who are the village hosts?

who are the village hosts?

Ieva Zemīte

Oleri Manor House (Latvia)

Ieva Zemīte has spent thirty years restoring an abandoned manor house in rural  Latvia – and bringing it back to life. Oleri Manor Oleru muiža is located next to a beautiful swamp and biosphere reserve, so one of Ieva’s next projects is to build a nature path for use by a new generation of nature-loving visitors.

Ieva has developed many unique experiences already: tours of the garden led by plant experts; slow food banquets in which local produce are served on second hand blue and white historical plates; high quality chamber music; encounters with Ieva’s flock of traditional black faced sheep – and their shepherd.

Claudia Pattarini

Manor House for Teenagers (Italy)

Claudia Pattarini and Valentina La Terza are transforming a former summer house for young and children from Parishes owned by nuns, into a refuge and recovery centre  for teenagers who need a safe space to rest, breath, and look at the future, located near Lake Como in Italy.

Claudia, mother of two teenagers, has a background as an entrepreneur and community leader. Their plan is to make the location attractive to young low-budget tourists, nature and mountain lovers, and others who are keen on outdoor activities.  Her first action this year is the organization of a summer camp for teenagers; its participants will co-design the future of the house together.

Selena Jovanovic

Scattered Hotel “The Hearth” (Serbia)

Selena Jovanovic is pioneering the concept of a “scattered hotel” or Albergo Diffuso in small hamlet Bara on Kukavica Mountain in southeast Serbia. An economist by training, Selena is also a noted amateur mycologist and naturalist. She uses this knowledge to develop novel forms of rural tourism and agriculture in eco-friendly environment. She involves local households in the restoration of traditional clay, stone and wood buildings (and building some new ones) for accommodation and other purposes; starting a library; establishing a fishpond; restoring an old watermill and transforming it into a food lab;    helping families grow organic food for sale at village fairs and markets; making laboratory for microscopy of plants and fungi; starting cooking and handicraft workshops; making autochthonous seed and fruit bank.

As a village host, Selena connects together the local community, local and state government officials, local craftsmen, mountaineering societies, tourist guides, workshop instructors – plus diverse visitors and guests, from scientific researchers to tv production companies.”

Merce Rua and Paige Perillat Piratoine

La Grande Maison Rouge (France)

Paige is supporting Merce in establishing a new co-living & multidisciplinary residency in the French-Catalan Pyrenees. La Grande Maison Rouge is a multidisciplinary residency that embraces a collaborative and community-oriented approach. Situated in the scenic French/Spanish Pyrenees, this residency welcomes 8 to 12 creative individuals at a time, fostering an environment where diverse fields converge and ideas flow freely.

The living accommodations at La Grande Maison Rouge are designed to provide both comfort and inspiration. With 8 bedrooms, a spacious kitchen, dining area, living room, library, garden, forest, terraces, vegetable garden, raspberry field, and tree nursery, residents have access to a variety of spaces that encourage relaxation, exploration, and creative engagement”.

Dragana Petkovski Majstorović

Barutana Monument Village (MNE)

Dragana, based in Belgrade and in Barutana Monument Village, is driving the development of a thriving rural economy centered around a monument to fallen fighters at Skadar Lake. She plans to initiate a series of social, cultural, and commercial events that will breathe a new life into the region, including weddings, fashion shows, movie screenings, poetic gatherings, concerts, fairs and children’s workshops.

Currently, Dragana is actively seeking for local partners to organize fishing, swimming, bird-watching and kayaking activities at Skadar Lake. With extensive connections from her previous business career and affiliations with embassies and officials from the European Parliament and Russian Duma, Dragana is poised to make the village a hub of vibrant experiences and collaborative growth.

Annalisa Spalazzi

The Way of Water (Italy)

Annalisa is developing a project and platform called Acquasanta Terme – The Way of Water. It is located in central Apennines in the Natural Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga. Italy. The area is recovering from a devastating earthquake in 2016, but has valuable assets to grow on – especially nature connection and walking among its beautiful landscape, river, thermal waters and watersheds.

The focus of Annalisa’s work – she is a PhD student of economic geography – is the development of sustainable livelihoods for local people – including herself: river walks, forest regeneration, co-housing.

Aleksandra Jaszczyk

ComPont (France)

Aleksandra, an environmental researcher, gardener and art therapy practitioner, decided to combine the power of art with the magic of composting and transforms the gardens of a small mountain village, Pont-en-Royans, into social laboratories for the regeneration of biodiversity, encouraging ecological activity by experimenting with biomimicry in art and garden design. Pont-en-Royans is a special place where the culture of urban gardening dates back a very long time. The starting point driving the whole project is the composting and the changes that take place in it. Intertwined with education on composting visual and performing arts, it refers to the process of regeneration, nourishment – which is also the process of creating a work, when many visions must be abandoned, reformulated, relocated to create beauty. And healthy soil.

Federico Rial

Paysage à Manger (Italy)

Paysage à Manger was established with the goal of rediscovering and cultivating ancient potato varieties. In 2016 he opened the vegetable garden, now the heart of the farm, where vegetables are grown and sold directly. Right from the start, the garden became a gathering place for local producers; they meet every Saturday forming a small market which has now joined the international network of slow food earth markets. Looking ahead, Frederico’s tplans to develop this place as a community meeting point around food and sustainable development in the area. To do this he is constantly developing new relationships with other actors in the area involved in diverse food chains.

Viviana Calvagno

SolCreative (Europe)

An art historian, Viviana co-founded SolCreative as a platform for artists and non-artist alike to interact with the local environment, delicate regional ecosystems, new rural economy, and creative community. For each event, the Sol team carefully selects a venue in rural Europe and curates activities that strengthen relationships between the international creative world and rural areas: painting and ceramic workshops, cooking classes with traditional ingredients, and partnerships with local artists and artisans.Conviviality, free artistic expression and nourishment are core values in these events.

Melissa Scommegna

Melissa Agriculturale (Italy)

Melissa is restoring the once-abandoned house and surrounding countryside of her son’s great-grandmother. Her work shines attention on the once-neglected landscape of Val di Cembra. By developing and promoting new products, her mission is to reverse the abandonment of land in the valley or the standardization of cultivation practices with consequent loss of environmental, social and cultural biodiversity.

Andrea Angella

Tornanti d'Appennino (Italy)

The Start-Working Pontremoli (www.start-working.it) project is repopulating Pontremoli – once one of most important villages in Lunigiana. More than 50 people from all over the world have moved to the village for at least two months – and 15 of these are now permanent residents.
“Inland areas must not only be places of tourism as consumption – of nature, traditions, tourism” says Andrea. “We also emphasize new cultures, social innovation, techno-rural knowledge and other novel practices”. Andrea is specially inspired by the historical essence of Lunigiana as intersection point for travelers, merchants, and pilgrims. “We are rediscovering the social energy created when permanent and temporary inhabitants meet”, he explains. A physical focus of the work is a hostel-tavern where local people can meet foreigners and “contaminate” informally and reciprocally. “We have been inspired by Italian and international experiences” he states, “Casa Netural, Wonder Grottole, Antagonisti from Melle – CN, Ostello Bello. We are all learning new ways to activate and regenerate rural communities”

Carlos Jonay Suárez Suárez

Pueblos Remotos (Spain)

At Pueblos Remotos we want to achieve many objectives. One of the main ones is to represent the Social Economy and demonstrate that there is another way of doing things, to work with and forrural areas, and to do it through the connection between people. For this reason, we promote experiences, initiatives and trainings that help to generate social impact in all the regions where we work and with which we cooperate. We believe that co-creation, collaboration, networking and transparency are tools to build a better future.

Natasha Nedanoska

PIRUSTIJA - a traditional village camp (Macedonia)

Pirustiјa – a traditional village camp is designed as an active vacation for students, from 15 to 17 years old, who want to spend their vacation in the countryside. From this vacation of minimum 5 days, they would be accommodated in a village household and would live in the spirit of the village and tradition for 24 hours. At this camp, a course is planned for the preparation of Macedonian traditional food – its preparation and traditional way of cooking. Hence, the cult of tradition would be strengthened, it would gain greater value and of course a requirement to preserve it for future generations.

Ella Overkleeft

Caramulo 2123 (Portugal)

The project (www.visitcaramulo.pt) envisions the future of Caramulo village over the next century, drawing upon its historical success. The village of Caramulo has been a landmark in the Iberian Peninsula for many years, it is a special place because of its history of health & medical treatments which took place in various sanatoria, of which there are still a few left in the village waiting to be repurposed. Now the aim is to regenerate the village through sustainable and cultural tourism, and enable the village to flourish again for the next 100 years. The project aims to integrate heritage & education, nature & wellbeing, and community & co-working.