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Suddeutsche Zeitung MAGAZIN n.34 27/8/2010

La Lodola, Toskana
Ein malerisches Haus, ein Kamin, eine Flasche Rotwein und Tagliate als Nachtmahl wollen erst gefunden werden. Und dann nicht mehr hergegeben.

Sätze, mit denen man versucht, aus dem Alltag auszubrechen, lauten meist so: »Komm, pack deine Tasche, wir fahren nach Italien!« Doch dann: sitzt man viele zermürbende Stunden später in einem überteuerten Hotel, die Restaurants haben schon zu, und weil man im Urlaub auf sich selbst nicht wütend sein will, findet man halt den anderen bescheuert. Wir sind auch mal zu so einer Reise ins Unglück aufgebrochen. Zuerst war uns die Strecke von München nach Como zu kurz, dann der Weg nach Florenz zu lang, und als es schon dunkel wurde, erfuhren wir, dass das Hotel, das uns ans Herz gelegt wurde, wegen Renovierung geschlossen hatte.
Wir bekamen immerhin die Telefonnummer eines anderen Hotels, und Mario, der Besitzer des »La Lodola«, erklärte, wie wir nach Foiano della Chiana kommen würden (noch nie gehört) und dann das Irgendwas finden würden (nicht verstanden). Und dann? Ein Haus aus dem 18. Jahrhundert auf einem Hügel, ein prasselnder Kamin, und Mario, der um elf Uhr noch fragt, was wir essen möchten. Nach
Salat, Tagliate mit Risotto und Rotwein ohne Etikett sind wir in eines der sieben Zimmer geführt worden und vier Nächte geblieben. Mit dieser Entdeckung hatte sich nicht nur dieses, sondern alle vorangegangenen Abenteuer gelohnt. 
David Pfeifer

Text review DOVE year 19 n.3 march 2009
Atmosphere of warm hospitality is what you breathe at Relais La Lodola in the countryside. Five different rooms, the furniture from the eighteenth to twentieth century are mixed with unerring taste and are partly on sale. Remarkable is also the breakfast room with a fireplace and a sign of the historic Caffè Poliziano in Montepulciano. Kitchen garden is personally cultivated by Mario Porcu and produces sublime vegetables for family, guests and clients of the Osteria La Lodola, which is one of the best restaurants in the area, with a menu that changes every day and drop, for once, the Chianina beef. Last creation of this volcanic family is the space “Antichità & Design Caratelli”, in Marciano della Chiana, where a former tile factory is now a studio with antiques, some also processed and reassembled according to the inspiration of the son Paolo, an architect and designer interior, and bags by Silvia Pavanaello, stylist and designer, in a blaze of colours and fabrics.



AD | Architectural Digest. Most beautiful houses of the world N. 259 - December 2002
THE SOUL OF THE EARTH
A residence in the Val di Chiana tells the love of the owner for Tuscany and its lost charm. - Text by Cesare Cunaccia
Beatrice Caratelli is born in Pienza, architectural humanistic dream wanted in the fifteenth century by Pope Pius II Piccolomini in the middle of the Val d’Orcia, where he was born.
And one can hear instantaneously her way of speaking typical of Siena: it’s sweet and sharp, sophisticated and basic together.
She tells everything about the trajectories of her life, her huge love for Tuscany, for that Sardinia very far from the glamour of the Costa Smeralda, for the Hungary of Pecs, with its colourful gypsy market. She reveals the magic found again just walking down Corso Rossellino in Pienza, during a windy winter day, when the city, finally emptied by the tourist masses, regains its rhythms and smells, setting new memberships and suggestions. That of Beatrice Caratelli is a journey in the footsteps of a Tuscany that perhaps there is no more, despite the surprisingly intact landscapes and amazing artistic beauty, through ancestral and lost dreams of a millennial rural civilization, constantly raising the threshold in front of the unconditionally tourist aggression, to the systematic progressive dismantling of the most real hidden soul, made of places and people.
In 1981, she left Sardinia, the birthplace of her husband where she started her business of antiques, Beatrice Caratelli moved to Foiano della Chiana, suspended village over the agricultural extent of the Val di Chiana, starting the restoration of a wide late eighteenth century house, originally used as kiln. The house is in the middle of a farm, where wheat, sunflower and olive trees are cultivated, overseen by the husband. "Without unique," says the owner, "the building, which was in almost complete abandonment, was then inhabited by an eccentric, elderly man called the ’Maharaja’ in the village, who left everything open, so that goats and pigeons would come and go freely. " Restoration is going on, the walled up loggia is open, while La Lodola - the name is given by the random discovery of a ceramic tile bearing one of these birds - found a new life and becomes the centre of a busy family life. Meanwhile, in 1987, Beatrice Caratelli opens an antiques shop in Pienza, multiplying her trips abroad, in England, France, Hungary, real tank of unique trouvailles and discoveries, like the fifteenth-century copper casket in laid and encrusted stones, "bought by chance by a gypsy in Pecs, that kept it on an old stove."
La Lodola grows, as the children grow up, until they go to Siena and Florence for the studies, weaves the threads of the antiquarian passion’s hostess, sums up her fancy, free amusing with colours, shapes, bizarre, over beyond predetermined times and philology, qualitative barriers and canonical approaches. On the golden brick floor of Siena, expertly recovered like the original building structures, furniture and objects are accumulated, collections are made (including a collection of mounted horns, that the hostess particularly like, rather than the apotropaïque values, to the memory of the great and mighty oxen which ploughed along ancient tracks the campaigns of his childhood. A schedule of affectionate memories and deep roots.
Foiano is still a frontier of truth: we are not in the combed and perfect Chiantishire. Telluric lymph become tangible, real, rough, in this wide open balcony that gives over the Val di Chiana, over its bright and carved light, tumultuous of storms and sudden wind, over the rich soil ripped marshes from Fossombroni below Lorraine, after centuries of neglect and malaria.
The genius loci was totally respected, cultivated as a sweet family affair, as an inevitable path. Here is a seventeenth-century aristocratic portrait that emerges from an old residence in the neighbour Sinalunga, here is the nineteenth-century watercolour that represents the square of Foiano in a market day, mixed with family things, a Lombard chest of the late seventeenth century, the Sardinian carteglorie made of an unusual metal, rough and rugged as Sardinia.
The hood of a fireplace rests on liberty supports for gaslights, which were found in an old hotel in Chianciano. Liberty is also the grey marble, where is written in large letters "Variety Hall" and that once stood on the outer wall of the Café Poliziano in Montepulciano. The colours are a real leitmotiv for the home. They appear on walls, on fabrics: cotton, pique, linen, raw canvas, worn velvet, on upholstery. Warm yellow, of a shade of green apple that is woven of purple and pink, red, old rose, the predominant colour theme, suggested by a small excerpt appeared in several layers of plaster during restoration work.
Once the children are gone, at La Lodola many gaps remain. Next to farming, a bed & breakfast is open and gives another season of renewal, yet another shift. The owner now gets intimate spaces, cosy rooms, in her home. Favourite spots are a study and the small kitchen, organized in the glazed veranda. Especially the kitchen, invaded in summer by wisteria soft embraces, or invaded in winter by the clarity of the landscape bare, when snow cancels boundaries and deadens noise. But the adventure does not end here. "I’m sure that in future," said Beatrice Caratelli, "I want to invent another space entirely mine. Starting from scratch again. The only sure thing is that it has to be in the country, immersed in the countryside, where there is enough space for dogs, cats, chickens, maybe also for a pig. "
AD | Architectural Digest. Most beautiful houses of the world N. 259 - December 2002

 
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