We spend a lot of time in Italy working with our manufacturers, but we always find time to have a little fun! In this new series titled “Destination, Italy” we will be sharing some of our favorite one-of-a-kind, off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you along with us on a journey of this incredible country. Towards the top of the list of our favorite places in Italy is Fattoria Corzano e Paterno, a one hundred and forty hectare farm situated in San Casciano Val di Pesa founded by the Swiss architect Wendelin Gelpke. Gelpke purchased the farm in 1967 from Marchese Ippolito Niccolini to preserve the beauty and history of the estate. Since then, Fattoria Corzano e Paterno has grown into a thriving family business, expanding their offerings to provide some of the valley’s finest wine, cheese, and olive oil. In addition, they run an ‘agritourismo’ business with guest houses to offer for visitors to see and experience the Fattoria.
We first discovered Fattoria Corzano e Paterno two years ago, October of 2015, through our friend Sofie Delauw, a photographer from Belgium who lives in Florence. We were organizing our own photoshoot in Italy, and she suggested Corzano e Paterno as the site. She connected us with her friend Toni, with whom Sophie had hosted some successful photoshoots together in the past. Toni has lived on the farm for 25 years, experimenting and trying out different recipes combining Swiss, English, and Italian techniques to produce 14 different cheeses (some have been awarded as best in the region!). So after a full night’s rest and a successful walkthrough, we got to enjoy the natural beauty of this incredible farm through a photo lens with some wonderful friends (who had graciously agreed to model for us, as well as help with styling!). The day culminated with all of us gathered around a huge table overlooking the property, enjoying the fruits of their labor in the form of an incredible 7-course meal, cooked right there in front of us. We captured some amazing memories (and amazing photos) that day!
This visit stands out as such a ray of sunshine that fall. We were in a period of transition with the company and were (of course) working incredibly hard to see all of these changes through. This photoshoot went so smoothly, with no hiccups, and it felt so great to have something go as well as it did amidst the usual chaos!
This past year we donated an “underground tour of Italy” to an auction at our daughter Eleanna's school. We recommended Fattoria Corzano e Paterno and told them all about our past experience. Recalling all the great the memories with these friends was so exciting, we decided to check in with Toni at the last minute to see if she had room for us as well. This time around was even more enjoyable, believe it or not. A sunrise hot air balloon ride, truffle hunting, wine & cheese tastings and lazy afternoons in the pool were just a few highlights. We even recreated the incredible dinner. This time it was even sweeter as we were joined by our friends & family from the factories where are shoes are made.
Each time we visit Fattoria Corzano e Paterno, we are floored by the incredible natural beauty of the farm as well as the dedication this family brings to preserving and cultivating this historic site. We’re also never opposed to bringing home some great food; as Toni says, “The most important thing for a visitor is to leave the Corzano and Paterno Farm with a chunk of cheese and a good bottle of wine, so they can sit in their kitchen weeks after, look through their holiday photos remembering and already planning their next trip.”
We'll be back in Italy this fall, follow our adventures on Instagram!
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