Responsible tourism: Umbria cooking and painting holiday, Italy
we run our farm organically, without any use of chemical products. We produce our own electricity and hot water through solar panels. We grow most of our vegetables and fruit, all leftovers are composted and use as a natural fertilizer. We use public transport when we can, and walk and cycle as much as we can. All the products we use for cleaning are natural. Lights in our garden and in some rooms go off automatically as to save energy, besides we only use low emissions light bulbs. We encourage our guests to use towels for a few days and dry them in the sun rather than washing them. We never use tumble dryer. We always recycle paper to write notes or our shopping list. Our house has been renovated using natural materials, and with good insulation as to be warm in winter and cool in summer. Even our animals live naturally, our sheep are kept in freedom with lots of grass and lots of room to walk about. we cook for our dogs using all the leftovers, so don't buy canned food for them. And they enjoy it too!
We tend to buy everything locally, aiming to support small businness rather than big commercial ones. Our guests and friends are invited to do the same. We know all the local farmers, so whatever is not grown by us is bought directly form farmers, especially we never buy eggs, cheese and meat from the supermarket, as all these things may be supplied directly from farmers. And they taste much better! We buy wine directly from small producers and organize visits for our guests, so they may buy some wine too. We also tend to support family owned restaurants and shops and address our clients to do the same. We tend to choose products which are at risk of disappearing like rare varieties of fruit or beans as they really need extra help to survive. We promote tours to the small unknown villages and arrange local activities there. We always visit local market and encourage our guests to choose markets for their souvenirs.
Reviews of Umbria cooking and painting holiday, Italy
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 02 Oct 2015 by Ambika Thandavan
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
This was my first trip to Italy, and as they say, first impressions do make lasting impressions. And Umbria was the right blend of beauty, serenity, culture and great cuisine. As a solo traveller, I basically wanted a relaxing break with some fun activities and learning too. I got all that and more with the Cooking and Painting holiday that I booked through Responsible travel, based at Podere le Olle in Umbria. I totally loved the experience, made especially memorable by Marina and Gianluca- my wonderful hosts. They made every effort to ensure that my stay was truly memorable. Firstly, the location of this place was absolutely picturesque with spectacular views of the hills. Their friendly dogs, Lupita and Edna, were great companions. The rooms were bright and tastefully decorated. The food, of course, was awesome! I especially cherished the serene ambience and warm hospitality. I imbibed some knowledge about Italian culture from our conversations, and also got to make new friends on this trip. We thoroughly enjoyed the cooking sessions, and the finer nuances of Italian cooking taught to us by Gianluca. The day I spent painting was also lovely, in which I got to dabble in oil painting at an olive farm. We had a couple of trips to nearby scenic locales which were also quite fascinating.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
If you are looking to spend a quiet relaxing time in Italy, and share my enthusiasm for great food and culture, do not hesitate to book this holiday.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, in fact, I was particularly happy to see how natural and unspoilt the surroundings were. And as we did a lot of walking, ate fresh produce from the farm or grown in nearby areas, and learnt to cook some authentic Italian food, we were completely in harmony with nature and the people of the region.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Overall, it was a splendid holiday that I will cherish forever.
Read the operator's response here:
Ambika, thank you for your feedback. We had a great time too.