In case you didn’t know, every summer Fresciano welcomes a small Belgian family for more than ten years. The Dressen familysettled in Fresciano di Sotto in 2008 to spend their holidays in peace and harmony with nature.
During the year, our quartet, composed of Aldo (wood merchant), Pauline (employee at Sotheby’s), Chantal (mother) and Jordan (musician) live within the fast rhythm of the European capital of Brussels. In order to escape the city’s frenzy, they come Fresciano where they revive in an atmosphere is friendly and the climate is better.
Here is their story:
In 2000, we travelled the Tuscany area for the first time. Ca’ Faggio, an agritourism, located not far from the medieval village of Anghiari, was our first stop and we instantly liked it. This haven of peace was difficult to find and upon arrival, we understood why. The charm of the place is to be earned and once it is achieved, it is difficult to leave. After three weeks on the spot, we were enamoured. The delicious cuisine of the host’s table, the breath-taking views, and the calm underneath the fig tree, played a big role in the success of our holidays and we decided to return to spend our holidays in Ca’ Faggio for 7 consecutive years.
After 7 years, with the area becoming more and more popular with the whole family, the idea of buying a property in Tuscany is growing day by day. So, we decided to call a real estate agency in order to find the perfect vacation home but in vain. One day, after many unsuccessful searches, we ventured on the “Strada Bianca”, with our real estate agent and at the exit of Fresciano we went to visit a last little hut. And it was here, on the edge of a cliff, that we fell under the spell of our soon-to-be cute little ruin. There was a lot of work to be done but we had found the house of our dreams, «La Casa Nostra».
The first year, the house was uninhabitable and we were forced to rent a small apartment on the «piazza» of Fresciano for our holidays. Working on the construction was a long and tedious process, for it was not always easy to communicate with the local contractors. But brick by brick, we managed to make the best out of it. During the day, the parents worked on the construction site while the children were playing in the village with the local kids. In the evening, we gathered around a good meal in the centre of the community, “Poggio Barone”, where Graziella and her family introduced us to the local specialties. It is in this delicious “Osteria” that the village of Fresciano opened up to us.
Today, it’s been ten years since we arrived in Fresciano. We gather here every summer and even sometimes to celebrate New Year’s Eve. While here, we like to, hike to Montebotolino and walk along the white-stone desert of “La Marecchia”, read books by the swimming pool, write songs in the hammock, play card games and share a lot of good meals in the restaurants around.
At night, we aim for the last drink at “La Pineta” where we catch up with the “Frescianese lifestyle teachers”. It is always good fun to meet those whom we count today among our friends. When August arrives, it’s time to dance, sing and laugh during the many village festivals in and around Fresciano. We are very proud to be part of the festivities of “Festa della Ranocchiata” and very proud to welcome a large part of the village during our annual barbecue, where Belgian beers flow among the Tuscan wine and some delicious home-made desserts are prepared by Pauline. But also, we are really happy to welcome our friends and their families during the summer to share our Italian dream.
And as Mauro Milli would say, “la vita continua”.