ITALY Campania The Diogenes

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The Diogenes

ITALY Campania Castelcivita

from €380 per week

Writers, artists and scholars prefered
A Cure for Procrastination -

For the apparently incurable procrastinator, we are pleased to offer the austere and inhospitable accommodation known as The Diogenes, a small and minimally appointed dwelling provided with occasional lighting and running water. Remotely located in the Cilento of southern Italy, the dwelling is offered to suitable individuals on very favourable terms.

Some prefer luxury, others seek bounty, but as many of the great writers and artists have at one time discovered, only a few are at their best when destitute. For those who know in their deepest self that they must suffer to flourish and produce anything of worth, and need separate themselves from comforts and privilege to achieve this, The Diogenes is probably the answer. Unsurpassed by none save the eponymous barrel dweller of ancient Athens himself, The Diogenes brings to life the meaning of destitution. Without temptation or distraction, and certainly without an internet connection (visitors are searched before being abandoned), little will stand in the way of producing your opus bonum from under its naked timbers.

The beauty, however, is the assurance that this will not be forever, nor indeed your end. An assurance the likes of Thomas Paine, William Blake, Fredrick Nietzsche and others suffering hardship or being unprivileged, were unfortunate not to possess. For them, solitude and hardship were supposedly part of their natural and irrevocable lot, cruelly imposed “by that Being whose ways are inscrutable to us, and whose dispensations, it is conceived, we ought not to look in to”, to borrow from the 1792 Commons speech by Pitt the Younger, a rousing and impassioned call for the abolition of slavery.

But unlike the lives of these great thinkers, the deprivations of poverty at The Diogenes are those of volition, masterfully designed for the needs of procrastinators. As every procrastinator will have bitterly learned, though creativity stirs in their loins and must out, they are nonetheless rendered impotent by trivia and petty concern, and even sometimes mesmerised to the point of paralysis by the grand achievements of others.

“I must create my own system, or be enslaved by another man’s” wrote Blake, and at The Diogenes there is no other man; or machine, to hem the mind so easily captured, so easily subdued and enslaved, whether through sloth or through fear. Distraction is the enemy of creation, and liberty from its clutch, for procrastinators at least, is found only in austerity and asceticism. Like Odysseus lashing himself to the mast to avoid the allure of the Sirens, Victor Hugo is said to have ordered his butler to lock away his clothing, so that naked, he might be forced to remain where he sat in his equally bare room, compelled by his own design to produce.

The second beauty in all this is that should your endeavour fail, take heart, no one will blame you once they discover where you’ve been staying. The truth of it will certainly be that your procrastination is incurable, but you could very well make the case that the conditions were intolerable, and as such could never inspire anything but a desire to escape. That in itself may be something worth writing about.


Applicants are invited to submit their interest, but are kindly made aware that not everyone is found suitable. Requisite qualities include good physical health and a relatively sound mind, a capacity to endure silence, and a hardy disposition towards drafts under conditions of inclement weather and atmospheric disturbance, rare though these may be.

Preference will be extended to those competent in the use of mechanical typing machines and/or paper and pen, though an exception may be granted those willing to demonstrate that any electronic computing machines they carry are unencumbered by games, music and image rendering media, other than those directly required for the production of novel work. This last condition will be assiduously determined

The abode is clean, without lose timbers or floor, and is generally safe, though beyond a meagre bed, desk, and the lighting bulb, this is all in terms of the little comforts.

As means of communication a large bell is provided, to be rung only when absolutely necessary, but which, even in such circumstance, will not be looked upon kindly.

Castelcivita is a remote hilltop village somewhat devastated by the flight of its populace in recent times, principally as consequence of its isolation and resilience to change. 600 metres above sea level on the Alburni Mountain Range, it was Established during the Norman era in the 11th Century, and boasts a magnificent Norman tower, many buildings and walls still apparent in original construction. . Donkeys can occasionally be found carrying their burden along the narrow, steep vicoli, and once your sufferance is complete, you may enjoy the purity of local wines, cheeses, meats and olive oils. World famous caves are nearby, though are strictly off bounds during ascetic periods. Nestled in the Cilento, the entire surrounding could be a temptation, and therefore the utmost self-discipline is required if one is to be here for productive work.

The facts are that despite its sorry present state, Castelcivita was once and may well again be, a living example of a thriving medieval village set in splendid Nature. A restoration, perhaps, will depend on external interest and the resulting income, which, if sufficient, just might encourage some of the younger inhabitants to return and revitalise their ancestral lands. A bonus then, to all that creativity born of your suffering.

We look forward to receiving your enthusiastic and courageous interest.

We Recommend
Aside from your creativity, many, many riches will be found here after a week or two of productive work at The Diogenes. A few days enjoying the area is highly recommended as reward for your personal commitment and self-discipline, perhaps at an alternative, more luxurious dwelling befitting an achiever and former procrastinator.

Exclusive to writers and artists. Rental at 380 Euro/week, on 4 week basis or longer. Shorter lets available at 600 Euro/week. Rental includes utilities of gas and electric when available, and some cooking victual


1. Strictly no refunds.
2. Minimum rental 7 nights
3. Absolutely no form of electronic communication is allowed.
4. Residents must be fit and in good health and not receiving prescribed medication of any kind.
5. Smoking is permitted (excepting where locked down, Monesterum only).
6. Alcohol and other perception altering substances are strictly forbidden for the duration.
7. Provision and victual are supplied for the duration (approximately), though these will almost certainly not be sufficient or to your liking. Potable water is adequate and sufficient however, as is sanitation.
8. In winter, firewood can be obtained by searching for it in the grounds, and extra bedding is available at an extra daily charge.
9. Residents are not compelled to remain for the duration, but are made aware that a request for early departure cannot be withdrawn once made, and as such the candidate is kindly referred to condition 1 above.

Bedrooms: 1 Bathrooms: 1 Furnished Apartment 11 sq. m Accommodates: 1 guests Minimum Stay: 7 nights VPD-557396



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