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Colletta Di Castelbianco

March 14, 2011

BC and I have a tradition of sitting side by side on our couch working on the weekends. Fairly often we select House Hunters as our TV background show, because it doesn’t require a high level of engagement. If you glance up three times, then watch the selection at the end, you get the gist of it.

However, last weekend we saw one episode of House Hunters International that has us spellbound. A well-off English couple were looking for a vacation home in Italy. As the camera would pan over the medieval village of Colletta Di Castelbianco we were smitten!

Colletta dates back to the 13th century and is located in Liguria, Italy, which is becoming known as the Italian Riviera. Rome is a three hours drive south, and if you drive an hour north, you hit Nice and Cannes. Kinda an amazing location.

Colletta was abandoned in the 1950’s and in the 90’s a team was assembled, led by architect, Giancarlo De Carlo, to restore the village and update it for modern residents. They also decided to add a sophisticated technological infrastructure which will allow future inhabitants to spend time at Colletta without being disconnected from the rest of the world. (Side note: there was footage on House Hunters International of the couple walking through an alleyway with a bright red door at the end – it was simply stunning!)

Inside the units, the spaces all seem to be unique. They were built with the original stone and designed on various levels (a few steps down to the master bedroom, etc.) so that it maintained the integrity of the building structure. A decision that I think should be applauded!

The design of the interiors obviously depends on the owners’ tastes, but I particularly loved this little unit, with it’s adorable compact kitchen. One thing we learned on House Hunters was that Colletta homeowners get a share of the surrounding olive fields, which means they all have private label olive oil. Totally cool!

The most amazing part of Colletta has to be the outside spaces. As far as I can tell, every unit has at least one, possibly two terraces. Some with covered niches suitable for al fresco dining and others perfect for sunbathing, the stone glistening under the surrounding mountains.

And those are some mountains (the Peso Grande to be exact). Should you wish to visit, there’s a website with all the information you could need, including details on rental units and pricing. And actually, the prices aren’t that bad. Already I’m imagining flying into Rome and spending a few days there, then making my way to Colletta.

PS. I just want to acknowledge that so much seems trivial compared to the hard road of recovery ahead for Japan and those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. If you haven’t already, I hope you donate to relief efforts. Though I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to donate via text, there’s a convenient donation button on the iTunes homepage.


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