Hi there, we are a family with a 10 year old son, Charlie, and various other animals! Although originally from the UK - where Ruth lectured Economics and Steve trained as a sculptor - we have been living in the Italian countryside for the last 12 years. Having renovated an old farmhouse - which hadn't been lived in for 40 years - we are now in the process of rebuilding a medieval stone ruin, which will become our new home. In the meantime, we are living in a small wooden house which we have also built, on site.
We have a 15 acre plot, in a truly stunning location, on which we grow/make nearly all of our own food - veggies, fruit, cereals for bread and pasta, olive oil and wine - using permaculture, biodynamic and organic methods. All our plants are heirloom, grown from seed.
We have dogs, cats, sheep and chickens (and of course goldfish) and would like to expand our menagerie to include a cow or two, some bees, horses and maybe even a donkey. As Ruth doesn't eat meat, the animals are kept as pets, although (once they've met the right guy) we will milk the sheep and make cheese 😬. We live off-grid except for our water supply. We have solar electricity and water heating. We fell trees on our land for heating and cooking in winter. For summer cooking we have an outdoor pizza oven and rocket stove, which we have also built.
Our local community is very authentic rural Italian. We have very much embraced the local lifestyle, with its emphasis on family, friends, FOOD, and of course wine! There are heaps of things going on locally, and we feel very fortunate to be a part of it all. If you think you might like a slice of paradise too, drop us a line!
DIY and building projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We have a wealth of building experience - we do it all, building, roofing, plumbing, plastering, electrical work - to share. Travellers can also learn a lot about self sufficiency in both food and energy - including making and using a composting toilet, making soap, making bread.
We always need able hands. The tasks are physical, outdoor, and very rewarding! We always have a variety of projects on the go, but to give you an idea, typical jobs include, gardening, fencing, processing firewood, making paths, picking olives, harvesting wheat...
We have a large caravan with many mod-cons - we lived comfortably in it as a family for over a year - which is most suited to a couple or two friends who are happy to share a large double bed.
The local area is stunning. We are on the edge of an ancient forest with lots of scenic walks. Town is a 15 minute walk away (down hill there, uphill back). We are 30 minutes by car from the coast, and 30 minutes from the Sibilini National Park. We are not able to offer transport, although guests are welcome to join us on our various excursions.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
3/4 on average, max 5 days a week