- Tourist asks village mayor to silence church bells during her two-week holiday
- How not to annoy the French when you are in France
Cicada. Photo: Stephen Michael Barnett/Flickr
For many it's a noise that evokes pleasant memories of summer holidays and something which adds to, rather than diminishes, the pleasure of weeks spent in the south of France.
But it seems this isn't the case for everyone.
In fact, two tourists holidaying in the town of Beausset in the Var department of Provence saw fit to take their grievance to the top and complain about the loud noise made by the cicadas to the mayor.
“Tourists have challenged me about them because it [the noise] makes their blood boil,” mayor of Beausset, Georges Ferrero, told France Bleu Provence.
The mayor added that when the noise just got too much for the tourists, they tried putting water on the trees to stop the cicadas singing their famous song.
Beausset. Photo: Binabik155/Wikicommons
And he isn't happy about it, to say the least — especially after they went as far as to ask if insecticide could be used to kill them off.
“They asked me if I have any insecticides to put on the trees? And how to get rid of cicadas,” the mayor said.
“It's dreadful. I was very shocked. When we come to the south, we know that there are cicadas. We are proud to have them!”
Despite the insistence of the tourists, whose nationality has not been reported, no follow-up was given to their request, which provoked strong reactions from locals in Beausset.
Nevertheless, these are not the first holidaymakers up in arms about the loud buzz made by cicadas — in 2016, tourists lodged a complaint against the noise in Bouches-du-Rhône.
And it's not just unwanted insect clamour which has been known to irritate tourists in the French countryside.
Earlier in August, an angry holidaymaker who wanted a lie-in asked the mayor of the village she was staying in to delay the church bells from ringing early in the morning so that she could sleep in.