She was a teacher retired, he is a journalist and photographer. After crossing the threshold of their fiftieth birthdays they decided it was time to change their life. They looked for a place with authentic values where they could live at one with nature, at a slower, easier pace. This is how Podere Papilio came into being. An abstract idea that was gradually transformed into a wide-ranging search, contacts, negotiations, dreams and disappointments. It was no easy matter. Italy is lovely wherever you go, but wherever you go there are pros and cons. If nothing else, it was a chance to get to know more of our wonderful country. The name was already settled: Podere Papilio (Papilio Farm), a place where the focus is on butterflies, which were a great hobby of his since childhood and, later, hers too. They both love nature, animals, plants. They get more joy out of seeing a soaring kestrel than a rising bank balance, so of course there must be something wrong with them. In fact all the people they know start to believe they're crazy, though they also say they envy their courage. In the end the choice falls on a plot of land with a dilapidated farmhouse and outbuildings complex, between Alberobello and Noci in the Lower Murgia area. Here, the eye sweeps over an endless vista of green and blue. Here, the air is clean and cool. The locals are welcoming and genuine. The grass is fragrant, the blackberries are sweet and the figs luscious, nature generously bestows emotions and colours. Here, there are grand oaks to enchant us and rolling countryside to vary the horizons. Here, we feel wonderful, which is the most important thing.
A combination of B&B/nature/macro photography, factors which denote not only the desire to spend leisure time in contact with nature (especially common among stressed-out city dwellers), but also the great revival of interest in photography in view of the advantages of digital images. This makes us stand out against the crowd of "ordinary" B&Bs. We offer something different devised, above all, for people who love nature, who appreciate peace and quiet and are interested in anything to do with ecology and a balanced relationship between people and nature, respecting everybody's requirements. Then there's the added plus of taking photographs in the field, with expert guidance if desired, without being disturbed and without "trespassing" on other people's property. This fresh new formula doesn't compete with existing hospitality facilities; indeed, it should generate synergies and co-operation. With whom would we like to share this fantastic opportunity? With nature lovers, photography fans (or not), people interested in country-life traditions, passing tourists looking for artistic, historical and natural treasures. People who are informed, favourably inclined, looking for authenticity and fleeing (temporarily at least) from "progress" – getting away from it all, TV included. People of all ages and from anywhere around the planet.
Podere Papilio's added value is precisely this vision of nature as something we are privileged to be able to see, to perceive its most evocative aspects and cherish them now and for the future. A protected place where people may live in harmony with respect for their surroundings. That's why we have taken all precautions to avoid polluting as much as possible. Our electricity is generated by solar panels; rainwater is collected in a cistern then purified for domestic use and irrigation. Podere Papilio is a zero impact establishment. Organic waste is turned into fertiliser; inorganic waste is taken to the appropriate centres for recycling. Hot water for bathroom and kitchen use and room heating and cooling are governed by a modern heat-pump system based on solar panels and underfloor radiators. In terms of energy needs, the building is self-sufficient, zero impact. Gas is not used anywhere, not even in the kitchen. The sun is our only source of energy. The building's heat/sound insulation ensures maximum comfort.