Sagra della Castagna

Today in one of the neighboring villages (Micigliano) they had what is called a sagra. A sagra is small fair that usually celebrates a natural bounty, in this case the chestnut.

The town of Micigliano.

In the main square of the town they have communal tables set up for eating. then they have a ticket desk where you pay for what you want. Then you get in line. You wait in line for your turn to get some food.

A typical scene at a sagra.

A sagra is a chance to get some of the best local food produced by the townspeople (collectively) for the enjoyment of everyone. Usually you need a car to get to a sagra, or in my case a bike, because they are held in small town that are off the beaten path.


Today Serena and I had a chat about the budget. I have been keeping track of about how much it costs to run this place and, of course, the more people we have the less it will cost per person. This is what it comes down to:

To cover the costs of heating, electricity, internet, municipal taxes on the house, etc., we ask for a donation based on the number of people that are in the house. Therefore if there are only two people in the house it will be a donation of €10 per person per day. If there are three people it will be €8 per person per day, and so on. This is only to cover the everyday running of the house (and heating which can be a bit pricey), so it does not include food.

Also, to keep the house running smoothly and to make sure we all have time to work on our personal projects while also improving the quality of life at PostaHouse, we ask that everyone contribute at least two hours a day five times a week. These two hours will be spent preparing meals, cleaning, etc. This comes to a total of 10 hours. We would also like that guests/participants contribute at least six hours a week toward community projects (i.e.: construction, building, repair, research, IT work). This comes to a total of 16 hours weekly between chores and community projects. That leaves everyone ample time to work on their own projects and also to enjoy the countryside, walks, etc.

Serena Anderlini writes:

The destiny of Posta House is manifesting at this momentous time in human and planetary history. As a Love Art Exchange Lab, the facility will host the first ecosexual intentional community in central Italy. It will inspire diverse people to come together in peace, joy, and sacred unity to experiment with collective, interrelated ways of living.

We are transforming this ancestral home into a space equipped for collective living and a love art laboratory with multiple activity rooms for workshops in the arts of creative expression, loving, and living consciously and in harmony with nature, the past, the future, and our own nature as a highly creative, imaginative, sensuous, and gregarious species.

We are creating an ecosexual art colony for creative people willing to offer inventiveness, creativity, and good stewardship. The structure will function as a contact zone where people of diverse backgrounds, languages, origins, colors, orientations, genders, age groups, and cultures will meet in mutual respect and good listening.

We will activate the facility on multiple levels: fix small glitches from recent usage, configure areas for collective use, equip an art lab and a workshop room, install a flat-screen visual and sound system, and put garden space to use for production of healthy food.

We are looking for talented people to join the team! Are you a good repair person, gardener, administrator, driver, decorator, carpenter, plumber, performance artist, Italian speaker, cook, spiritual leader, yoga teacher, systems engineer, maintenance person, artisan, wood carver, tree lover, website builder? Let us know. We can use all of these skills and more! We will make a plan with you with a timeline and specific commitments.

We offer hospitality and a place to live in a charming, fully-equipped home in a restored 18th century building that interfaces with the town on the one hand and the land, garden, valley, river on the other. The facility is equipped with pellet furnaces for heating, fireplace, a fully equipped modern kitchen and dining room, several beds over several multiple use rooms, a full and a half bath, a large library, charming decorations and art work, a fully functioning high-speed internet system with wi-fi in every room, water, electricity and all other utilities. The drinking water from nearby mountains is delicious.

We expect maximum respect for all project participants, property, building, and equipment. Flexibility. Inventiveness. Collaborative skills. Willingness to honor your commitments. Payment of a deposit for 300 Euros to be returned at end of stay minus eventual unpaid bills. Payment of utility bills and pellet fuels, plus personal necessities and food. Work toward established goals in collaboration with team. Willingness to be coachable and stay on course in the face of difficulties.

We expect to launch the Love Art Exchange Lab in the summer of 2012 with a diverse calendar of events. Participation in the project team equals priority in choice related to the use of the facility.

What’s your dream? Let us know and maybe we can make it happen together!

You can also request a hang-out session on Google+ or Skype with Jeffrey and the owner, Serena Anderlini. Both will also answer questions as they post on the PostaHouse wall. Our local networks in Italy may offer support too, please ask if interested.

Donations to the project are welcome at 3WayKiss.




In Ancient Greek, the term oikos means both household and family. All the people living under one roof make up the oikos, and they are not all related. There would be a mother and father, but there would also be numerous other individuals living in the house. Their collective goal was to improve the life and increase prosperity for every member of the oikos.

I think that community is a bit like an oikos. All the people living together and contributing what they can in order to make the collective enjoy life more.



What’s Nearby:

Towards the upper right corner of this map of Lazio, you will find the town of Posta. It is on the Via Salaria, a major road that leads to Rome, but not a highway.

The closest village to Posta is Borbona. You can cycle to Borbona in 20-30 minutes from Posta. Borbona is another small town where they have a butcher and a pastry shop. Two luxuries you might start to miss should you not see them often enough.

It’s a very quiet place, at least in autumn, and, just like in Posta, the shops are open in the morning until 1:00PM and then they reopen in the evening at 4:00PM and close around 8:00.

There’s a small lake on the way to Borbona. The water is quite clear and people do fish there. There is also a slaughterhouse on the way, and that is where both the butchers get their meat.

In the town of Posta there are 3 shops, two restaurants, a post office, a bank, a pharmacy and a hairdresser. 

On the hairdresser’s door it is written, “If I’m not here, call me!” and it has her mobile number on display. Every shop seems to keep different hours, but if you get there before 12, you should be fine.

Last but not least I had the great honor of meeting a very talented poet who has an agriturismo here, aptly named “dal Poeta“. The poet, Paolo Santini, performs what is known as “Canto a Braccio”, an old pastoral tradition that involves improvisation and keeping to a strict rhyming scheme.

They have competitions of Canto a Braccio around Italy and in one of the videos I saw from last year in Borbona, one of the poets went up against an Italian rapper and that really got the crowd excited.

Walking Around Lazio

The town of Borbona as seen from the old town, which is high above the new one.

Today was a very enjoyable day. Giulio came up from Rome to help out for a few days and we now have a stockpile of firewood, a second bicycle and numerous other things got done (not to mention a lot of planning and new ideas).

This afternoon we went for a walk in some of the neighboring towns. We visited the butcher in Borbona, went up to the old town of Borbona and took the long way home via Vallemare, which is a beautiful town as well.

There are many paths for walking between these villages where no cars can go. The paths take you across the tops of hills and along the side of the mountain. It takes fifteen minutes to drive from Vallemare to Borbona on a winding road while the footpath takes a little over an hour (and it’s straight).

Driving between these towns you see a lot of sheep and farmland, but mostly forest. After visiting Borbona we did some cleaning and then started a fire and grilled zucchini, aubergines and peppers over the hot coals. With our abundance of apples we made apple sauce that Giulio tried on his pork chop.

Now that we have got a bit caught up on yard work, maybe tomorrow we can go and harvest chestnuts.

Mele Finite per Terra

Finally a sunny day and a chance to collect the remaining apples from the garden.

When I arrived, most of the apples and pears had already fallen to the ground, so today I went out to gather what was left on the trees. A neighbor appeared on her balcony to beat a carpet and shouted some advice. “They’re still good. Even the ones on the ground, just cut off the bad part.”

With an abundance of apples and pears one can make numerous dishes and even schnapps. Enzo told me that these apples are priceless because they have no chemicals or anything in/on them. These apples are all natural.

Once I have collected all the apples then I can go visit Enzo and start gathering some chestnuts.

Vendesi: Posta

House for sale, Posta.

There are many of these “For Sale” signs around the town of Posta. Houses for sale, businesses for sale and a butcher who’s just closed shop.

When I was living in Hackney, I participated in many activities that attempted to bring country style living back into the city. There is Growing Communities, that produce most of their vegetables in Hackney and actively promote urban gardening. There’s Unpackaged that sells everything in the shop without any packaging (you bring your own containers). There is also a new wine shop that refills your bottles, thereby reducing the unnecessary use of new glass.

The most impressive endeavor I saw was FARM:shop, a project that aims to use an abandoned storefront as a space for cultivating everything from plants to chickens.

All of these businesses and non-profits are very successful. How is it that in places like Posta (where you can actually get your eggs from a neighbor without any packaging) people are going out of business?

Butcher "Out of Business", Posta.

I think it is because of the major brand names and distributors that have expanded their networks from cities, where they are becoming less popular, to the countryside, where such social movements make little sense. Why produce your own meat when you can have it transported in for less money? In fact by putting agricultural production into the hands of corporate farms, people in the countryside will eventually only be able to buy organic produce from cities like London! Imagine how much that would cost?

First days in Posta

Enzo never locks his car, he leaves it parked in front of his house with the keys in the ignition. When it comes to tranquility, “We have more than we know what to do with”, says he.

Ezio (not to be confused with Enzo), was curious as to how I was keeping warm. I told him I went into the forest to gather some wood. “So that’s where you were going with that saw.”

Not much escapes the locals in Posta, a town of about 5 or 600 inhabitants. Ezio and Enzo both told that next time I should ask them before going to get wood, they know an even better spot where I should go to get wood. When asked if it’s okay to get wood in the forest they both chimed “everybody does it.”

After my shopping, which everybody in the shop automatically helped me with, Ezio (or was it Enzo?) invited me to go and harvest all the chestnuts on his land. Then he told me about another place (two kilometers up the mountain) to find even more. “Bring a backpack” he said, assuring me that I would find more than I could carry.

That comes after I finish picking the apples in the yard here. I also need to get more pellets for the stove, a new bit of technology that I was hitherto unfamiliar with. Getting the stove running was a whole other story.

First I had to call the “Etruscan” who told me to call the service centre who then put me in contact with Claudio. Claudio came to the house later and helped me start the stove, which prevented me from freezing tonight (the temperature dropped and it rained all day so there was no firewood).