Organic vegetables and the first extra virgin olive oil, the arrival of visitors. This sums up progress on the project to recover an old farm in a marvelous corner of Liguria, now reborn thanks to FAI and Fondazione Zegna
Work continues at Podere Case Lovara, a tract of rural landscape in the Cinque Terre National park that FAI, supported by Fondazione Zegna, has been restoring since 2013 in a wide-reaching project combining environmental sustainability, biodynamic agriculture and tourism.
Rescued from the encroaching natural wilderness, this old estate overlooking the eastern Ligurian Riviera at Punta Mesco was reopened to the public in June 2016 on completion of the first phase of the restoration plan.
The project has so far seen the renovation of two buildings – one late 18th century, the other early 20th century – and reclamation of the surrounding land, where the original terraces and types of agriculture have been restored. The estate has thus started to work as a farm again, with an olive grove, vineyard, orchard and market garden, which produces organic vegetables all year round. The olive trees have already produced their first, albeit small quantity of excellent quality extra virgin olive oil (225 kg of olives, 35 kg of oil). It will take a few more years to see the “fruit” of the vineyard on the other hand, which will produce "Colline di Levanto Bianco" and "Colline di Levanto Vermentino” from the Vermentino, Bosco and Albarola grape varieties. Thanks to Fondazione Zegna, a new section of vineyard is now being laid down.
Other work in progress includes the renovation of a farm building constructed by the previous owner in the ‘30s and which will now serve as staff accommodation. Work is also being done to complete the coverage of the farm’s energy requirement, over 60% of which is from renewable sources.
Despite the fact that restoration is still in progress, Podere Case Lovara is open to the public. Tourists arrive every week and learn from volunteers about the history of the old settlement and the FAI/Fondazione Zegna reclamation project. They are also given precious tips on paths to follow to explore one of the most fascinating landscapes in the whole of Liguria. And for use in summer, there’s a sea-view picnic area (with tables) in the olive grove, one of the most enchanting parts of the estate.