Words and images by Rosalind Milani Gallieni
This is a throwback to a simple and valuable life at Fattoria La Vialla in the heart of the swaying Tuscan cypress trees, near Loro Ciuffena. How can you forget such a name? On arrival at La Vialla, the place is buzzing with keen foodie enthusiasts, and the welcome is open arms only, followed by an immediate invitation to sit under the portico, trimmed with drying sweetcorn dangling in the sun. The latest vintage of Chiassaie, the house prosecco, is offered along with slices of fresh Pecorino, carfioci, olives, and their inimitable salame, and Finocchiona.
If you want to stay on and go straight for their merenda, AKA lunch, the offering is an array of their home-made products, such as their own pasta, sauces, fantastic salads, ribollita, antipasti, crostini, bread to dip into their olive oil “a scarpetta”….and, and, and….They have even devised a bio-dynamic Ketchup – Ketchalla – to enthuse kids in the UK to eat vegetables!
After lunch, the farm-houses at La Vialla await….if you are lucky enough to get a place to rest your head (as ALL guests book repeat stays as they check out). These picture-perfect homes are dotted all around the hills and hide in the olive groves or woodlands, along winding mountain roads, some as far as 25 minutes away – although the farm gives you a sturdy Panda 4×4 to tackle the off-road adventure to your home.
When you arrive, throw the doors open and enjoy the interiors which recall the farmhouses of the 18th century. Simple white crockery matches the perfect white farm fresh eggs in the straw basket on the worn pine table, and the tea-towels and bedlinen smell of sunshine and fresh air. The fireplace in the sitting room (de rigeur) is ready with logs and kindling, and there is enough food in the fridge to keep you home for the next 3 days. It’s a return to the real life; to the pace of the day that makes you aware of your sun-rise and sun-set. At night, wild boars rummage in the woods, and the moon shines bright ’til morning. Nature here is still undisturbed and what the Lo Franco family have created for us all to experience, is a message of understanding what’s essential – in other words, a perfect getaway.
To book your own getaway at Fattoria La Vialla, and to place an order for some of their tasty products, go to www.lavialla.it.