A new style of ecotourism
At La Fattoria dell’Autosufficienza the experience of the surrounding nature goes along with the ecological building of the agritourism, for a 360° green holiday
The term ecotourism is thought to be coined by Mexican architect Hector Ceballos-Lascurain, author of several books on this topic. In 1988 he gave the following definition of ecotourism: «Ecotourism is that tourism that involves traveling to relatively undisturbed natural areas with the specific object of studying, admiring and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals, as well as any existing cultural aspects (both past and present) found in these areas».
According to this definition, people often talk about ecotourism uasually referring to the following activities:
- trekking and hiking within natural terrotories, parks, etc.
- horse riding and long-distance trails;
- wildlife trails within natural parks and protected areas both on earth and the sea;
- guided diving in marine protected areas for the study and observation of marine biodiversity;
- archeological trails outside cities and towns and archeological surveys;
- food and wine tours in rural areas or within protected areas and natural parks;
- educational activities to appreciate and enjoy the territory (its features, evolution and biodiversity) and the local culture (demoghraphic and anthropological heritage, ecological memories and local traditions);
- walking or riding a bicycle along long trails which are interest from an ecological, cultural or religious point of view, such as the trail of Vie Francigene.
All of this is great, but we believe that in 2017 this is not enough. So, with the example of La Fat6toria dell’Autosufficienza we would like to demonstrate that ecotourism can go further beyond its definition.
It’s beautiful spending a day in contact with nature. Besides the marvelous The National Park of the Casentino Forests, at a very short distance from La Fattoria there are also lakes and rivers.
It’s beautiful spending a day in contact with nature. Besides the marvelous National Park of the Casentino Forests, at a very short distance from La Fattoria there are also lakes and rivers. Wouldn’t it be great if the accommodation was an ecotourism attraction too?
Unfortunately there aren’t many acommodations of this kind, even though their number is increasing. Nowadays in Italy we talk a lot about energy conservation and the laws regulating new construtions are getting stricter. However, what’s the point of energy conservation if it only involves dealing with the building? Why do we only focus on energy consumption for heating and cooling systems and we don’t take into account energy production costs and disposal of used materials?
The first renovation works at La Fattoria dell’Autosufficienza have enabled us to get the A4 building class, the maximun in terms of energy efficiency according to Italian legislation. In order to reach this result we avoided using plastic products, concrete, chemical components, etc, for chosing instead wood, land, lime, hemp, stones, wood fibres and natural paints.
Whenever possible, we avoided the use of corners or straight lines when designing the building because they are very distant from natural curves, so we tried to depict natural shapes, such as in the case of the flame-shaped thermal mass stove.
The result is a wonderful building for your accommodation in which it’s possible to see, touch and breath natural materials.
Ecology of what we eat
Ecotourism has its expression in the kitchen too. As for ecological accommodations, also in this case there aren’t many restaurants focused on ecology, but luckly their number is increasing.
An ecology-oriented cuisine should offer local recepies… but what’s the point in doing that if the ingredients have been produced thousands of kilometres away, often destroying nature with chemical pesticides and fertilizers?
In April 2017 we expect to launch also the restaurant of the Agritourism and the aim is to work only with organic, local and seasonal products, most of which come from our farming activity.
The dishes will be prepared with love because also the energy put in food preparation is as important and nourishing as the food own quality. The food will be healthy (food as medicine) in order to also avoid pollution due to pharmaceutical products and since the food we eat has a great influence on our health.
Ecology of mind
This term doesn’t have a proper, universal definition. I’d like to talk about it as a concept of connection with ourself and everything around us. Surely this is the least covered subject when we talk about ecoturism, even though it’s probably the most important.
While staying in contact with nature we have an incredible ability to reconnect with ourselves. It’s easier to learn how to act and take responsabilities for what happens in our world and to think about a different way to live our life.
For this reason in my opinion, ecotourism facilities must have a space for introspection, meditation, yoga, hugging trees, getting ideas for a new way of living that keeps us in tune with ourselves and nature.
At La Fattoria we already started to arrange courses on permaculture (a system to create sustainable and time-enduring human settlements), natural agriculture, shamanism, green building construction and holistic disciplines.
The most important thing
A gorgeous natural environment, a beatiful green building, a restaurant with healthy and self-produced food, organic farming and spiritual courses are all great things, but obviously the difference is made by the people who host you and their energy.
This is the first year La Fattoria will be a true accommodation facility and the team will grow in order to deal with the new amount of work. We will select professional people enthusiastic about life, people who want to communicate their love for other people and for the beauty that surrounds us.
The 4 pillars of the project
We produce most of our own food required to run the Agritourism and reduced the use of fossil fuels to a minimum. We do not use chemical fertilizers, pesticides or any other product that cannot be produced naturally on the Farm.
Energy self-sufficiency and green building
Our goal is to go completely off-grid by using solar, water, wind and biomass energy. We build in a smart and ecological way, in order to reduce energy consumption to minimum terms, lower our environmental impact and host people in healthy and comfortable buildings.
Ecological and Holistic education
We aim to build a sustainable human settlement, from one house to an entire city thanks to permaculture, transition towns, happy degrowth, organic agriculture, synergistic agriculture, green building, energy self-sufficiency, holistic techniques and organic food.
Ecotourism and health
Experience sleeping in a healthy, natural place, breathing clean air, drinking spring water, eating organic food, walking through the enchanting woods of the National Park of the Casentino Forests, resting in a hammock beneath a big tree, having a massage at Bagno di Romagna thermal spa, harmonizing body, mind and spirit.