This is one of four villages in the rural commune of Castelbianco, and its restoration has provided much-needed regeneration in this beautiful but depressed area. A new community has grown up, comprising of a mixture of Italians and people from a variety of countries, who have made the village their home, both full and part time.
The materials used to restore the village have all been resourced from the local area. The stones are the originals from the ruins while the black granite used for the steps, window-sills etc is from the local quarry. The doors and window-frames have all been constructed in the original way and painted in the traditional colours. The floors are made from sustainable timber. All new plants in the village are those which grow indigenously in the region, such as olive trees, fig and cherry trees, rosemary and thyme.
Great care has been taken to insulate every apartment; the walls are incredibly thick and all windows are double-glazed. An under-floor heating system ensures that a minimum of cheap rate electricity is needed to keep the apartment warm in winter.
The ancient footpaths and mule tracks between the villages have recently been cleared and restored, providing excellent walking in unspoilt countryside. Local craftsmen are used for the ongoing maintenance of the village and local gardeners are helping to restore the olive and cherry terraces surrounding the village.
Only organic agriculture methods are used in the maintenance of the gardens and terraces. Paper, glass and plastic are recycled through the local collection system in the car park above the village. Hopefully, we will shortly be introducing a system for recycling organic waste too, in line with an increasing number of other Italian communities. We have a paper-free policy for enquiries and bookings, using email only. The village is a car-free zone and all vehicles must be parked in the car park behind the village.
The water supply is fed to a tank above the village from mountain streams, and when tested recently was pronounced to be of the highest quality. During the dry summer months, when there is the highest occupancy in the village, people are actively encouraged to use water responsibly.
The bar/restaurant uses locally-grown vegetables (artichokes, courgettes, aubergines, wild mushrooms, herbs etc) and locally-caught produce (rabbits, wild boar etc) and serves home-cooked dishes based on traditional recipes.
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