With COVID-19 restrictions everywhere and changing on a daily basis, our gardens are more important to us than ever, whatever the weather may be. I am in Tuscany right now and it’s a whopping 30 degrees and the sun is bright.
Having stayed in Italy last year for 4 months in the historical town of Lucca, this year I was keen to explore more. In July I stayed in Venice and in August in the centre of Florence. Both were cities and they were perfect stays as the tourism numbers were down significantly and I could enjoy the tourist attractions in peace. However, with my kids back to their homeschooling routine, I was keen for a more outdoor and country experience. I found it at Fattoria Mansi Bernardini, an estate with its own olive farm in the hills 20 minutes from Lucca.
Social Distancing Rules Here In Italy
Whilst staying here I found out that the Covid-19 rules were changing in Italy and that I now had to wear a mask outside from 6 PM to 6 AM in the town centres. I felt right in my choice of accommodation for the next couple of months. I was going to enjoy outdoor living and cooking bringing out the inner mamma of me.
Fattoria Mansi Bernardini here in the province of Lucca is located at the foot of the mountains and it provides beautiful views over the valley below. Combine this with an olive grove of 5000 trees and it makes it one of the most beautiful outdoor settings you will find in Tuscany.
It is the perfect place for you and your family to be able to dine outside with endless space and views of Tuscany.
We are currently staying at Casa Maria, this rustic farmhouse has five large bedrooms each with its own bathroom. There are two separate lounge rooms and a massive kitchen dining room. The house can accommodate 10 guests. There are many other farmhouses and stately homes you can choose by on this estate.
Each house has a private pool some overlooking different parts of Lucca the historical city which is only a 20-minute drive away.
Al Fresco Trends
With ever-changing Coivid-19 rules, sweeping the world. We find ourselves inclined to stay at home, but here at Fattoria Mansi Bernardini, there are plenty of opportunities to make use of the outdoors.
The phenomenon that is ‘Brunch’ is one of the many reasons we wake up excited most weekends. For some of us, weekends are no longer a time constraint. So the perfect blend of breakfast and lunch allows us to experience everything from organic olive oil and steaming hot coffee to pancakes and bottomless local wine all in one sitting!
Where Are The Best Spots For Brunch?
At Fattoria Mansi Bernardini here in Tuscany, there are five luxury houses to choose by.
Here in Italy, the outdoor lifestyle is their way of life. Now that we are all staying and working from home. It is important we maintain our family unit and continue to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and continue to make our home like a restaurant experience.
Time pressure is not an issue here it is why one must set the Al Fresco table. Eating at any time of the day is a precious experience at Casa Maria.
The kitchen view and facilities make it effortless to cook. Resulting in fine dining, keeping my lasagna tasting fabulous.
Marcello Salom Made In Italy
Marcello Salom the owner of the Estate explained that Italian revolutions only happen at the table. Food conversations here in Italy are a part of life.
He explains the importance of setting the Al Fresco table.
Growing up here for Marcello was all about living, breathing, and working around the Al Fresco table. That understanding the importance of setting the table meant respect for the family and life issues could be discussed.
As your home is your workplace we want to inspire you to learn the art of setting the table. We all have plenty of time to do so.
Celebrating life is all about bringing new friends around the table from all walks of life.
Table Settings Outdoors
As I walk around the estate it clearly illustrates Marcelo’s passion and commitment for the outdoor life he encourages you to live whilst staying here. It is a place of elegance, tranquillity, and space, a hamlet of houses immersed in 18th-century gardens.
Attention to detail when it comes to outdoor living is what the estate is all about. The grounds are in pristine condition and maintained all day year-round.
I am surrounded by olive groves, cypresses, vines, and views as far as the eye can see.
This is one of the most beautiful outdoor tables I have ever sat on. Here exclusive to Casa Maria is a beautiful 3.5m marble table and is situated in a stunning garden setting. Every morning is my Al Fresco Dolce Vita, the sweet life.
Table etiquette is more important than ever. How one chooses to set up their outdoor table is endless. Wine is an important past time here therefore three wine glasses are always placed on the table.
Did you know that the reason for the three wine glasses is all about which colour wine you are choosing to taste? Red wine glasses are typically taller and have a larger bowl than white wine glasses. As reds are generally bigger and bolder wines, they require a larger glass to allow all those aromas and flavours to emerge.
Table Cloth Made In Italy
Regarding the table cloth, even though the marble table is robust. Placing a table cloth that is made in Italy with Italian cotton shows respect for the food that has been cooked. Now that your restaurant is less accessible one must recreate your own Tuscan Al Fresco dining experience during your stay here.
I am residing here for a few weeks and have adopted the Al Fresco way of life and loving every minute of it.
With access to locally produced food. It is important to respect the rustic way of life. There is plenty of rosemary, sage, and olive oil to perfect simples dishes here.
With 5000 olive trees on the Estate you can buy olive oil here and it tastes delicious. Don’t cook with this oil, use it on salads it is the way to appreciate the taste.
Regarding your crockery, the Al Fresco style is more rustic and the style is simple. Let the food and the company command attention on your table.
The future of garden parties is certain, you can only relax out there if you have the potential to have some heat, shelter or shade, lights if necessary, and of course atmosphere. Here at Fattoria Mansi Bernardini, the ambience is timeless and amazing.
In meeting Marcello I am learning that here in Italy long term friendships are made by sitting and making time at the table. Regarding mental health therapy, you are not going to get better than this. Sharing your life stories is how you learn to engage with people one on one. In this digital world making the effort for eating at the table needs to be embraced.
If you are looking for a long term stay during the autumn and winter period with access to outdoor space, and with good internet connections, Fattori Mansi Bernardini is the place. I am loving my stay here. By being able to connect with nature and not having the stress of wearing a mask let alone noise, it’s why I can’t stop smiling at Casa Maria