Casa Pantaleo

€225 a week

At about 1 km above the village of ISCA SULLO IONIO ( CZ ) in CALABRIA , in the middle of an orange grove, near a river is CASA PANTALEO . Only accessible on foot via a mule path – suitable for adventurers . There is no electricity . The house has an upstairs room with a double bed , a fireplace and patio doors leading to a spacious terrace overlooking the forest and the distant sea. Next to this terrace is an outdoor shower , toilet and sink. Downstairs are two rooms : a kitchen and a storage room and a covered terrace .

A country cottage was there to give the peasant shelter during bad weather and rain and moments of rest over the day. The nets for the olive harvest and the tools were kept here . There was always a parmento present , a basin made of cement , where the grapes were crushed to separat, moisture from the peel and the seeds, when harvest time. The land in the mountains of Calabria consists of terraces . The ground is full of olive trees , vines , orange and other fruit trees . Between these trees and of course near the water was the vegetable garden.

What once was a high traffic and well- maintained mule path is now only used by goats . As the villagers went along to their piece of land and on the way back transported all their harvested products home often helped by a donkey.

From the book Blood Oranges (see books ) :

‘I finaly found the place where I want to die , it’s an orange grove . I discovered him when I followed the creek upstream into the mountains , looking for the source.

It’s an acre of cultivated land in the middle of the jungle , held by walls of stacked stones . Fascinating uman work in the heart of the church named creation . A correction on it , you might say , once committed by man living to survive . Once with the water from the stream a wealthy family full of children could watered the land that gave them all to eat. Obviously they’re all died a long long time ago and their progeny left decades for the city . Now I imagine myself here , the first man , precisely because everything around is virgin like the creator must have intended. They fought here for there daily bread, they swet here. Each clamp stacked stone wall is a prayer of human humility .

When I discovered this land , I could not support that the fragile traces of the times that man was David and Goliath nature got lost. The grove was overgrown by suffocating vines and brambles . I cleaned it up , year after year . Till my girlfriend Iris , now the mother of our children , said: Why don’t you buy it if you care so much for it ?

It cost almost nothing . Who, today, is so crazy to walk a kilometre on a path only good for goats to arrive on his land. In this place I hope to die peacefully . And it would be nice if I could be buried here and reincarnated as a blood orange, for example . “