GOOD MORNING LIGHT......!
Imagine a farmhouse in the Tuscan countryside and what often comes to mind first are lichen-covered , weathered stone walls.
Rough-hewn and massive walls are essential to the look of rustic tuscan architecture.
But stones are not merely a decorative element, tacked on a facade.
They are literally the buildingblocks of rustic architecture.
Tuscan farmhouses, almost always constructed on two levels,
these simple buildings were originally lived in by farmers and their families.
The first floor was devoted to the workings on the farm,
providing storage for equipment and most important:
shelter for the animals.
Horses, cows, chickens and rabbits where in rooms that were very roughly finished,
with bare dirt floor and unplastered stone walls.
Entry was gained through a wide double-door, handcrafted of wood.
Once the doors were open, the doorway was usually the only source of light,
since there were rarely any other windows on this floor.
An external stone staircase reached the living quarters on the second floor.
The home was divided in several spaces, including a central room with a hearth.
Not only a kitchen, -although all the cooking went on here-
this was the gathering place of the family.
Electricity and plumbing came very late; if at all,
and for many years the only source of heat was a large open fireplace,
which was the heart of the home.
One of the reasons stone was used for farmhouses was its minimal expense .
In rural areas, when fields were plowed, stones came to the surface every season
and were a nocost building material.
The stones were carefully collected, sorted according to size,
and used to build retaining walls, property borders and walls for homes and stables.
The walls of an ancient farmhouse consist of whole rocks…!
Although farmers inhabited the houses, they were usually owned by wealthy landowners,
under a system known as „mezzadria“:
In exchange of a portion for their crops,
farmers were allowed a place to live in what was actually a feudal system.
After the system was dismantled in the 1960s,
these houses were gradually abandoned,
as the farmers left for the cities to find more profitable work.
And so the houses began to crumble, with roofs caving in and walls tumbling down.
By the early seventies, abandoned farmhouses were almost being given away.
For a few thousand dollars, farmers as well as the aristocracy,
were more than happy to unload these neglected buildings onto foreigners
and as well as city-dwelling Italians,
in search of a bucolic way of life....
And so began the newest chapter in the life of these homes.....!
…..Imagine : I am preparing the coffee in an ancient „piggy-stable“
and my living room is in the room
where cows used to live….!
I certainly love it..!!
Would you like to visit another little stonehome ...?
Come with me on my (click) hill....!!
Have a wonderful sunny week !!!