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La Casa delle Acque and the Simeto River Valley

September 17, 2012

The Simeto River Valley


Original Stone Oven




La Casa delle Acque –  Puddle in the Shape of a Heart!


In the Simeto River Valley, which marks the  border between the plush green area and the clay based bare hills called “calanchi”, stands a house called La Casa delle Acque, owned by Nirav.  He is one of the coordinators in Sicily for the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program.  Those who come to Sicily through this program make their own arrangements for the assignment, but Nirav intervenes only as a troubleshooter when there may be a problem between the Woofer and the host farm or to provide assistance to new farms joining the program. 

After traveling extensively for many years, Nirav decided to settle in this area and bought La Casa delle Acque, which had been abandoned for forty years.  He worked on restoring it for six good years. The original objective set for the use of the house was to hold seminars on meditation and healing.  However, circumstances changed and transformed the plan and it became a lab on sustainable agriculture, environmental consciousness, with Woofers passing by bringing their fresh energy and all working together on the farm.   There are an average of 40 people a year staying for 2-3 weeks at a time and helping in the farm, contributing their new ideas and trying a different lifestyle.

One of the water springs at La Casa delle Acque

 A Papyrus Thriving in this Habitat


La Casa delle Acque is a member of the Siquillyah Cultural Association whose purpose is to create networks among organic farmers, GAS (purchasing goods coops), small hospitality entities, artisans and all those who care to support a sustainable lifestyle in Sicily.  The objective is to create a direct relationship with the clients based on trust. Consequently, for the last three years, the members have organized and taken part in fairs where relationships built with the clients are more important than the business itself.

Butterflies Always Follow Me

Another endeavor of La casa delle Acque is its membership in Vivisimeto, an environmental protection association of the Valley of the Simeto River.  The main objective of the association is to support a sustainable development of the economy of the River Valley; for example, one of the recent actions taken was to not allow an incinerator be placed in the valley, in an environmentally protected area.  Vivisimeto has started the development of a community map for the Simeto Valley.  More than 500 people have shared their stories of this area of the land which they consider “home.”     Il Patto per il Fiume is an agreement stipulated between the local residents, institutions, farmers and many more citizens of the River Valley coming together to rebuild with pride a lost sense of  community.

 As we looked out at the Valley from the beautiful terrace of the home, Nirav pointed out the town of Paterno’, which sits on top of a hill overlooking the Valley.  He stated that, over the years, Paterno’ has turned its back to the Valley and lost its identity, by looking towards the city, Catania.  The goal is to bring back the river towns to face Their river!






From → I Siquillyahni

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