History of the farm
Our farm in Maremma has an ancient history, strongly linked to the history of our family; it is located in an enchanting position, about 20 minutes from the sea and 40 minutes from Mount Amiata, 10 km from Grosseto, one hour from Siena, and two hours from Rome and Florence … immersed in the sweet Maremma’s countryside!
Beppe and Rosa, Irene’s great grandparents, arrive at the farm with their son Gino and his wife Benigna, Irene’s grandparents
During the post-war Agrarian Reform, the l’Ente per la Maremma divided large plots of land previously owned by wealthy landowners into small plots that were then given to local peasants who had been working the lands. The farm, n.258, was assigned to Beppe, Irene’s great-grandfather, on April 10, 1954. The farm included twelve hectares of hard land full of stones, wild boars, and many non-cultivable areas of groves and escarpments. A small house was built with a stable for cows on the ground floor for 1,292,000 lire that was to be repaid after 30 years. After a life of misery and hard work as sharecroppers on a farm in nearby Preselle, Beppe and Rosa, with their son Gino and daughter-in-law Benigna, moved to this small farm. It was known as Laguzzano, the same name of the stream that runs through its fields. They immediately started working to make the area more welcoming, fertile, and productive.
Life is sown to the farm… plants, animals and children
The whole family helped to grow the soul of the Laguzzano farm! They removed many stones from the ground, bought cows and sheep, planted an olive grove and a small vineyard near the house, cultivated the fields with annual crops of wheat, corn and sunflowers, and bought various agricultural tools together with friends from nearby farms. Rosa and the young Benigna planted flowers and herbs, embellished the spaces inside and outside the house, and raised farmyard animals; and above all, Gino and Benigna had three splendid children. The first was Enrico, followed by Laura and then Sandra, who were all born in their home and grew up happily and loved by their parents, grandparents, and relatives. The 50s and 60s went smoothly on the farm: the adults worked hard, the children went to school, and there was an atmosphere of great joy and sharing!
Wind changes at the farm and life continues elsewhere…
During the 1970s, many events changed the life of the farm: Enrico died suddenly, Sandra moved to study in Florence, Laura started working in (then) far-away Grosseto, and Beppe and Rosa both passed away. These were tiring years in which it seemed difficult to recover the lightheartedness and joy of living in the countryside. When Laura married Giuliano, Gino transformed the stable below the house into an apartment for them and shortly thereafter, Michela was born, followed by Matteo several years later. There were children once again on the farm and happiness began to return. Games were played and laughs were shared, especially in the summertime when Irene and her sister Elisa came to play. Sandra and Marco, their parents, would bring the whole family down from Florence to spend all of their holidays with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
“Certain places or houses, apparently out of any historical or tourist pretense, not only possess a sort of soul, but exude beautiful tales of people who have otherwise only appeared as extras in the world’s history” (S.Pacini)
The return of the adults to the farm… old roots and new loves
After a period of training and working abroad, traveling and completing two degrees, Irene moved to the farm with Peter, an American and world citizen. The two first met when she was fifteen and he was studying abroad in Sicily, and then met once again more than a decade later. The two fell in love and were married within a few years. He had previously completed a degree in astrophysics, traveled the world for the better part of a decade, and is passionate about nature and the countryside. So, exactly 65 years after the assignment of the Laguzzano farm to Beppe, ten years after Gino’s death, and with a still brilliant 96-year old Benigna, Irene and Peter decided to move to Maremma with the dream of reviving life at the farm with new and different ideas, including projects for people with disabilities and for children, facilitating social and educational activities, paying attention to eco-sustainability and to the environment, having an interest in fruit, to the importance of bees, sustainable farming, permaculture principles, and all with the idea of taking care of the six green hectares of the grandparents’ farm!
Today, it is possible to appreciate the same fertile atmosphere of many years ago. The same energy that allowed Beppe and Rosa at first, and then Gino and Benigna, to create a welcoming and hospitable place to spend a happy life!
Today, you are all welcome to our farm in the middle of the Maremma near Grosseto