Hear the stories from the voices of the protagonists
Community Cooperatives are like big families: each one carries out his or her job useful to all the others, each element is special and fundamental for the good of everyone and his community.
The inhabitants of Monticchiello and Vivo d’Orcia know this well, and with tenacity and pride they have been carrying out their projects for decades now, with the recognition of those who follow and support them.
These are small stories that become big, to welcome new realities and learn from each other. Listening to these stories takes root to create new stories, which will make the whole project richer and more prestigious.
Romualdo, the last guardian of the springs
Romualdo Rossi was born in 1932 in Vivo d’Orcia, where he still resides today. His big hands marked by the age and fatigue testify to a difficult past, like that of those who lived in the mountains. His bright blue eyes reveal his noble soul, which has allowed him to indulge in writing poems and sculptures over the years.
Romualdo was a charcoal burner, who lived the first part of his life, from adolescence, between Sardinia, the Maremma and France. After returning to Monte Amiata, he always worked in the woods as a cutter, to finally be appointed guardian of the Ermicciolo Sources in Vivo d’Orcia, where he worked until retirement.
Today Romualdo welcomes visitors to Parco Vivo, with touching stories and sincere poems that arise from his long life experience.
Valentina introduces us to the Parco dei Mulini
Valentina Bonari is an art historian and environmental guide. Her studies, mainly focused on the medieval period, found inspiration in the territory of the Val d’Orcia, where the hills worked by man, the rows of cypresses, the medieval bell towers are the mirror of the splendid visions of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Simone Martini , Duccio di Boninsegna, the three cornerstones of Tuscan art. Today Valentina manages her own accommodation facility and, as a member of the Cooperative of the Poor Theater of Monticchiello, leads to the visit of the Parco dei Mulini in Bagno Vignoni.
Valentina is an important example of how a young girl who grew up in a very small village, formed with experiences that have inevitably moved her away from home, felt the need to return and lend her skills. Valentina works for her community, she has decided to create a family in the small village and to carry on a story that she passes on to her guests.
Fabio's dreams come true
Fabio Rossi is one of the key characters of our stories, certainly of the most recent ones. He was born in Vivo d’Orcia where he returned to live when he grew up, bringing with him a wealth of experiences and emotions that have strongly marked him. Fabio has a rich curriculum, made up of knowledge in the fields of economics, design, art and his skills he made available to the Teatro Povero first (where today he is the Director of the Cooperative) and then to Parco Vivo, being one of the founders.
Fabio is a whirlwind of ideas, visions, attempts: with his enthusiasm and great talent of involvement he drags those who are now friends, before associates. Fabio sums up our stories and always preserves our roots, with a spirit of dreamer and pure soul. It won’t be difficult to meet him at home, wherever he thinks he is.
Amedeo has the eyes of his grandfather
Amedeo Grappi has always lived in Monticchiello, but in the countryside, and this strong bond with the land defends him with great tenacity. He too defends it when today, for work, he builds a new mill – very modern – to grind the grains of his lands. He preserves it when his mother cooks traditional recipes with flour. And he preserves it every time he takes his story of him (wheat, flour, pasta, recipes) around the world, talking about his business as if it were a resource, rather than a wealth.
Amedeo founded his studies precisely in agricultural matters, enriching the experience made in the hills of the Orcia Valley, sweet in the eyes of visitors, but harsh and burnt for those who work there. Surrounded by a family that has always invested in the land and its development, today Amedeo is a young entrepreneur who maintains an authenticity that only our farmers were lucky enough to reveal. With him we will visit the Mulino Val d’Orcia, which grinds ancient grains and produces bronze drawn pasta.
Arturo and our historical memory
Arturo Vignai is one of the oldest people in the village of Monticchiello, but his brilliant mind is still today the engine that gives life to most of the town’s activities.
Arturo is one of the creators and founding member of the Poor Theater in 1967 and has been an interpreter for all the autodramas; he is honorary president of the Cooperative; member of the Philharmonic; historian for pleasure gathering information and testimonies, and carrying out research on period books and diaries. Arturo leads our guided walks of the village with great skill and will be able to guide the most attentive visitors in interesting conversations.
Arturo participated with strength and tenacity in the carrying out of village activities, as he considers them vital and therefore necessary: this is an example for subsequent generations who will undoubtedly know how to grasp the value of roots and traditions.