By Joe Carline
800 feet above the Gulf of Salerno in the town of Furore, Italy, sits Serafina Agriturismo, a stunning family run farm and Inn. Farmhouse Serafina began as a working farm with a side business of catering to hungry trekkers looking for lunch. It is now a full B&B and agricultural tourism destination.
Once you find the front gate, which is no small feat, you are met with warm hospitality served up by hosts Domenico and Rosa. We stopped in for lunch as a midway rest after a dizzying vertical hike from the next village over, Conca De Marini.
They served up grilled and cured meats, fresh breads, olives, goat cheeses, farm fruits and vegetables.
The most intense Limoncello in the universe, and variations like anise and orange flavored liquor served in frosty bottles.
After we ate and drank our fill, we met the goats and thanked them for the cheese.
The red strands hanging from the ceiling are piennolo tomatoes. They are grown only in the area near Vesuvius and we were told that due to their low moisture content, they can be hung on strands and preserved for months without drying out. They are a striking shade of red.
Lemons, olives and grapes thrive here.
The incredible landscape dominated the experience.
A more typical modern Mediterranean white stucco building just up the road from Serafina.
Incredibly, in such a steep area, everything is built from field stone and timber. More elaborate buildings are dressed with simple white or buff colored stucco and local red clay tiles. At the very high end, cut stone is used to clad rubble walls, and occasionally you come across buildings entirely encased in white stucco, even the roof.
The farmhouse and landscape.
The cliffs have been chiseled into steps with 15 to 20-foot-tall battered field stone retaining walls. The farmhouse is perched above the fields and the road sits adjacent to the barn where the food is processed. We only scratched the surface on our visit and hope to have a chance to return and absorb more of their lessons on sustainability.