In northwest Italy, close to the French border, a stunning medieval village has been restored to create a small, self-sufficient eco community. Residents cultivate nearby land and live within the beautiful stone buildings otherwise known as Torri Superiore. The thirteenth century village stands amidst a lush, green valley overlooking plots of land scattered between the hamlet and a river.
The village’s restoration began in the 1990s. The project incorporated eco-friendly principles and materials while ensuring that the village retained its traditional elements. The renovation used local stone, natural lime, and natural insulation, so the original aesthetic remains wholly unchanged, while wooden windows and eco-friendly paints compliment the buildings.
The completed eco village uses solar panels to produce hot water and renewable energy, and there are also composting toilets for the residents to use. Working as part of the GEN Global Ecovillage Network, the community is developing its permaculture goals with several organic permaculture gardens and fruit orchards.
The village cultivates fresh produce through organic cycles and seasons and proudly makes its own jams, honey, olive oil, and bread. Goats and chickens mill around freely, providing a source of dairy products.
The town aims to produce as little waste as possible – any excess organic waste is fed to the animals or composted. Two working donkeys supplement the few cars owned by the residents. The village has launched plans to lower its carbon footprint even further, by restoring the cultural center and private houses, adding more solar photovoltaic panels, and hosting workshops on sustainability to encourage others to follow an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Images courtesy of Torri Superiore