Gentle_stone_velasco_farm

GENTLE STONE

Among centuries-old carob trees, olive trees and luxuriant almond trees, this large farm rises suggestively; the privilege of an artist who lives it with passion.

“What fascinates me about Sicily is the sense of distance; I find it very strong in the landscape, underlined by this house and its position.

A farmhouse full of history, inhabited for centuries by a single family that was in close relationship with things, with the land, with work, with animals and with people.

It is a legacy that persists, and it seems that the walls carry this heritage. I have been living here for over ten years, and here is where I slept the first time I came to the island.

I have never lived anywhere else. I was lucky enough to live in this house when it was a stable, and I couldn’t imagine that it would become mine.

There was immediately a strong symbiosis and I never left this place, in fact, I did everything to keep it.”

This is how the owner of this ancient large farm introduced us to the reasons that bewitched him and led him to choose “Le edicole” as his Sicilian home, one of the many architectural-rural wonders of the Ragusan tradition, dating back to the early 1800s

The renovation was entrusted to the architect Arturo Montanelli, who wisely reused the authentic pink limestone – an exclusive privilege of eastern Sicily.

He started a careful and accurate renovation project, according to the characteristics of local traditions, using specific biocompatible materials.

Outside the farm, the courtyard boasts limestone paving stones; a staircase on the side allows access to the upper floors.

In the centre of the courtyard, there is a tank for collecting rainwater and the art installations of two dogs – created by the owner –, who look away and surprise the visitor.

Inside, the various rooms were once used as barns, warehouses, stables and accommodation for the boys, shepherds and labourers: this is shown by the typical stone rings that protrude from the walls – where animals were tied –, as well as the suggestive recesses to place lights, candles and other everyday objects.

The environment was completely bare at the time of purchase, without any furniture; several objects such as chairs, chests, furnishings and sofas were collected on the street and restored, repainted or reinvented.

It is a pleasure and a “fun” for the owner, who does not like to be surrounded by accessories that smell of “fake recovery”.

In the living area, there are ancient farmers’ tools and instruments, used to complete the cycle of agricultural work, such as a stick and a wooden collar for the herds, placed on the wall-mounted desk.

Moreover, there is also the so-called “tannura”, a portable charcoal stove and the “quartare” on the table, water containers that the artist adorned with typical wild herbs that are now rare and sought after.

The shovels, bins, jars and buckets placed with care and style fill all the corners, keeping them alive just as they did in the past.

Renovation project by architect Arturo Montanelli – Photography by Michele Biancucci

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