Fattoria La Vialla: Living with Nature
Be more than seem – This is exactly what makes the largest company in biodynamic agriculture in Europe very special. The Fattoria La Vialla in Tuscany is one of the exceptions in today’s time, in which a lot is promised and only a few kept. Appearances are all too often deceptive. But everything is authentic here.
At first glance, the Fattoria La Vialla is a huge, 1400 hectare site with lots of greenery, with 33,000 olive trees and 33 hidden residential units on it. It’s almost like a small village. The Fattoria La Vialla was founded in 1978 by Piero and Giuliana Lo Franco. It was built on the ruins of derelict farms that have been lovingly restored. The company near Arezzo is now run in the second generation by the brothers Antonio, Bandino and Gianni.
Self-catering holiday at the Fattoria La Villa
The individual and very cozy accommodations are rented during the season from March to October to guests who want to get to know farm life and the in-house products from biodynamic production of bread, cheese, sausage, lamb, chickens, eggs, pesto, olive oil and wine and want to enjoy Cantuccini. Everyone who lives in one of the “Podere” or the picturesque “Torre” has to take care of himself. You can get the delicious groceries in the farm shop.
Freshly baked bread is served every morning from 9.30 a.m. Only what is produced on the farm is sold in the „Hofladen“. If you want to cook yourself, you can book one of the tables in the idyllic courtyard and let yourself be pampered in Tuscan style. You can also order all the La Vialla groceries online.
Sustainability in practice
The Fattoria La Vialla follows biodynamic agriculture. That is a step further than biological. Organic is the cultivation without fertilizers, natural cattle breeding without hormones in the feed. Biodynamic, however, means that everything is fed back into the natural cycle. The plants are not changed, but supported in their natural way of life.
The olive trees from biodynamic cultivation have for example 20 percent more polyphenols than those from organic farming, because they have to protect themselves against attacks from the environment. The more you deal with the concept of the Fattoria La Vialla , the more positively you will be surprised. Living in harmony with nature. Sustainability as a natural consequence of this and not a forced measure as is often practiced otherwise.
Even cow dung is recycled by filling it with cow horns and burying it in the ground in autumn so that the microorganisms can create humus from it by the next spring, which is then spread over the fields again. There are more than 3000 horn that overwinter in the ground. Comparatively few, finely ground crystals are also buried in cow horns – a sensory organ for these animals, by the way. The crystals reflect the sunlight like mirrors and can, if necessary, give the plants more warmth. This effect is used, for example, in fruit trees when the fruit is ripe. How potent this method is is shown by the fact that the leaves of grapevines on La Vialla have already been burned because the crystals had released too much heat.
Incidentally, the concept of biodynamic agriculture is not new. It is based on the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, which he presented as early as 1924. They include field management, livestock farming, seed production, and landscaping.
The secret power of the Acqua Mora
Everything is eco-sostenibile, i.e. sustainable at Fattoria La Vialla. This also applies to the olives, which are not only first-class oil suppliers. In addition, a highly potent dietary supplement is made from the brownish vegetation water that is produced during the pressing process. For a long time, the so-called Acqua Mora was considered a waste product and was treated as such. It ends up on the compost with the exception of a few liters, which some Tuscan farmers drank during the olive harvest. The Lo Franco’s great-grandmother, Caterina Lo Franco, who died in 2000, swore by the positive effects of this extremely bitter and extremely polyphenol-rich Acqua Mora. She had drunk two glasses a day.
Today we know that olive press water contains 20 times the amount of polyphenol compared to oil and thus contains the valuable antioxidant hydroxytyrosol, which inhibits pathological vascular changes. You can tell the difference in the taste: The water tastes much more bitter than the fruit itself. A 30 ml glass of “OliPhenolia” drunk daily has an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure regulating effect and at the same time strengthens the immune system. The water-soluble polyphenols can be absorbed particularly well by the body, so they have a high bioavailability. There are already studies on the effectiveness of „OliPhenolia”
The man who produces the wines is also responsible for the production of the „OliPhenolia“ at the Fattoria: the oenologist Marco Cervellera monitors the osmosis machine, in which the Acqua Mora is concentrated four times and then mixed with Sangiovese grape juice because otherwise it is much too bitter to drink. But that is not all. The biodynamic La Vialla skin care products are also based on the olive water. Like all other products from the Fattoria, it is certified by Demeter.
Excursions: These cities are worth a visit
If you are on holiday at Fattoria La Vialla, you shouldn’t forget to explore the surrounding area and the Tuscan countryside. Here are a few tips for the nearest cities:
Arezzo and “The English Patient”
- Make sure to visit the frescoes by Piero della Francesca in the Basilica of S. Francesco. They illustrate the legend of the true cross (1452-66). The most impressive scene in Anthony Minghella’s “The English Patient” was filmed here (book tickets online in advance)
- The Aperol Spritz is best enjoyed on the Piazza Grande with the church “Santa Maria della Pieve” and a change of buildings from different eras. The square is characterized by a trapezoidal floor plan and an inclined surface.
- “No Sugar please” is a concept store with luxury fashion, a café and an espresso bar. Not only excellent coffee is served, but also cakes and panini. All of this is located in the Palazzo Lambardi, a building from the Renaissance.
- Typically Italian: the Caffé dei Costanti opposite the Basilica of S. Francesco
- The most wonderful fabrics are available from Moreno Tessuti in Via Margaritone 15
Siena and its famous “campo”
- Siena is not only worth a visit for the “Palio di Siena”, one of the toughest horse races in the world. By the way, it is held annually in summer on the Piazza del Campo, the central square of the city (next date is expected on July 2, 2022)
- The cathedral or the Duomo of Siena directly at the Piazza del Campo is one of the most beautiful churches. On its pompous facade, white and dark green marble slabs alternate. The building from the 13th century should have been much bigger, but was never completed. Still an overwhelming experience.
- Aloe & Wolf is the best vintage shop in town. With the wonderful clothes, bags and accessories of the best quality that Alessandra Aloe finds again and again, you can hardly see enough or buy enough
- A cool eyewear shop is “Ottica Ricci”, Bianchi di Sotto 34/40
- The pasticceria Nannini, which still belongs to the family of Italian rock star Gianna Nannini, is well known and a tourist magnet. Much too crowded and the quality and the service leave a lot to be desired.
La Fattoria La Vialla
A lovingly designed book by the Lo Franco family with illustrations and “handwriting” about their Fattoria and Tuscany. “In giro senza pensieri per la Toscana appartata N. 2” is an illustrated book to collectBildband zum Sammeln, 34,90 Euro*
* Das ist ein Partnerlink. Sie bezahlen nicht mehr, sondern machen unserem Team eine kleine Freude. Danke!
CultureAndCream Author from Munich
To travel during my profession as a beauty journalist was never enough for my. Also my six month on a world trip didn’t do it. It always attracts me to other cities, foreign countries, on roadtrips and places I don’t know yet. But I am not only interested in “culture” and “cream”, I am also fascinated by people who have stories to tell . Such unique experiences I want to share with you.