Villa Lena is a new age hillside retreat, a place for dreaming while gazing straight ahead. Your eyes are tracing nothing but nature while the mornings’ sun bathes the lawns, the forests.
Get lost watching leaves in the wind.
The single road is curved leading to houses built in former times. Once inhabited by a single family it now boasts room for many. Those who come to stay will eat locally, drink locally, sleep after walks in superb air, in beds of highest standard.
I saw olives being harvest from the numerous olive trees and veg planted in wise coordination.
In two years this place is going to be self-sufficient – fruit and veg, herbs and mushrooms for inhouse produce and cuisine.
As far as specialties go, think olive oil in all its modesty, grapes to live up to Bacchus fantasia and tartuffo bianco for a seasonal treat.
I was allowed to go hunt for these truffles. Wandering hectares of varying vegetation, intuition won’t guide you – its the dogs nosy precision that counts. One must choose to follow and conclude in digging out. Testing the earths’ smell for the key fragrance – you work yourself through the soil to reach the lump of goodness. Careful not to break it up, the removal of its embracing flock is done with time and love. Fresh and wholesome; the truffles are delivered to the Villa thanks to Morgan Gonzales and his mother – and the efforts of their dogs.
Film and words by Anastasia Freygang