak of, and I'd need a gardener once a month to take care of things. There is an alarm system that is hooked right into the police station. The landlords don't speak English much at all, but are younger people and very, very nice. Lorie, the former resident, left me a bottle of wine!

House #2: Former assistant principal from the elementary school lived here. It's one town down the mountain from Nicolosi. The house itself was actually nicer--very much bigger, although on several levels. The colors (walls, floors, etc.) very soothing, nice colors. We heard the bottom floor isn't heated, but don't know for sure. The entire back yard was a patio--very nice. Unfortunately, it was just a little way off the main road and very noisy (I thought). Also, there seem to be lots of children in the neighborhood, all of whom are playing in the street.

House #3: American naval family living in this one. The main features were *security* (they kept describing it as a "fortress" with everything from bullet-proof glass to numerous alarm systems). That kind of scared me. The yard was great. There was a wall all around it and the neighborhood was much dirtier than the other two. It had a lot of possibilities, for not for me. I had already decided on #1!

Today (Monday) I went to Housing and told them I wanted it . . . . there is some painting and cleaning to be done, as well as an inspection, so let's see what happens. It's nice to know I have something I like already.


At August 10, 2004 1:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The house sounds really great.. I can't wait to see it! Send lots of pictures, including, of course, the "HC" hotel. :) Love, Ali

At August 10, 2004 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the journal of your adventure. Your new place sounds wonderful. Glad you're having so much fun.



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