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Pistoia Box: Antico Colle Fiorito

There are people who bring with them the gift of hospitality, of opening the doors of their homes to curious and even slightly hungry travellers. Berta, a former biologist by profession, together with her husband, are the owners of this farm and are fully part of this characterisation. Their house is located in the hills of San Baronto: from their terrace they point out to us the sea to the west, the Tuscan countryside to the south, the mountains of Abetone to the north and the hills of Montalbano to the east. It amazes us how much care and determination there is behind their business, having long dedicated themselves to their dream: to create a wild animal farm where they preserve some endangered species.

They prepare an exquisite lunch with their award-winning olive oil, their pride and joy, while they tell us that they have personally overseen the construction of all the animal housing areas. In an area that used to be nothing but weeds, there is now a stable for six horses and two ponies, fences for elegantly striped chickens, peacocks that are quick to show their wings, parrots that have learnt to greet guests, giant tortoises and some so small they can hold a finger above them. We felt as if we were entering a micro-world, on these peaceful hills, as if nothing could break the spell created by this couple of animal and nature lovers.