La Cartiera of the Benandantis is situated in an unspoilt landscape, immersed in the green countryside of the tuscan-emilian Appenine, between Florence and Bologna, in the nature reserve of the “La Martina”, a site of common interest.
Towards the end of the 16th century “La Cartiera”, situated romantically alongside the stream Idice, was originally used by the Benandantis as a place to produce paper from straw and rags for which they needed the current of the stream as well as its water. The Benandantis were in that time good witchdoctors that travelled the countryside and blessed the land to prevent malevolence, curses and witchcraft. In the following century it was transformed into a farmstead. After decades of deterioration it was rebuilt and restored to its former glory in the years 1999/2000. It has become a charming country hotel in a unique and tranquil setting close to woods and stream.
Elisabetta Berti, the owner of this lovely hotel, is also the Agriturismo’s chef and will pamper you with her wonderful and typical emilian and tuscan cooking. Always keen to make her guest feel at home and open for their wishes. The rooms are in a typical italian/tuscan style. The former stable and hayloft, originating from the 19th century, have been carefully conserved and are now used to cater for up to 50 guests in a pleasant and charming atmosphere.
In this valley the air is still pure and the surrounding woods and fields make an enchanting landscape all year round, inviting you to the hiketrails in the “Martina Nature Reserve” which are also used frequently by bikers, or to the close by village of Monghidoro where an adventure park “Tritons” can be found for you and your familiy to enjoy a day in a high rope course, hiking through the woods or having a lovely picnic. If you feel like trying a bow and arrow, this can be arranged on site upon request. There is the possibility of horseback riding with special agreements on nearby horsefarms in Loiano and Monterenzio, if you feel like swimming there is a public swimmingpool in Monghidoro or Monterenzio and a golf course is also available near Monzuno.
The main house has been converted in five double bedrooms and one apartement ideal for 4 – 6 people. Each room has a private bathroom, telephone, satelite TV, wifi and modem-fax connection. All the rooms are decorated with care and furnished in wood and wrought-iron, in harmony with the house. In the apartement you’ll find a double and a twin bedroom, a large kitchen fitted with all the household appliances you need and a living room with a settee you can convert into a comfortable double bed if needed. In the bathroom you’ll find a massaging shower and as a highlight an antique washbasin.
During the warm summer days you can use one of the sunbeds and enjoy the rural garden, sitting in the sun or in the shade of one of the trees and enjoy good company or read a good book. On colder or rainy days, Elisabetta will make on your request a fire in the guests recreation room and you can snuggle up with a good book and a glass of wine in front of the fireplace.
The actual farm is situated about 300 meters from the agriturismo. The Berti family has been dedicated to organic farming for decades and therefore all the produce from the farm you eat at “The Cartiera” is certified organic. The grass, hay, and barley the cows eat is organically grown and therefore so is the milk that they use for their own cheeses, which are a delight to eat, their own Ricotta and the meat used in Elisabetta’s kitchen. Raw milk is used for all the milk produce, which gives them extra flavour. Out of respect for the animals Elisabetta creats all kinds of dishes that use more or less all of the meat that their animals give.
You can ask Elisabetta and have a go at cheese making with her once a week or you can take your children up to the farm to pet the animals, of which they have 150 cows and calfs, a goat, two horses and a donkey.
Enjoy your holiday!!!