Casal dei Fichi in the Environment
We are Bob and Ian, owners of Casal dei Fichi, we do our best to be active and responsible members of the local and global communities. This page outlines some of the efforts we have made to make our business and your holiday environmentally friendly and some of the plans we have for the future. During your stay at Casal dei Fichi we hope you will help us act responsibly and you will find a guide in each apartment with suggestions for minimising your environmental impact.
We designed sustainability into the restoration of the building making full use of natural ventilation. The building's thick walls, ventilated shutters and fly screens on all the windows keep it comfortable all year. Bedrooms wherever possible are on the cooler northern side of the building and each has at least 2 windows this means that even on the hottest days a fan is all that is necessary for a good night's sleep. Having converted the attic into our spacious apartment we fitted 17 velux windows, so that warm air which rises to the top of the house naturally continues straight out of the roof. We never regret not having air conditioning which would be so uncharacteristic in a traditional farmhouse.
Practically all of our hot water comes from solar panels, these have the added advantage of heating the swimming pool which makes it a few degrees warmer in the spring and autumn. Even in Italy the winters can be cold, a modern gas boiler provides central heating, each apartment is individually controlled and all the radiators thermostatic. Several apartments have open fireplaces for which we source wood locally, recycled where possible. In our apartment the fireplace also supplements the central heating, reducing the gas consumption considerably. The thick walls and double glazing again mean that the house is well insulated.
yummy compost ready for digging in.
Little things like composting bins in each apartment and refillable demi-johns for the local vineyard have meant that we've reduced our land fill contribution and eliminated the amount of glass that goes to recycling by a fantastic 80%. Plus there's even more delicious, egg-shell rich compost.
For the year ahead we remain committed to maintaining our environmental efforts and if anyone has any suggestions, large or small, Please let us have your ideas.
A first priority was to sink a well which provided the vast amount of water which was needed in the restoration process and in order to ensure that the building complies with the latest safety standards.
Now the well water is supplemented by collected rainwater in a huge underwater tank and is used to irrigate the gardens, vegetable plot and the many trees which we have planted.
All of our domestic appliances were chosen for their high efficiency rating. All our lights are fitted with low power bulbs. In communal areas the lighting is movement controlled while external lighting is daylight operated so that it doesn't come on too early, though it still goes off on a timer. All of our (substantial quantity) of laundry is done on site, almost all of it being air dried.
an olive tree that we planted, heavily laden and ready for harvesting
we measure food steps, not kilometres.
There are various public transport options to get to Casal dei Fichi.
Having caught the Eurostar to Paris there are direct daytime and sleeper services to Milan or Bologna, both of these have direct services to our nearest mainline station, Civitanova.
To avoid changing stations and the journey across Paris take the Eurostar to Brussels from where you can travel on to Milan via Zurich.
For those who insist on driving German Motorail run a car transport service from Dusseldorf to Verona. All of these options can be explored on the excellent Seat 61 website.
We have bikes available for our guests to explore the area but public transport is almost non-existent, if you are hiring a car please specify an economical model and drive efficiently, most journeys are short and small cars are ideal on the winding country roads. Sixt offer trendy Smart Cars.
Ryanair operates the main service to our local airport Ancona. This airline makes impressive claims about it's environmental achievements and it is true that their fully occupied flights, along with rigorously enforced baggage restrictions and modern aircraft fleet contribute to lower emmissions.
Join us at 10:10 to help cut carbon emissions by 10% a year.
Planting trees was an early priority. The varieties include ornamental, traditional olive and some tropical palms. By far the majority though are fruit trees, as well as gobbling the carbon these provide a fresh source of goodness including apples, pears, peaches, cherries, nectarines, walnuts and, of course figs, for us and our guests. To date we have planted over 120 trees.
The orto (vegetable plot) also provides fresh vegetables and herbs just a few steps from our guests' front door. Oil from our olive trees is pressed locally and we provide a supply in every apartment.
The septic tanks are the self decomposing type which means that waste is slowly returned to the environment in a controlled manner, a valuable source of nutrition for the land.
We also compost as much as we can and encourage our guests to do the same.
We buy environmentally friendly and BUAV approved cruelty free cleaning products in bulk. We then decant them into re-usable containers for daily use.
As there is no doorstep recycling service we have provided facilities for our guests to separate their glass, tin, plastic and paper. We then take these en-masse to the local recycling centre and dispose of them accordingly.
We have also integrated ourselves into the local community becoming involved in many initiatives in the village. We are a major sponsor of the largest village festival "Lu Vurgu fa Cantina."