Zanzibar: Villa Dida

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Pliny the old man said that “Home is where the heart is”.
And it’s true. The house is the place where love resides, memories are created, friends come and where the family is. There are childhood homes, dream homes, houses where we live seconds or weeks but which are so welcoming as to become places where the soul finds refuge. Villa Dida was for me this: my house in Zanzibar.


This eco-resort located on the east coast of Zanzibar in the town of Pwani Mchangani was born from the dream of its owners to build a house that can accommodate guests and friends who wanted to learn about the culture of the island.
Since 2007, the year of its construction, it has been able to renew itself respecting the nature and the surrounding villages. Composed of nine rooms, the resort overlooks a white beach washed by a crystal clear sea.
It is the ideal place for those who want to spend a quiet holiday, away from mass tourism and in direct contact with the local population. In addition, the assistance of Italian and Zanzibar staff, who will welcome you with the simplicity and kindness typical of the island, help to make the family atmosphere and the stay a unique experience.


At Villa Dida, I found a small big family that was able to welcome me with a smile making every day of my life different on the island.
The internet connection sometimes didn’t work and this allowed me not only to take back my time to read, walk for hours on the beach, write and take pictures, but above all to meet people.
This led me to reflect on the fact that we spend hours and hours on the phone to tell us everything and nothing. We prefer to converse with friends by sending messages rather than asking them to go out to see each other and talk when things would be much easier if we had a pinch of will or more courage to get in the car and reach those we care about.
In the first article, I said that Africa has taught me respect and it’s true because in Zanzibar every day I was confronted with different people, different cultures, different realities.
I used to play myself constantly, asking questions, listening to life stories, smiling or sharing with them the hardships of a daily life that at that moment also belonged to me. Because that place had become my home and I couldn’t remain impassive to the extreme poverty that surrounded me. Pliny the old said that “Home is where the heart is”. I left it there, outside the resort, in a village of huts without electricity and where the water was drawn from a well. I left my heart to the children dressed in rags that smiled at life, but they couldn’t go to school and adults who survived with the little that nature could give them at the end of a day’s work. This story, however, I’ll tell you in the next article….


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