There’s more than a smattering of fulfilment to be found a short walk from Monteriggioni, courtesy of mother and daughter, Francesca and Sibilla, at their ten-bedroom agriturismo in the depths of Tuscany.
Ebbio is a perennial herb, characterised by small white flowers and black berries found in the surrounding land. In the eighties, Sibilla’s mother Francesca decided this was the place to live in harmony with nature, which there is in abundance. Geese, horses, donkeys, cats and Bernese Mountain dogs are part of the family; while pigs, foxes and deers roam, butterflies and lavender fill the air. Nourishing meals are made with fresh seasonal produce grown on-site, using the mantra that ‘food is medicine’. Olive oil and jam are homemade, Sibilla also sells their grapes at the local cooperative.
They diligently measure their sustainable impact against nine criteria – energy, water, food, waste, carbon footprint, education, health, employment and happiness. Heating via biomass and mindful of water usage given the heavy droughts Tuscany sees in the summer, Ebbio also has reverse osmosis filters installed in the kitchen for drinking water and collects rainwater to flush toilets, as well as for agricultural purposes.
Guests are welcomed to get stuck in at the farm, immersed in the country ways of old Italy being held dearly. Restorative waters are never far away given the region’s geology – Ebbio itself sits on an extinct volcano sacred to the Etruscans. For those inward moments, numerous healing and restorative treatments like radionics and naturopathy complement the regular yoga retreats. Prior to making Ebbio what it is, Sibillia was an Italian in Paris, balancing a city mindset with a countryside soul. Whether it’s a slow bit of gardening, a walk in the olive groves or some horseback riding, she knows what her guests are looking for to feel alive and well fed.
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