Vineyards, lavender and olive oil: there’s so much more to Casa Leopardi than bricks and mortar
Life in rural Italy isn’t all about jumping into the swimming pool, then sipping a chilled Italian white on a lounger whilst the summer sun beats down. Certainly, for the owners of Casa Leopardi, that forms a large part of country living in Le Marche, but being on a working estate also affords the opportunity to get their hands dirty by getting involved in some traditional Italian farming methods.
As autumn approaches, following the long, hot summer season, work on Estate Giacomo Leopardi gears up, as the various crops all require attention. For owners of the estate’s fractional holiday homes – managed by family-run company Appassionata – the change in seasons offers the chance for as little or as much involvement as they wish. Those who want to spend their days on the estate’s tennis court, or in the pool, or just relaxing on one of the many terraces, are welcome to do so, while those who want to get stuck in and help with the harvesting are also welcomed.
With summer turning slowly into autumn, Estate Giacomo Leopardi’s 800 lavender plants have just been harvested, ready to be distilled into lavender oil and then bottled before being shared among the owners. Next, as September draws to a close, the estate’s grapes will be harvested as well, with one owner specifically planning to be in Le Marche to help. The grapes will be processed and turned into two varieties of wine – Passerina and Montepulciano. Production last year totalled 1,600 bottles, which should rise to around 5,000 bottles as the vines mature – plenty to share between the 20 owners!
October and November will see the olives being picked, ready to turn into olive oil. This popular activity always attracts help from the properties’ owners, as well as from the entire Appassionata family, right down to the young grandchildren. Olive oil production totalled 15 litres in 2012, which will increase dramatically from 2013 onwards as the young trees develop.
Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, founder of Appassionata, explains what it is that makes autumn in Le Marche such a unique experience,
“Autumn has always been my favourite time of year in Le Marche. There’s so much to do on the estate and many of our owners love to get involved as we harvest the bountiful produce. It’s such a healthy way of spending time – being outdoors and engaging with nature – and it’s something the whole family can enjoy together.
“Some of our owners live in modern apartments in bustling cities, so to enjoy the simple pleasures of rural life is a wonderful escape for them. Not everyone likes to get involved and we love that everyone enjoys their weeks here in different ways. From being super-active outdoors, to curling up in front of the open fire with a good book, we’ve aimed to ensure that our properties suit everyone’s preferences.”
The two properties – Casa Giacomo and Casa Leopardi – are nestled into the rolling Le Marche landscape, with views of the sparkling Adriatic Sea and the dreamy, distant Sibillini Mountains. Only five bedroom/five bathroom Casa Leopardi still has fractions left for sale and those are going fast. One fraction remains at the special price of £185,000, which entitles the owners to five weeks’ exclusive use of the property per year, along with a share in the estate’s produce – the wine, olive oil and lavender oil mentioned above, along with truffles from the truffle orchard.
To celebrate this luxury, gourmet element to the purchase, Appassionata is also offering the next people to buy a fraction in Casa Leopardi an evening of in-house dining catered by a celebrated local chef, along with wine tasting, during their first stay as owners. Suddenly, the idea of autumn in Le Marche just got even tastier!