Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Have you ever dreamed of living in a wooden house, surrounded by a healthy natural environment?

A simple home that gives off a very special and positive energy? Many of us have dreamed of living in such a place. A home with no barriers, where there’s a perfect balance between nature and man.

In the Chianti region, a land of great beauty and creative spirit, you might come across someone who, through courage and effort, has designed and realised exactly this dream.

Stefano Sirigatti, 52, welcomes us to his home in La Romola (San Casciano): the eco-house called “La Fonticina”.

He proudly tells us that “it’s a no-bills house, surrounded by a more than organic vegetable garden”.

“I don’t even have a license to buy pesticides – he gladly admits – so my vegetable garden is 100% natural“.

The life of Stefano and his project are truly fascinating. It’s a path made up of joys and sorrows, satisfactions and disappointments.

“I was born in the countryside, at La Romola – he says – and although I worked as a rep for many years, I’ve always had a great passion for the land. After several hardships and disappointments, I finally decided to give up everything to pursue my dream of living “in my land, and off my land”.

“As often happens to those who carry out innovative projects – he continues – it took me a long time to get all the necessary permits to build this completely ecological wooden house. I have solar panels with a built-in storage system to provide me with electricity. I created a phytodepuration area for wastewater. I burn wood for heating. I built the interiors myself, using recycled materials”.

“The 4 hectares of land surrounding the house used to be cultivated with vineyards – Stefano explains – but I have completely reorganised it. In an area I grow vegetables under the inviting shade of the olive trees. I’ve created a lake for irrigation, from the natural springs that flow in this land, which is not called “La Fonticina” by chance. I have an amateur collection of ancient agricultural vehicles and some animals including 2 Suffolk sheep, chickens and a bull, that is called Omero”.

“I want to share the fruits of this wonderful land, this is my philosophy – he adds – I like the fact that people here can see the products growing in the field, and that they can pick them directly by themselves. Through this method, by selling directly, and only seasonal vegetables, I’d like to convey awareness of the precious fruits of the earth, their natural times and the importance of respecting nature”.

We enjoy walking around the lake and in the vegetable garden, discovering small soil beds cultivated with salads, radicchio, chilies, and areas dedicated to aromatic herbs for cooking and making infusions.

Stefano, in his funny and honest way, doesn’t hide that “there have been many moments of despair, but I’ve never given up. Now the worst moments are behind me. This project does not leave me lot of free time or big gains, but I’ve everything I need to live and I enjoy it. I feel free and in control of my life. I’ve found my balance and I’m also making plans for the future, that include a path to allow people to walk around the lake and, shortly, I’ll be organising dinners here in the garden with my vegetables”.

Stefano defines himself as “almost fulfilled because fortunately my dreams and projects are not over and I still have the strength to carry them forward”.

We just want to wish him the best. Good luck Stefano!