I have lived here ever since I was a child, in the midst of nature and countryside. Growing up, I realized that my goal in life was to recreate the same cheerful and supportive family atmosphere I had known and to share it with others.
So I restored my parents farmhouse, painstakingly including all those details typical of rural life.
It was 1960 when my newly-wed parents moved to this farm to work as farmhands. The great house you see now was very different at that time. Built from left to right, it was about half what it is today. Indeed, the owner built only when he had enough money to do so, and the house was gradually lengthened over the following years. This is precisely why our apartments have different stones and structures. After many years of work and sacrifice, between 1981 and 82, my parents finally managed to buy the farmhouse from the then elderly owner. They started the refurbishment some time later, which I have continued until today.
A Walk Around
My land is beautiful and generous, with wonderful colours in every season of the year and well-ordered and cultivated fields that respect the ancient traditions of old.
Since I was my little, my father taught me to be present and to intensely love all that the land can offer. Our guests enjoy exploring the colours, smells and sensations that the ‘Pillow in a Haystack’ offers, and they can touch our produce and specialties with their own hands to share in the authentic country life.
We have olive trees and a vineyard from which we get excellent oil and wine.
In winter, we cultivate artichokes, which need special care and constant attention, but always give us a prosperous and satisfying harvest.
In summer, on the other hand, we grow tomatoes, aubergines and peppers. These are harvested during the warmest and finest months in July and August. Our guests especially enjoy this time as they get involved in the harvest with us, putting their manual skills to test and laughing out loud while trying to help the family collect and prepare the produce for sale. For the young especially, it is a novelty to discover and play with the fruits of our land, and they often race each other to fill their own basket first.
RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
My particular respect for the cultivation of the land and the environment has led me to embark on a new adventure.
For two years now, we at the ‘Pillow in a Haystack’ have been proud to participate in the Tuscan project for the cultivation of Paulownia.
This is a very special plant, also known as the Princess or Phoenix tree, which is the fastest growing hardwood in the world and represents an ever more popular way of protecting and safeguarding the environment.
It is a melliferous flowering tree, which does not damage the soil, and its wood has great properties, such as excellent thermal insulation and absorption of carbon dioxide. The resulting timber is of remarkable lightness but also incredible robustness and hardness, unique in its kind. The plantation, in addition to its natural beauty, offers guests refreshing shade for strolling under during the warmer months.