To­day, li­ke ye­ster­day


AD (Italy) - - En­gli­sh Tex­ts. - Words NI­CO­LET­TA DEL BUO­NO – pho­tos MAT­TIA AQUILA

It all be­gan 8 years ago. A farm esta­te bet­ween No­to and Pa­laz­zo­lo Acrei­de, in Si­ci­ly. A se­quen­ce of cour­tyards, lea­ding to the ma­nor hou­se sur­roun­ded by an over­gro­wn gar­den. «We bought it from a wri­ter in Sep­tem­ber 2009», says Ele­na Lops, an en­tre­pre­neur in the fields of fa­shion, de­si­gn and now ho­spi­ta­li­ty. «My hu­sband is Si­ci­lian, we ha­ve th­ree chil­dren and th­ree gran­d­chil­dren, and we ha­ve li­ved in ma­ny parts of Ita­ly. We wan­ted a pla­ce for ga­the­rings of fa­mi­ly and friends. What could be bet­ter than this com­plex on a green slo­pe in the Si­ci­lian coun­try­si­de? But it re­qui­red lo­ts of mo­di­fi­ca­tions». At Di­mo­ra del­le Bal­ze eve­ry­thing has been re­ma­de to ma­ke su­re no­thing would chan­ge. Af­ter the pro­ject by Ele­na Lops one still sen­ses the ori­gi­nal 19th-cen­tu­ry at­mo­sphe­re, the sa­me slow pa­ce, aro­mas, co­lors, wind­swept si­len­ce. «The pla­ce is ma­gi­cal, so the re­sto­ra­tion tried not to di­sturb its ar­chi­tec­tu­ral sub­stan­ce». Da­ma­ged doors and ca­se­men­ts we­re re­pla­ced using lo­cal ma­te­rials, in­clu­ding re­cy­cled items. The cei­lings we­re re­pai­red and pain­ted in their ori­gi­nal co­lor. «We al­so found fre­scoes, whi­ch ha­ve been re­sto­red. The floors are in hand­ma­de ti­le from Mo­roc­co, and we ad­ded fi­re­pla­ces ba­sed on the mo­del of the one in the kit­chen, in a con­tem­po­ra­ry in­ter­pre­ta­tion. We had to add the chim­neys, be­cau­se when the hou­se was built they we­re not uti­li­zed in this re­gion. The lighting is al­so new. Lu­ca Tur­ri­ni, who has wor­ked for Ar­te­mi­de and Flos, did a great, ve­ry di­screet job». The ope­ra­tion al­so re­lied on the help of the de­si­gner Dra­ga Obra­do­vic and the ar­chi­tect Ste­fa­no Gui­dot­ti. The old sta­bles ha­ve be­co­me rooms and sui­tes. Ea­ch of the 12 gue­strooms has been na­med for a Si­ci­lian wri­ter. All the fur­ni­shings, vintage or de­si­gn, eve­ry ob­ject and its pla­ce­ment, are the re­sult of the de­li­be­ra­tions of Ele­na, Dra­ga and Ste­fa­no, a thea­ter of eve­ry­day fa­mi­ly li­fe that can al­so be used to or­ga­ni­ze even­ts, wed­dings, ex­hi­bi­tions. Or to wel­co­me friends and their friends. Di­mo­ra del­le Bal­ze is an ear­thly pa­ra­di­se, de­li­ca­te­ly ne­stled in this fa­sci­na­ting area of Si­ci­ly. Wi­th a spec­ta­cu­lar swim­ming pool and a gar­den that con­tains the re­mains of an­cient co­lumns, on a se­ries of green ter­ra­ces li­ke out­door sa­lons. Af­ter years of work, eve­ry­thing is in pla­ce.

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