In 2003 Marco and Cecilia started looking for a magical place in the Tuscan countryside and they found Podere Scopicciolo. They were looking for endless views, relaxation, and escape from the noisy Florentine life. The property had been abandoned since 1952. Presumably after the war, a peasant family that lived there, like many others, could no longer make a living from agriculture, so they abandoned the farmhouse.
To curb environmental impact, they installed 11 kW photovoltaic panels for electricity and solar panels for heating water. They also used geothermal energy since, underground at 300ft, the temperature is consistently 12.8ºC (55ºF), it can be extracted with a heat pump that provides both space heating and air cooling in the summer.
They were lucky to be able to re-use all of the original outside stones, rebuilding on the existing perimeter with new foundations. They are able to recuperate all water from the rain including dark waters which undergo a natural purification through a constructed wetland system so they can be re-used to water the garden. They planted over a 1.000 bushes, and 100 trees choosing only local species to blend their property into the existing landscape.
At the beginning they were spending a few weekends at the property looking at the work in progress, then slowly realized it was too big of a project for just a simple country house for their family and decided to share their experience and its beauty with friends and clients turning the endeavor into a successful business which opened in 2011 after 7 years of restoration.
Photos of the construction.