When we came upon Le Pianore for the first time back in 1990, there was no way to reach it by car, so we wrapped our feet in plastic packets and crossed the icy stream standing between us and our future home on foot. We must have been quite a site walking through that wintry forest, as I was heavily pregnant with our second child and my husband Francesco was carrying our young son in his arms, trying to protect him from the falling snow with piece of torn-off cardboard.
Villa Maladina appeared at the end of a small dry stone-walled path, and I had a tremendous feeling of déjà-vu: I had dreamt of this very moment the previous night, and it felt to me as though we had finally come home.
We bought the property almost immediately, but it took us many years of living in a building site to restore our 12th century farmhouses in the most ecologically responsible ways available to us. And countless heavily laden trips in our truck, to and from our native Naples, to furnish the villas with pieces that have been in our families for generations (Don Frank’s great grandma’s armoire, my father’s dining room table) as well as treasures we found at various markets around southern Italy.
Bit by bit we brought Le Pianore back to life, raising a family of four in the process. Our labour of love has borne its fruit, and we hope you will enjoy sharing in its bounty as much as we do.