Guests staying in Sicily villas between now and the end of March might find themselves taking walking tours of the region on Sundays, due to planned closures of many Sicilian monuments on that particular day of the week.
According to a report by local newspaper La Sicilia, these closures are mostly induced by a shortage in funding, resulting in there not being enough money to cover the weekend and holiday wages of the staff and custodians for these attractions. According to the same source, these shortages may even affect the opening hours of certain monuments past the current March deadline. Sites such as the archaeological digs at Segesta and Selinunte or the Modern Art Museum in Palermo may be forced to be closed to the public every Sunday until much later in the year, the newspaper suggests.
Sources close to the Italian cultural administration have come on record to state that these closures can be revised and perhaps prevented should managers and union representatives come to an agreement regarding lower rates of pay for cultural heritage staff members. Until then, however, visitors renting Sicily villas will have to make do with guided or independent walking tours, to such destinations as Mount Etna (a local active volcano), the hills of Monreale, or even any of the many Greek temples, parks and restaurants within the city.
Sicilian officials currently spend roughly 67 million euros in staff wages for about 1700 cultural heritage workers. This number was considered excessive considering that, in some Sicilian heritage sites, staffing costs vastly admission-fee income. Poor human resource management, which left some sites overstaffed whilst others were consistently short on personnel, was also listed amongst the factors which helped contribute to the current, cash-strapped state the sector finds itself in in the southern Italian region.
According to local government officials, measures are in place to combat this situation, including but not limited to rationalization of the workforce within the sector.
About Essential Italy:
Essential Italy provides affordable, good-quality, authentically Italian villa, hotel or apartment accommodation in Puglia, Sardinia, Tuscany, Umbria, Sicily, and the Amalfi Coast. Contact them at http://www.essentialitaly.co.uk .
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