Hi! I am Sara and I live in Garda di Sonico, a small village in Valle Camonica, a big alpine valley in the province of Brescia. I share the house, and my life, with Ritz and our two cats W. and Bino (this is a very important point because the cats are the true masters of the house and they will sleep on you, on your clothes, in your luggages...).
I am a graphic designer and Ritz is an educator, we work together for an indipendent magazine, Zeus! Rivista mutante, all written and illustrated by people with disability. Ritz is also a musician and we have a band together.
Garda is an old mountain village surrounded by the woods that where once cultivated terraces. When I moved here we started working on a piece of land from Ritz's grandmother and we started growing a small garden. During the years we learned a lot about plants and living in the woods, and now we have a lot of land that we take care of.
We are very open minded people, the only things we do not tolerate are intolerance and extremism. We think that diversity is above all a source of enrichment and every person deserves respect and must have equal rights.
We're looking forward to meet people who already have some experience to share with us, but also people with no experience but willing to learn something new, and that appreciate a simple but in another way very rich lifestyle in contact with nature and the community that surrounds us here in the valley.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
You will make a real experience about how to live in the mountain through a self sufficient way of living and in a close contact with nature. We can share with you everything we learned about natural agricolture, wild herbs and plants, making natural skincare products and soap, preserving foods.
I'm also a crafter and I always like to try and learn new techniques, I work with textiles (mostly recycled clothes but also wools and natural fibers), I have different looms and I will be happy to teach you how to weave if you are interested. I can also teach you how to sew, Ritz's mother is a great taylor and she could also use some help if you are skilled and want to improve your knowledge.
I'm also into linocut and woodblock print, I work with "Museo della Stampa" in Artogne, a printing museum with different machines from the 19th century to modern era, where we host guided tour and workshops. Here you can learn how to compose with movable type and print, and if you're lucky you can meet the owner of the museum, one of the first linotypist of the Valley and a very interesting person.
We do often host musicians and usually we arrange gigs for them, lately we started doing some concerts in the village, if you are a musician we can try to arrange something for you as well or we can play together.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We have a lot of things to do, you can help us in various tasks depending on the season and your skills.
GARDENING: Preparing the crops, weeding, sowing, harvesting.
HOMESTEADING: preserving food for the winter, gathering wood, making vegetable oils and soap.
BUILDING: We have to fix old wooden structure and build new ones: a chicken coop, a garden roof, some trellis etc.
There are also lots of things to do around the house (e.g. fixing some holes, hanging stuff on the walls, building a new bookshelf) or you can help me on different art or crafting projects.
We prefer to work together with you, but it can happen that we'll ask you to do some tasks while we're at work. We mostly do garden works in the weekend for the entire day, we wont ask you to help us for more than 5 hours a day, but we can schedule together work time to suit your needs.
This host offers a language exchange
I'll be happy to teach you italian language, as well as I'd like to improve my english or learn new languages. If you can teach me japanese you can stay as long as you want :)
Our house is a small tower with 3 rooms on 3 floors. Kitchen on ground floor, studio/guest room and bathroom on first floor and our bedroom on top floor. There are no doors in the house, except fot the bathroom of course, so privacy is an aleatory concept but we'll leave all the room for you. In the guest room there is place for two people.
If you prefer we have a small garden near the house where you can plant your tent (or we can lend you one).
We want you to feel at home, we can cook together and share lunch and dinner. We usually have just coffee for breakfast but we have lots of teas and homemade fruit jams if you prefer. Our meals are mostly vegetarian, but we do eat and cook everything. In the winter we use to bake bread and cookies in the woodstove.
Ritz works in Edolo, a town nearby, every weekday from 9 to 16, I'm a freelance and sometimes I work at home and sometimes not, so you'll happen to be home alone. We have lots of books, most in Italian but there's something in english as well.
We don't have a washing machine, there's a laundromat in Edolo or you can handwash.
HOW TO GET OUR PLACE: you can reach Edolo by train or by bus, we can pick you up at the station. There's also a bus from Garda to Edolo 2 times a day. Please mind public transport isn't very efficient, but we go to Edolo at least once a day and travel along the valley several times a week.
VERY IMPORTANT! The weather in the mountains can change quickly. We have many hot days through the whole year when the sun's out and it can get pretty cold when there are rainy days. So bring clothes for all kind of weather situations in every season.
Valle Camonica is worldwide known for its UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the woods along the whole valley there are thousands of figures engraved on the rocks by the ancient inhabitants of the place called Camuni. We'll be happy to get you there.
If you like hiking this is the place for you, you just need to steep outside the house and you'll be right into the woods. There are paths for different hike levels, you can reach Parecolo, a nice pond just an hour walk from here, or you can go up the mountains to Pian della Regina and Adamello or sleep in one of the many mountain huts. We will you provide you all the info you need to get there and if we are free we can go together.
Please keep in mind you will need TREKKING SHOES and the right clothing!
There also lots of rivers and lakes you can swim in during the summer, I'll get you to my favourite Lago Moro.
From Edolo you can also reach Brescia, Bergamo and Milano within few hours with public transport.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Our internet connection is not very fast.
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week