From the first moment we were welcomed to Il Brucaolivo by Leonardo and Costanza, “a life in contact with nature” is exactly what we encountered (if you haven’t already been introduced to our hosts, Leonardo and Costanza, head over to last Friday’s post to meet them).
After waking up to the peaceful sounds of singing birds and running streams outside our window, my husband, mother, father and I were invited to join the other guests of Il Brucaolivo for a home cooked meal, served outside on a table overlooking deep green hills surrounding the agriturismo. Leonardo and Costanza soon brought out freshly baked bread, homemade yogurt and jams, persimmons picked straight from the tree, farm-fresh scrambled eggs, and hot coffee for us to enjoy along with the view.
“We decided to open an agriturismo because living only with agriculture is very difficult now. But we realized that we like to meet new people from all around the world…it’s very interesting and a good way to understand yourself, it has become one of the most beautiful aspects of our job!”
As Costanza showed us around the organic gardens after breakfast, Leonardo strolled through the rows of vegetables, carefully choosing which ones were ready to harvest and add to the menu they would offer to guests that day.
This is officially the first year that Costanza and Leonardo have been welcoming guests into Il Brucaolivo and, though living just a walk away from the coastline of the Mediterranean amongst olive groves and grapevines sounds romantic, they gave no illusions as to the hardships of maintaining the agriturismo.
The jobs of tending the farm and caring for guests make for early mornings and late nights, plus there are the natural learning curves that come along with starting a business and entering into the world of farming, all making for a busy, tiring daily life. However, it is evident that Leonardo and Costanza are truly excited about pursuing their “life in contact with nature” AND excited about inviting others like you and me to join them in their adventure!
When our stay came to an end (much to early), my family and I left Il Brucaolivo with a new understanding about another part of the world, great memories, and a kiss on both cheeks from our hosts.
Folks, if I wasn’t sold on this eco-friendly form of travel before, I am now.
But don’t take my word for it, check out agritourism stays as you plan out your next travel destination, and next time you are near Cinque Terre, Italy, be sure to check out Il Brucaolivo!
Many thanks to Leonardo and Costanza of Il Brucaolivo for hosting us!
(photo credit for several of these shots goes to Benjamin Heller!)