Georges Ferrero, mayor of the small town of Beausset near Toulon (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur), confirmed that he had received two complaints from tourists staying in the area, who said they could “no longer stand” the noise of the insects.
According to complaints, the insects do not “sing” melodically – as they do in the popular French fable The grasshopper and the ant – but “make a [unpleasant] sound of crack-crack-crack instead.
The letters to tourists even asked the mayor if he would consider using insecticides on the animals to calm them “and get rid of them”, he said.
Mr. Ferrero noted: “I was very shocked. The cicadas are part of the emblem of Provence. When you visit the South [of France], you know there are cicadas. We are proud to have them!
Despite the demand from holidaymakers, the mayor confirmed that nothing would be done about the cicadas, and it is unclear whether the tourists in question will plan another trip to the area in the future.
The strange request comes just weeks after a mayor in Occitanie reported that Parisian tourists staying at the presbytery house in the commune of Malbosc had a similar request.
These tourists requested that the morning church bells be changed to ring later in the day, so they wouldn’t be woken up at 7 a.m. “when we’re on a break.”
This mayor – Francis Durand – also declined this request, indicating that the bells were part of the village and “ringed for years”.