Tuscany is synonymous with stunning vistas, extraordinary art and ancient heritage. There is so much to see and always such little time…Despite the fatigue of long distance travel and months of preparation, the sense of satisfaction grows ever stronger, making all the hard work worth while!
Giuseppe and Diane Rossi are the dynamic husband and wife team behind the concept of ‘ARTuscany’, which is a portal, born from an idea they had for many years, previous to their move to Castiglion Fiorentino in 2002. As a child Giuseppe was already dreaming of Tuscan skies and of working closely with others who shared his passion for art, nature and the history of ‘arguably the most beautiful and historically significant country in the world.’ “When I was 10 years old my family relocated to the area, I would spend every summer at the Priest’s Institute, situated at the foot of Cortona, named after ‘Don Orione’, an inspirational priest who helped hundreds of local families fight poverty and rescued many orphans from starvation. I always felt that Don Orione was guiding me… even though I decided to leave the Priesthood just short of becoming ordained. I never lost my vocation and promised myself that I would one day return to the area that I had so passionately fallen in love with.” Fate took Giuseppe to London where he met his kindred spirit and wife, Diane. Together they later decided to transfer as a family to Castiglion Fiorentino, where Rachael, Ben and Lucia completed their schooling. “At the time there weren’t many foreigners in the area and the children were quite a novelty! We are both so incredibly proud of their scholastic achievements and know that Castiglion Fiorentino will always remain dear to their hearts.” Giuseppe and Diane have not always found life easy but they are a strong couple who never give up, even when they feel that the odds are against them! Their positivity is infectious and their ethos is simple one… ‘follow your art.’ Their passion and enthusiasm for Italy, and Tuscany in particular, is due mainly to their love of the arts in general. They focus upon educational and creative soujourns in Italy, which will hopefully leave participants with memories, enriched by cultural and historical experience, as well as the natural beauty of the stunning Valdichiana and it’s environs. Giuseppe and Diane are not only highly professional but also extremely friendly and welcoming to the many diverse nationalities that partake and contribute to the classes and activities held in the region. These range from beginner levels of painting, drawing, mosaic, ceramic and sculpture to more advanced classes. All workshops have a practical and theoretical aspect. Those who partake in an ARTuscany experience embark upon a journey which begins with the ancient and forward thinking Etruscans and continues with the marvels of the Renaissance. Legendary architiects such as Brunelleschi and Vasari used their intelligence and vision to sculpt the landscape as it is seen today. The genius of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, resulted in Italy’s global fame as the artistic heart of the world. There are still jewels to be discovered and the intrigue offered by Tuscany and it’s treasures continue to lure thousands of people each year to Castiglion Fiorentino and the surrounding Val di Chio and Valdichiana, largely as a consequence of the success of ARTuscany and it’s tireless advertisement of the area as a historic and cultural centre. Diane and Giuseppe’s interests extend to a personal concern regarding the protection of the local environment and the increasing ‘brain drain’ which has sadly resulted in younger Italians moving abroad to seek their fortune. “If local home grown talent is not encouraged and nurtured then subsequent generations of foreign students will miss a great opportuntity to learn the ancient techniques which we are concerened to keep alive. “We have worked extremely hard over the past decade to promote Castiglion Fiorentino and to ensure the continuation of it’s growth in the tourist sector but we need local support to attract even more people to come and sample the delights of the area for themselves. Everyone will gain and the cultural heritage and artistic treasures will be preserved for subsequent generations, whether Italian or non Italian… We have and will continue to contribute to the city we love, even though the path of true love has and will not always run smoothly…”
When falling in love is transformed into love comes the desire to be together for life. This is the story of Angelo Marciano and his beautiful wife Julia, the current owners of Villa Schiatti. Two lives, one meeting, one destiny. That translates concretely after the celebration of marriage, even in the purchase, in 2007, the prestigious historic home. “After a long absence from Italy – tell the couple – we had decided to find a structure that would be our ‘buen retiro’ but also a magical place for tourists and visitors. We were looking for a place of peace and of absolute beauty. We found Villa Schiatti is this!” We are on the mountain “The Civitelle”, at an altitude of 400 m, 800 m from the regional road in the town of Castiglion Fiorentino. To the east is the “cousin” Cortona, distant about six miles, while to the west stands the majestic Castle of Montecchio. Since ancient times the area, where now stands Villa Schiatti, has always been populated. Witness the various discoveries that have occurred over the years. It is of some fragments of flint, dating back to the prehistoric period, which many Etruscan bronzes, now in foreign museums of Leida, Vienna. But only in 1800 the place takes its present appearance. The Arezzo Giovan Battista Schiatti, a wealthy landowner who saw their birth in Castiglion Fiorentino in 1858, he decided to return to live in the country of the Tower of the Fortress where he built a stately home. From the marriage with Lucrezia Sandrelli were not born sons and Giovan Battista then decided to set up a “Shelter Male Protection of illegitimate children” operated by the City of Castiglion Fiorentino. Between high and low “life” in the structure went quiet until the war, the first and second world war, not through the sky above the medieval town. From college, then, Villa Schiatti became a refuge for the displaced. We are only in the twentieth century and the mid-80s, the historic home was transformed into a hotel and restaurant. “My wife and I during our lives we have known so many people – continues Angelo Marciano – The meeting of cultures, histories and traditions heterogeneous is always exciting. And this wealth we did not want to abandon it. Hence the decision to buy a structure that could be put in contact with the world that give us peace and tranquility.” Villa Schiatti is surrounded by unspoilt nature, olive groves and lush vegetation. The noise of civilization is light years away. All around about history. “When I visited for the first time Castiglion Fiorentino and its territory – said Marciano – I was literally enchanted by its beauty.” An ancient charm formed by majestic walls and many original simple alleys. And in order not to alter this magnificence “work – explains Angelo Marciano – that I run have consolidated the architectural work respecting the structure. If you stay at Villa Schiatti must savor the grandeur of the past, when traveling aboard carriages or when women wore skirts with crinoline. But if you want to also have the latest technology to keep in touch with civilization.” Compared to the past, then, but without forgetting the future. For this Villa Schiatti is unique. Suffice it to say that in 2012 some 85 travelers have rated as excellent abode. Same recognition for TripAdvisor, the largest travel portal of the world that also for 2013 has confirmed the Certificate of Excellence. “Our goal – say in unison the spouses Marciano – is to transform Villa Schiatti in an extraordinary and refined. For the love we have for the land, the effort that we are putting is remarkable.” Still love, then, that “fil rouge” that unites a man and a woman. That “fil rouge” that unites a couple working on a project. Villa Schiatti is able to fulfill every need. “In the last year a dozen pairs – says Angelo Marciano – they wanted to celebrate their marriage, not a Catholic, in our chapel.” Villa Schiatti is able to give a unique, unforgettable. Thanks also to the delicacies cooked by expert chefs. “We have enhanced our staff – he adds – with adequate skills also in the line of confectionery. Also, thanks to the love, passion and respect for nature that surrounds Villa Schiatti, we offer tasting of extra virgin olive oil obtained and produced by pressing olives owned by us, the fruit of varieties Pendolino, Frantoio, Leccino and Muraiolo”. But that’s not all. In addition to a swimming pool overlooking the beautiful Val di Chiana there is the possibility to practice many sports always in contact with nature. Villa Schiatti, an elegant framework where the landscape and services stand out the beauty of the historic home. An ideal place to spend a relaxing holiday fully immersed himself in another era.
Put two young friends with a passion for hospitality. Put an old building but full of charm, a pinch of “madness” and you’re done. Since 2011 there Tacci square in front of the B & B Viziottavo. We are in the historic center of Castiglion Fiorentino. After passing the town hall square, go down Via San Michele, and after a few hundred square meters is Tacci, in fact. The last tenant leaves the property in the late 90′s. Since then forgetfulness becomes the sole owner of the rooms and lofts. The silence and neglect takes the place of playful shrieks and cries of children. The turning point came only in 2009 when Alessio, a professional surveyor then little more than 28-year old, for the first time crossed the threshold of the palace 400esco. “I took just two minutes – he says – to understand that the place was perfect for a B & B”. “When it came to my shop – Federico adds now 30 years old – was no longer in the skin.” “Our intention – say in unison the two friends-businessmen – was also to give more opportunity to our country. Castiglion Fiorentino is a medieval village full of history, culture and traditions. And fortunately the chaos of the city and the hectic life are still very far from us. Two elements, these, that make our country a small chest. In short, a small town on a tourist, or rather, man. ” Create something tangible, therefore, to sustain and support the local economy. To give a boost to the country, the guardian of numerous artistic treasures. But as often happens between saying and doing is always a half of the sea. And even in this case, “the enthusiasm was – still the two friends – but the entrepreneurial adventure was more complicated than it we thought.
Lots of paperwork to fill, so many bureaucratic procedures to follow.” Despite all of two years ago, May 2011, comes the opening of which was attended by hundreds and hundreds of people. Many wanted to congratulate the two friends with a passion for the tourist. But many people, moved by a prurient curiosity, wanted to see and why not touch the eighth vice. Yes, because the B & B to decline over the seven deadly sins he himself becomes a vice, hence the name “Viziottavo.” 6 bedrooms, super modern and equipped with all comforts, each of which represents a defect: Pride, Avarice, Envy, Wrath, Sloth and Lust suite. In addition, each room is assigned a color and a different scent. Then there is the throat, seventh deadly sin, where they consume gargantuan breakfasts. All this is accompanied by the detailed research brings to light is the heraldic coat of arms of the noble family that the temperament rather on those who live for centuries made the palace. “When we thought the hotel the first thing that came to mind – explain in unison – it was a place that combined perfectly relaxing pleasure.” And so an elegant historic building, for centuries owned by an illustrious noble family in Tuscany, is transformed into an oasis of well-being. Stress, hectic life, at least for one night, are left outside the door while inside everything is built to pamper guests. Since the establishment and restoration of the architectural structure. “In addition to having recovered all that was possible – the state – even the original one, we thought of bringing modernity and super-technology. (Access to the hotel and its rooms is via MAGNETIC BADGE which is also activated after the ignition of the same, wasting energy and helping, though in our small, the ecosystem.) That in every room there the possibility of color therapy, an ancient natural therapy that uses colors to harmonize the body and mind. ” And this combination has whetted and teases the mind of many tourists, especially Italian. “Yes – and Federico Alessio say – our customers to the maximum stop 3 days, are 70% Italian. There is a couple of spouses of Bologna that every year is the Medieval Festival organized by the district formwork. The remaining 30 come from Holland, America, Germany and France. ” In just two years, therefore, the B & B Viziottavo has carved a prominent place in the landscape of receiving both local and national. “It ‘s only right to thank – say the two friends – to our families. Our fathers, Helium and Renato, who helped us a lot during the renovation work. Our mothers, Ginetta and Franca, who along with my sister – says Federico – help us in welcoming. ” For Alessio and Federico is made, therefore, a dream. But those who know the two boys is sure to have another project already in the pipeline.
What is a sinking heart ? It is a very strong emotion that shakes the soul. One person, a smell that opens the nostrils, a sound that creeps in your ears, or an enchanted place. Well, all these emotions Pietro Baini has tried in a midsummer afternoon. Once through a thicket, he saw what was left of the old furnace Brolio. “Before me there was only a ruin and many weeds – remember – but the scenery was breathtaking.” We’re in open country Castiglione, a few steps away is Foiano della Chiana. “I was admiring a living – he says – Lying beneath my eyes was the Chiana Valley, on the south by Mount Amiata and Montepulciano to the north by the Pratomagno, near the border with Florence.” Heart skipped a beat, then, that has transformed the lives and the lives of his family.
“I immediately called my wife Cristina – adds excited – and I told her that I found in the middle of a magical, enchanted. The Tuscan countryside.” Only a moment to realize that the place for him was already special. “I stared at him trying to possess the soul” he adds. We are in 2000 and the entrepreneur foianese decided to buy the old furnace of Budini-Gattai, one of the most important Tuscan families owning less than 23 farms including, of course, that of Brolio. It took 5 years, from 2002 to 2007, to complete the restoration. “I tried to comply in all respects the original architecture – Baini precise – in addition to having used all the materials already present in the structure.” The villa dates back to the middle part, to the early 1600s, while the following sections were developed towards the end of 1800. The furnace, which belonged, as mentioned, until 1960 the wealthy and enterprising family Budini-Gattai, was the place where they were produced in the authentic Tuscan bricks as bricks, roofing tiles, used for the maintenance and restoration of the buildings in the many farms owned by the family. Thus, not only the roofs and walls maintained unchanged their shape, thanks to careful research at the Library of Florence, but especially the Ancient Furnace (hence the name) and the old cistern, unique and high-impact , have become the spearheads of the old farmhouse. “There ‘s never wise to dive headlong into a story – precise Baini -
but today enjoying all this I think I have done well. Thanks to my work was also recovered a piece of history of this wonderful and beautiful valley.” L’Antica Fornace has also become the brand of the agricultural society, run by Edward, the son of Pietro Baini. Two brick arches, one inside the other, depicting the life of the inhabitants of the Val di Chiana. The rugged heavy sweat and sacrifices of a multitude of men and women who lived on agriculture. And today, after having given new life to the old furnace you can sit in a singular and charming drawing room where ancient and modern blend together to create a unique environment. L’Antica Fornace is located at the heart of the Tuscan countryside, far from the chaos of the city but mostly sheltered from the wild pace of everyday life and civilization. A huge mediterranean garden surrounded by over 5 acres of land and 400 olive trees. A haven of peace which attracts wealthy tourists from all over the world. “England and the United States then followed by Australia, Japan, Brazil and Germany” explains Baini. The villa is often chosen to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays or weddings. Or there are those who, like colonel australian and his wife, he prefers to spend three weeks to draw beautiful watercolors of the Val di Chiana. But there are those who do not withdraw from the pool, heated with 12 solar panels, or turkish bath nestled in the historical cistern which once served as a water collection for the furnace. “Our guests – adds Baini – coddle them every day!” A welcome basket containing the food and wine of the area. The ability to enjoy both the products of the typical dishes of the Tuscan tradition. Furthermore, the villa is furnished with antique furniture like the piano or the old safe in 1800 with an eye to modern technologies that make the holiday unique and unrepeatable. “I remember that some time ago – think back Baini – a wealthy american family had bought in a travel agency, the package ‘Dolce Vita’ which provided in addition to a stay in Venice and Positano to two weeks in Tuscany. Well instead of Florence preferred to spend 15 days in our facility. For us it was a great recognition that filled us with joy. ” L’Antica Fornace: a perfect retreat for those who love to spend a holiday away from the crowds, the ideal place to reach the most famous and beautiful cities of Tuscany and Umbria.
When the social commitment is transformed into a symbol of rebirth, but also the integration of fun and lightheartedness is called “Serristori.” We are in Castiglion Fiorentino, along the main road of Mercy, a few hundred meters from the bridge of Cesa, the natural border between the country of the Tower of the Fortress and Marciano della Chiana. Here, nestled in the Tuscan countryside is a structure famous throughout Italy. Yes, because, here, was born the first school of ultralight for disabled people in Italy. The story goes back several years ago when a priest, enthusiastic about life, regret Arturo Buresti father, and his good friend Luciano Giannini, a volcanologist with the passion for airplanes, they think of a place where children, families and young people can to live a simpler life, without architectural barriers. The first to join this project, as original as forward-looking, are Arnaldo Valdarnini, a teacher by profession and a journalist by passion, in practice the historical memory of the entire country, and Franco Bentenuti, a young boy who Cortona for a dramatic motorcycle accident is forced to live on a wheelchair. Together with them, Paul Barucchieri, the deus ex machina of the American college “Santa Chiara” who died recently. “For a year now – said Franco Bentenuti – dwells in me and all my mates a great void. For us Paul was a true friend and trusted, was a companion of ‘journey’ very important ‘. The adventure of the “pioneers of powered flight” begins in 1995. At that time, Franco Bentenuti first Italian microlight and helicopter pilot, he became chairman of the sports “Baroni Rotti” and together with its members-friends decided to build the center flight. The plot of land is made available by the Serristori. “One day a disabled boy who was part of my own association of paraplegics told me of his experience flying with Luciano Giannini, what was to become our instructor. Was enthusiastic, but at the same time very sad because he could not maneuver the ‘device – he says – And it is for this reason that the association was born. We want to promote flight activity even among those who are carriers of motor deficits. Our slogan reads:’ Barriers are broken, but there are places where There are Less From Break ‘. For us, the sky is the ideal place to live, there are no barriers for anyone! When we are at the controls of an ultralight feel the feelings that have doubled compared to a normal person. Moreover spend our life sitting on a wheelchair and then the flight makes us feel truly free, and it’s a great feeling!”
Thus begins the work to realize the structure. “We built some hangars, mowed the grass and planted the windsock – he continues with a smile – we were very happy. Our dreams were becoming reality. “The official opening takes place airfields the following year. Meanwhile, the ruins of which are located within a few tens of meters are neither used nor refurbished. As long as we are in 2000, is a public auction banished “to which – Franco continues his story – decide to participate.” 750 thousand euro in more than 20 Members become the owners of the plot of land with some ultralight aircraft hangar and the same. And today, after 10 years, that same land, there are 15 apartments, 8 of which are wheelchair accessible, a restaurant and a swimming pool. “For the name – explains Bentenuti – we chose one of the Conte Serristori. “Yes, because the land on which stands the residence was managed by the Serristori which aims to help people just like the weakest and most defenseless. So after tens and tens of years, once again, the will of the Conte Serristori , the Florentine nobleman who left his wealth to the fathers of Castiglion Fiorentino Filipinos who pledged towards the needy children, was maintained. And today the “Serristori” has become one of the most important companies in the field of leisure flying, Sportsman and not only by demonstrating, therefore, that good will can achieve important goals. As happened in 2011 when the airfield Serristori went the “Avioportolano Award” for the best airport aviation-Italian tourist. A very prestigious award in Italy There are hundreds of airports, which brings up the name of Castiglion Fiorentino and the whole valley. “Every year – continues Franco – land about 300 planes.”
Mainly come from France, Germany and Austria. “Even in groups of 20-30 aircraft” he explains. There are many, therefore, the daredevils of the sky who decide to spend a few hours or even days in the structure. The comfort of the apartments, the food and wine and the beautiful landscape are the ideal setting for a holiday, for a moment of relaxation. And then there are the many events that take place every year just inside the residence “Serristori.” One above all, the “Festival of the Air” which attracts thousands of people from neighboring countries and beyond. So, thanks to the “gang” of friends in Castiglion Fiorentino is a tourist village with a flight center for disabled people, a reference point for the Italian peninsula. But there is also the “Serristori” with its 15 apartments, of which 8 are wheelchair accessible, a restaurant and swimming pool. A place of pure fun. Immersed in nature is, in fact, possible to taste the food and wine of the area, relax in the pool and occasionally raise the nose to the sky where the “iron bird” draw a heart. Always returns the flight, space, sky, clouds and immensity. In a word, freedom.
More than agricultural entrepreneur is considered a “Peasant”. “Why – he says – the word says my roots. Who I am, my values, especially my future. There can be no future if we do not take into account the history, traditions, our past”. This is the philosophy of life of Chiara Vilucchi, owner of the farm “La Crosticcia” which is located in Cozzano, the port north of Castiglion Fiorentino. And even in the choice of the name of the company has tried to remain true to the past. In fact, after a careful search in the cadastral maps “i found out – he adds – the seal of my paternal grandparents stood in the area called ‘Crosticcia’. From here, of course, the name”. The past, then, that becomes present. Why traditions are nothing more than the “rules” that are transmitted from parents to children, for millennia. A teaching, a gift of wisdom that you have to win both living in contact with nature preserve with care. Chiara is also a young woman who, during his walk of life, has launched a symbolic challenge to the world of work. “I started this adventure in 2001, before I had another job”. Yes, because despite the setbacks, even painful, it is rolled up her sleeves and began to re-write a new chapter of his biography. And the path was not easy. It took three years to renovate the old house and to set up the garden. “Before the ground floor there were the stables and barns – he says – while the first floor was the home of my grandparents”. Today the building has two apartments, equipped with every comfort, with 8 beds. And in the ranking of farms received the highest award: 3 ears. “The restructuring we tried – still – to maintain the rustic tuscan style and where possible we have also recovered the original material”. In fact, for example, the old slabs that made up the floor of stables today have been used to form the pavement around the farmhouse. “Here – and he says, pointing proudly structure – lives in my heart. Here I was born, the first of two children. My brother called Joseph as our paternal grandfather. Here I have the best memories, those of childhood. Even today I see myself when I was playing in the yard under the watchful eyes of my grandmother. I grew up here and now, here, I re-built my future”. The cottage, with its large swimming pool, located in the center of the company, surrounded by silvery green olive trees over 1000 and the lush greenery of the vineyard. “The wine we produce – points – we use within the company”. Different, however, the speech for the extra virgin olive oil “La Crosticcia” and honey, both organic products. “My family was a precursor to the biological. My father Ezio, supported by my mother, Erica, began in 1982 with the production of both oil with that of honey. Perhaps it was the first to Castiglion Fiorentino. And we are proud of this!” And today, 31 years later, the label
“La Crosticcia” has become a reality both in extra virgin olive oil I.G.P. that the nectar of the industrious insects. “We have 3 different types of honey: millefiori, acacia and chestnut invasiamo personally in our laboratory. As indeed we do with oil”. And these extraordinary products of the earth become a tasty and appreciated “taste” of welcome to all the guests “La Crosticcia”, an oasis of relaxation and nature. “The ability to reap the benefits of the garden – says Chiara – is the best gift that I could do. Especially love to eat tomatoes. A passed under the water and biting them as if they were apples”. Tourists who decide to strascorrere their holidays by Chiara come predominantly from Northern Europe. Belgium, but also Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. “Essentially we choose – he added – is the sheer tranquility of the place, the majestic trees and large bushes of flowers are a natural barrier against the noise of the city, and for the friendship that develops between us. My home and that of my parents are always open for everyone. We seem, indeed, a big family. So much so that every year vacationers delight in the kitchen preparing their dishes. And we reciprocate with our delicacies. As the pork”. Guests, then, but also friends. “I’ve seen their children grow up – he says – one of us is born an affection sincere. The children send me your thoughts and designs that are at school and i reciprocate with photos of my life in the company”. There is, therefore, one osmotic exchange between them. Clare teaches you to enjoy the foods of the time since antiquity. And maybe they teach agricultural entrepreneur to see with different eyes and the artistic treasures of the place that the beauty of nature. “Almost every night – he says with a smile – are the nasu upward. Remain enraptured by the sky sparkling with stars. From them, they say, the starry sky is less bright”. But there are also seduced by the big old cypress tree that rises behind the house. “It ‘s been my grandmother, just married, to plant some pine cones, us nome ‘croccole’ in the land which gave birth to this wonderful plant”. Looks at the monitors, protects it from the top. How would her grandmother. “That would be proud of me, of what I could build. It was not easy and it still is. When, in the evening, returning home from work but are destroyed at the same time I’m happy. Who does not live in contact with nature but especially those living as part of nature he can not fully understand. ” Surely they understood the many guests of “La Crosticcia” that return every year to Castiglion Fiorentino. For them it is like returning to an old relative, a close friend with whom you choose to spend the happiest moments of his life.
Once in country houses is housed both parents and friends eager to spend a few days surrounded by nature. Today those same houses have become valuable cottages that can accommodate dozens of visitors and tourists from all over the planet. There is a generational shift between the first world inhabited by today’s grandparents and managed and cared for their grandchildren. And this unconscious passing of the baton we find in the history of the farm “Santo Stefano”. There is a grandfather, Alberto Bernardini, and there’s grandson, Michele. Are next to each other. Have in front of them a basket full of produce. Among them there is an unbreakable bond that not even time can try to scratch. Are intertwined not only by the bond of kinship. Are intertwined because Alberto has given experience and tradition to the young “student.” Michele, then, has brought and will bring vigor and innovation throughout the company. A century of history, of community life, therefore, is told in a brand, the brand of the farm “Santo Stefano”. This is the “common thread” that binds the whole family. Three generations in comparison, the grandfather Alberto, father Antonio with his mother Marinella and finally the second son Michele. Together they worked to transform a simple country farm in a farm with quality. Excellent productions such as olive oil, wine and organic honey and many of our guests who decide to spend their holidays in an enchanted paradise. The history of the estate “Santo Stefano” is lost in the mists of time. The family resides in the enchanted Bernardini Chio Valley since 1400. “It ‘was my uncle Fra’ Gregorio Billi, Abbot General of the Cistercian monks – says Antonio Bernardini – to reconstruct the family tree”. A deep connection between the religious, the family and the silent valley of Castiglion Fiorentino. “Every year, summer came to our house. At that time – he continues – my parents owned a mill in Col De’ Bidone”. Here was a small church where the abbot is to pray. “For us guys – adds Antonio – his arrival was a real party.” Since then, much time has passed. Everything is quiet last, in the silent valley. Until 1985 when, in the wake of the young Michele, it was decided to turn an old farmhouse into a modern design but with deep roots. “We are back in motion – explain in unison Antonio and Marinella – the first goal was to find our place in the market. And to do that we had to gain a lot of preparation, competence and professionalism”. While the band staged a house for the reception of visitors, the farm specializes in the production of olive oil, wine and honey, all organic products. “Today – tell unison father Antonio and his son Michele – we expect about 130 hives spread over 5 sites in Tuscany. Our aim is to create multiple types of honey to meet the many tastes of the customer. For this reason, we have also developed a special line where we mix honey 5% of fresh fruit, citrus apple berry. In this way the product is palatable to almost everyone”. It exports flywheel. “From Hong Kong, the door noble East – support – to Finland”. But the farm holidays “Santo Stefano” also produces extra virgin olive oil. “Olevm” its label. “We have about 600 olive trees – add – divided into three varieties: Frantoio, Leccino and Moraiolo”. Leading the production of the nectar of the gods. “We have 6 types of wine – tell Antonio and Michele – there are two red ‘Senaia’ and ‘Zoccoli’. A white ‘Venere’ dedicated to the beauty of the Valle di Chio comes from. A pink ‘Bocca di Rosa’, a pure Sangiovese, which took its name from the song by Fabrizio de André. It was an idea of my daughter Sara. We then have a doc vinsanto Valdichiana, classic dessert wine. But our masterpiece is represented by ‘Passium’, an extremely rare wine that is made from moldy grapes. In 2008-2010 was Awarded the Chimera as a dessert wine”. Hectares of vineyard totaled 4.5. And every year are produced from 8 to 12 thousand bottles. The vines, to stay in tune with the territory of origin, are native Tuscany. Even there is a unique story about it “Zoccoli” and “Passium.” Both wines come from the vineyards of historic Zoccoli, hence the name of the red wine, and it is said that in 400 Saint Bernardine of Siena, in that place, he planted the first vineyard. “We are the keepers of this ancient and at the same time fascinating job – says Antonio – and right in the crypt of the franciscan convent of clogs we set up a winery where we organize tastings. Only last year a group of 50 Japanese has participated in these rendez vous “. Today the farm “Santo Stefano” has 3 small units. But “we are moving – explain Antonio and Marinella – in receipt of international groups and families.” The interest is mainly oriented to both tours with tastings that the participation of course traditional Tuscan cuisine. “They love – they add – to eat what they cook.” So Marinella with her mother and mother-in-law gets in the kitchen and starts to churn out many delicacies. “There are enchanted – the woman says with a smile – when we make fresh macaroni”. In the farm “Santo Stefano” You can not live a unique experience, but new and untested, it gives immediately the wonderful feeling of being in a familiar environment. “For us it is important – said Antonio Bernardini which by the way is the President of Friends of the Valle di Chio – the visitor living in contact with the company that hosts them and support them in the knowledge of the territory. The facilities and food and wine tell who we are, our roots as well as the historical and artistic wealth of Castiglion Fiorentino. Just take a walk on foot, on horseback, by bicycle along the many paths that run through our countryside, the paths through the woods and mountains to enjoy the views and the unusual encounters with wild animals and plants: farm means finding peace of mind and fortify the body! “
When you open the book of memories is like leafing through a beautiful illustrated book of those who had children. Even if they are seen and reviewed are continuously browsed. This is what happens to the guests of “Le Capanne” of Castiglion Fiorentino. When they walk in the grounds of Margherita Buccelletti, Vincenzo Mazzeschi husband and sons Gabriele and Annamaria, are a blast from the past. Here everything speaks of solid traditions of the story that is the basis of modern society. They can not stop watching the unmistakable landscape, are enchanted by the multitude of flavors and colors. We are in the Valle di Chio, one of the smallest and most charming valleys of the Tuscan Apennines. Here in the countryside is an old stone farmhouse that has been renovated a few years ago in 4 apartments. “We have kept intact – says Margherita – the original architecture but without forgetting the comfort of the modern.” Around the structure, enriched with a large swimming pool, there are many old olive trees and a lush forest that protects and repairs the guests from the city chaos. From the “green door” you can catch a glimpse of a wild and unspoiled nature where roam undisturbed wild boar, roe deer and fallow deer. A lush paradise, then, from which they are drawn forces to produce the fruits of the land of the highest quality. It is because the heart of the farm “Le Capanne” is an organic farm that produces, among other things, organic extra virgin olive oil and a 4 wines. “This year – says Gabriele Mazzeschi – our oil was selected by the Consortium for the Protection Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP Toscano as official supplier to the hospitality areas of the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence”. A great recognition, then, in addition to others obtained with wines. “We produce – more – 4 wines. A white IGP, ‘Mezzavia’, a vinsanto D.O.P. Valdichiana, ‘Fontemazza’, and two red. This is ‘Foramacchie’, an IGP, and the ‘Commendatore’, an IGP Tuscan Syrah. The latter are particularly fond of since it was dedicated to my great-grandfather, Michele Giusti, who in the 70s was honored with the Order of Merit”. M.G. Same for both the initial great-grandfather for Gabriel. A coincidence that the brand has become a family. Traditions, therefore, also a personal history, a passion that turns into a job. “Last year, Gabriel – says Margherita – he graduated in Agricultural Science and Technology with 110 cum laude with a thesis on wines and their names”. A new generation company that brings a little ‘air of freshness and many new features but look carefully to the goals achieved by their pro-parents. As the desire and the will to revive an old seed wheat excellent organoleptic properties. This is the “Verna”, an ancient variety recovered from Marino Gasparini, former Director of the Institute of Agronomy of the Agricultural University of Florence, and Gabriele with his mother Margherita and father Vincenzo strongly wanted to produce. An adventure that is bearing good fruit, so much so that the media have dealt with them. “Teletruria”, a local television station, has dedicated an entire episode of the show “Terra d’Arezzo” conducted by nutritionist Pierluigi Rossi farm “Le Capanne”. “We bring our grain – tell Margherita and Gabriele – where to Parri Mill is stone ground flour distributed to some bakeries in the area”. But that’s not all. “For the first time – stress – we also spelled”. Products with an antique flavor that are sold, along with all the organic agriculture, in the markets of “Campagna Amica” and “Mercatale.” From producer to consumer, therefore, a policy that also takes place in the farm. In fact, all of the organic farm products are tasted also by the guests. “They can – says Margherita – freely collect the fruits of our garden is that of our orchards. A true taste of tomatoes and peppers, herbs, figs and cherries is a unique and unrepeatable pleasure”. A unique and unrepeatable pleasure that accords with all the guests of the estate “The Stables”. A family from South Africa that has been emulated in the black continent. “Last year – always tells Margherita – gave us a bag made with pieces of cloth, each of which is characteristic of a different part of Africa”. But they are not alone. “In September 2012 – add – came three Canadian families who have invited us to dinner in the apartment and cooked them trying to use some Tuscan recipes. They gave us organic products from Canada and made from a plant called ‘érable’: ‘Gelée à l’érable’, ‘sucre d’érable’, ‘sirop d’érable’. Or the plant maple from which you extract numerous products like syrup and sugar”. If you then want a relaxing holiday where hospitality and good food are the masters, you would not think the farm “Le Capanne” Margherita, Vincenzo, Gabriele and Annamaria. And you can not leave without tasting the wine and the oil that is produced in the company.
We are in Orzale, one of the 16 villages that make up the enchanting Valle di Chio in Castiglion Fiorentino. “The farm – says Manuela – was bought by my father Vasco in the ’60s.” “So many memories!” He added, after a smile. Was little more than a child when he and his family ran around in the woods in search of the most beautiful chestnut. Tireless, then, he always wanted to “help” the family in the olive harvest. Years went by and Manuela becomes a young woman. And “Fonte Vinaglia”, hand in hand, it becomes the location for both volleyball matches for the dances last year with friends. “Preparations – continued – began several months before.” We arrive in 2000 and it was decided together with her husband Roberto of transforming the old cottage into something more. A year later founded the farm “Fonte Vinaglia”. “This has been possible – says Manuela – why always work on the family farm that produces, among other things, extra virgin olive oil. The brand ‘Ziro’, organic olive oil is marketed since 2011″. So there is no farm without a farm behind you talking about the environment, traditions and memories of a past flourishing and thriving. “But not enough!” He points out. While Manuela attended courses in marketing, psychology, cuisine and hospitality, her husband Roberto participates in that on the oil produced by the Region of Tuscany. “For us – add unison – this adventure really represented a leap in the dark. It is for this reason that we have attended numerous courses organized by various associations and organizations. Today to move forward you have to be informed and competent leaving nothing to chance. In particular we treat, and our children Linda and Dario give us a big hand, even the IT and multimedia”. Months of sacrifice, thus leading to the capture of 3 ears, the highest honor for a country inn. The cottage, which can accommodate up to 8 people and is on two floors, has maintained the charm of the Tuscan style. “For the furnishings we have recovered old family furniture” says Manuela. The exterior, then, is a riot of colors and scents. Apart from a lush garden with herbs and a swimming pool with panoramic views, the property is surrounded by olive groves, woods and chestnut trees. “For those who want privacy – says Roberto – ‘Fonte Vinaglia’ is the perfect place!” “Living here – more – means tasting Tuscany in the most true and easier.” And when you think about the “flavor”, taste, thought is excellent cuisine Tuscan-Castiglione. “When – says Manuela – my mother-in-law Anna gets the kitchen is really breathes an air of celebration. Indeed, while ‘pull’ the dough guests begin to photograph”. And with a glass of wine and a plate of noodles, born and strengthens friendship. All this is “Fonte Vinaglia”. Here time seems never before.
Like the protagonists of an old Canadian film “Sliding Doors”, “Porta Girevoli”, so Joan and Roman look with subtle open the door of their life to a totally different reality. In front of the crossroads between past and future, between history and “fairy tale” decided to completely transform their lives. Only a decade ago lived on a farm in Vanzaghello, common on the outskirts of Milan, where he produced milk and cereal. Today, after many vicissitudes, are the owners of the “Mulino Vecchio del Cilone” located in the enchanted Valle di Chio in Castiglion Fiorentino organic vegetables and produce oil and wine. “The series of positive coincidences that have characterized our life – say in unison – have convinced us that we had to live in this wonderful country.” The decision to move comes, essentially, after the expansion of the airport of Malpensa. “The environment – continue – was changing due to the smog and the days were now marked by rhythms unnerving.” Thus, in February 2000, decided to spend a week in Castiglion Fiorentino. A 30tina visits and meetings made on site but that does not lead to anything interesting. Until Sunday morning when, with suitcases in hand, they arrive in the beautiful Valle di Chio. “Despite the rain and the wild flora – explain – we ‘kidnapped’ from the location.” Neglect is the master. The brambles and brushwood “eat” almost the entire house uninhabited for 15 years. So much so that the building is rebuilt from scratch. A long and laborious but once completed by its fruit. “Before operating bulldozers and excavators – explain – we did a search in the local library. And we saw that the building is an old mill, hence the name of the farm had already been designed by the famous Leonardo da Vinci. ” It takes 3 years, all documented with photos and tons of paper, is to reclaim that to raise the level of the area as well as build the farm. 3 apartments, furnished with furniture purchased in the markets, one for diversamenti disabilities. And as the “icing” on the cake so the old family crests take place over the fireplace. “After so many sacrifices – says Joanna – we were able to complete our project work involving stravolgeva completely and even our lives.” We are in April 2003 and it is time to move from theory to practice. “We were lucky – he says – our neighbors have responded favorably. Even some of these have helped us even in our farming. ” Thanks to a friend of profession walking the first vegetables grown in the fields of Valle di Chio are sold to the market. And thanks to the neighbors son Richard is now friends with new classmates while Alessio recovers the health and enjoys the wonderful temperate climate and colors of the area. Life, then, re-take its course stopped a few years ago to 450 miles away. The wine cellar is filled with wine and food store fill of organic vegetables produced on the farm. Giovanna following courses of Tuscan cuisine. “But the most delicious recipes – he says – I have ‘captured’ by the grandmothers of the country.” We are in 2004 and the first guests arrive. But it will be the following year, in 2005, the year of change. Through word of mouth and through multimedia technology, the farm “Mulino Vecchio del Cilone” welcomes many guests. 90% are italians from all over the boot. “Essentially seek – says Romano – peace and quiet. They want to rediscover the flavors of the past, genuine ones. As has happened to the director of a famous guest of the tour operator with his family. He claimed that he was tired of aseptic and luxurious hotels. He wanted warmth and color.” And farm “Mulino Vecchio del Cilone” matched the color of campaign castiglione with its delicious fruits. “All guests – says Romano – can collect produce from our garden.” And found the warmth of the people of the country. “The hospitality – more – from us is unique and sacred. We all eat together at the table of the products of our territory. ” So, like the pieces that make up a puzzle the way of life of Joan and Roman outlines step by step encouraging a journey along 450 km, from northern Italy to Castiglion Fiorentino. But that’s not all. “I’m excited about this life – says Roman – and I always want to do something new.” In fact, while every year the garden is enriched with a new plant enlarges the farm along the way, first with the pool and the PV, then the spacious veranda which serves both breakfast and dinner and the last extension of the 3 rooms with bathroom. In all, today, the facility has 12 beds and 9 beds. It is said, therefore, that the fate of a man if at all, but at least in part has already outlined from birth. And hearing the story of Joan Roman and you can believe.