The green dream of Tribewanted Monestevole has become true in Umbria

Monestevole

A fairy tale in the green heart of Umbria. Like this you could describe the story of Monestevole near Perugia in a few words, and the agritourism that opened in March as part of the Tribewanted international project of sustainable tourism.

Funded by the British Ben Keene in 2006, who later became a partner of the Italian Filippo Bozotti, Tribewanted is a social business with the aim of developing sustainable communities in eco-tourism. The initiative is intended first to demonstrate with concrete economically rational projects that a different and more respectful of nature way of life is not only possible but also desirable and necessary. In addition to Monestevole, there are now two other Tribewanted communities: one in Sierra Leone on John Obey Beach and another one in the Fiji island of Vorovoro.

The small community which is pursuing this ambitious idea in Umbria lives on top of a hill surrounded by 40 hectares of olive groves, a vineyard, a forest of oaks and pastures. Here we are in Monestevole, a town originally built in the fifteenth century as a watchtower near the castle, adjacent to the city of Umbertide, about 50 km from the equally characteristic village of Solomeo. Here lived 12 families for a total of 50 people, up until the fifties. Families Ferranti and Taborchi would work the land, produce olive oil and wine, grow cereals, raise cows, pigs, chickens and donkeys. Then this pretty little town was left a bit in itself, until 1997 when Alessio Giottoli and Valeria Cancian bought the ruined building, and after years of restoration Agritourism Monestevole was born. Both Tuscan, Alessio and Valeria moved to Umbertide as children: for them living in this little corner of paradise with their four children is priceless. They talk about Monestevole as of “a place out of the world” and “a retreat from the time”, where “at night, stars and fireflies are the only lights.” Alessio is a musician, farmer, a horse lover, and chef Valeria is a great cook, but also a skilled carpenter and interior designer.

Their way of life is an example that wants to preserve and celebrate the small businesses, the local crafts. Who knows, maybe encourage young people to return to the country, and at the same time constitute a new and more accessible point of reference for the tribe-members.

Today, the charming farmhouse on the outskirts of Perugia has 22 beds and is open to everyone, especially to those who dream of an alternative holiday, face to face with nature. From this sustainable project benefits even the local community, through a range of services such as the use of renewable energy, biomass, water recycling and waste management, wetlands, compost, permaculture, green building. The fruits, vegetables, cereals, meat, oil, wine, jams and honey are strictly local, seasonal and organic. The next step is the transformation of the old swimming pool into a biodynamic one, and the introduction of greenhouses in the garden.

For those wishing to relax, Monestevole is the perfect cradle of silence for a vacation of total comfort in Umbria. But do not forget that just a few steps from the village there are plenty of social occasions: from the Montone Festival to the appointment with the Ceri in Gubbio, the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto and the famous Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, or the folkloric Palio of Siena. The eco-community itself organizes a range of activities, such as horseback riding, excursions to the nearby towns of Umbria, concerts, singing, sowing, picking fruits, the grape harvest.

All around the Umbrian landscapes, characterized by four distinct seasons: cold and white winters, emerald green springs, hot and windy summers and autumn of harvest.

For more information: www.tribewanted.com

Monestevole, gli interni

Monestevole, gita a cavallo

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