Hidden treasures

Elves in Pistoia

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Elfi-a-Pistoia

Elves in Pistoia

Elves, real elves, live in Pistoia. More precisely, you find them on the mountains that overlook the city. Don’t believe us? We're not kidding.... just that we're not talking about fantastic creatures with pointy ears! We are talking about real humans, live and in the flesh... there are quite a few: about 150, but the number can vary! Every full moon they gather to celebrate the harvest of the various seasons and make decisions thanks to the 'Bastone della parola'. Have we confused you?

Well, let us explain! The Elves of Pistoia are none other than the members of a community founded in the ‘80s by Mario Cecchi who belonged to the 'Italian Community Movement'. They are called Elves because of the close relationship they have with nature, with which they live in true symbiosis.

How do they live? They are distributed in 8 small villages set in the woods of various areas of the Pistoia Mountains but especially in the area of Sambuca. They live in ancient stone houses that can only be reached on foot through forest paths that can even be a few kilometers long. Most live without electricity and this is a voluntary choice. In the villages life really unfolds in close contact with nature: they grow vegetables and cereals for the needs of the community, breed animals and also take care of the forest. Do you understand now, why the name 'Elves' wasn’t just random? Another peculiarity is that each village has a common fund from which it draws for the needs of the community itself whose basic principle is sharing! How do they earn money? Well, as you might have understood, the members work within the community, offering their skills and knowledge. For goods that are not self-produced, bartering is practiced or, as a last resort, products are sold at markets and festivals. For example, you can see their stand of natural and strictly organic products at Pistoia Blues.

Have we sparked your curiosity? Are you thinking that perhaps, the choice of living in a community of elves could be a decidedly more relaxing and more humane alternative to the hectic city lifestyle? Well, in Sambuca Pistoiese you don’t even need a reservation but just a great desire to roll your sleeves up and, obviously, to share. Of course, it must be quite tricky to get used to such a Spartan lifestyle - also because Sambuca Pistoiese’s winters are quite cold! So, if, despite your ideals, you’re not good at giving up comfort, book one of our hotels in Pistoia and you can visit the Elves during your trip on the Pistoia mountains!

On the other hand, if you are lovers of nature, you can live some interesting but definitely less demanding experiences such as the guided trekking from Siena to Monteriggioni with wine tasting, or Chianti horseriding with lunch and tastings or the Chianti wine and food tour by bike.

The choice is yours!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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