In Basilicata nature is queen

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Trivigno has 700 inhabitants and is leaning on a valley which enjoys the amazing view of the peaks of the Lucanian Dolomites and the Lake of Camastra.
Immersed in the same valley is the San Leone Lodge, born from the recuperation of the remaining of an ancient monastic settlement. The historic building combines the famous hospitality of Lucania with respect for the environment, the territory and the local culture. Restored maintaining the original structure of a Benedictine monastery from 1300, still keep inside it the ruins of the monastery of San Leone. The Lodge enhance a remarkable trend in current rural tourism: to protect and preserve the environment and meet the growing desire of people to stay closer to nature.

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The owners are Maria Giovanna Allegretti and Peppino Guarini, wife and husband. They in person open the door to the guests of the family and offer them a welcome coffee. When Peppino had to decide what to do with the family inheritance, the monastic settlement and one hundred and fifty hectares of wheat fields, he chose to devote himself and his wife to bring back to like to life the ancient hermitage. In year 2000 the farm finally opened, thanks to the time spent studying and training themselves, but also to the support of the Tourism Promotion Agency of Basilicata with which the couple shared visions and plans for Region Basilicata. After years of never ending travels to participate in trade fairs and events in order to promote the concept of San Leone Lodge, now the couple is opened to listen and meet the tastes and desires of the guests who love Italy and choose Basilicata for their holidays.

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San Leone is also an organic farm and a restaurant where you can taste the best dishes of the Lucan cuisine. There is also a swimming pool, a playing area for children and wi-fi throughout the hotel. Guests are mostly Americans who come in Basilicata in search of their origins, And also Dutch, Belgian and British people. “Our guests are sensitive and experienced travellers, which give great importance to the values and identity of local cultures and that choose Basilicata for his silence, ancient traditions, tranquillity and its great queen: the nature” says Maria Giovanna. The surrounding landscape has remained unchanged for decades, “since when I can remember, the valley has always been the same, nothing has changed and we respect this environment without the pretence of changing it” adds Peppino.

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Nature and silence are the two main prerogatives of San Leone, and the warm hospitality does its part providing customized itineraries for visitors to explore the environmental and cultural resources of the area. In the recent years, guests also can enjoy activities that allow them to learn about traditions and typical life styles of the local population, such as cooking classes. “This land is made up by women, the ones that pulled forward the family with a handful of flour, while their husbands were studying or working. I was used to tell this story to our guests, so from there came the idea of making cooking classes with these ladies as teachers” says Maria Giovanna.

For the future, the Guarini are working to realize their dreams of further improving San Leone by creating a resort with SPA. Maria Giovanna and Peppino are an example of the capacity of the agricultural world of Basilicata to rethink itself by remaining loyal to the local traditions, experience rural tourism practices to ensure compliance with the environment, enhance the cultural life and make this lifestyle always more attractive.