22 September 2018 / News / No Comments

img_0984Serendipity !

Our last 2 nights were well spent in Picinisco after a 5 night sojourn at Sorrento , Positano and Capri where we did the touristy thing.

The amazing fresh alpine air and the promise of a visit to a local traditional herbalist was enough to bring us back at the invitation of Cesidio Di Ciacca, the owner of Sotto Le Stelle – an amazing renovated monastery at the top of a mountain!

What a fortunate serendipity it was to meet Cesidio. A descendent of the area , though raised in Scotland, Cesidio’s mission is to bring life back to the community of his forebears – a proud and rich heritage. His aim is to bring vigour and vitality back to the traditional way of life by showing visitors the rich and deep history here. What a treat !

Caira -Locally grown commercial Herbs

img_1507Cesidio introduced us to Dafne and her Father Mario. Mario is a traditional herbalist with over 40 years experience in the prescribing and manufacturing of traditional medicine. His daughter Dafne is a biochemist and together they have built a very successful business very similar to McDowell’s Herbal. What a beautiful facility they have. Both are dedicated to the education of Physicians and Pharmacists who prescribe their formulas. What a privilege to meet them ! Read more HERE.

Caira – Italia!!

img_1526Here are two of the many products manufactured by Dafne and her Father.

The formulas are interesting – as is always the case local herbs dictate how the herb is used. Herbs can often be applied in varying ways, which is why traditional herbal medicine can be confusing.Though in Italian, via translation we were able to realise that we use many of the same herbs for the same purpose.

italyeducationWhat a wonderful experience it was to walk through their elegant facility where they host many training sessions for Physicians and Pharmacists- something that we are working toward in our own facility in Australia!
See more HERE.

italianstallionTo celebrate our Italian herbal and horse riding adventure we are offering our valued customers a special price on our 2 litre Stallion Tonic of $100 (Normal retail is $185) Promotion ends 12th October so be quick before the Italian Stallion moves on.

Fresh Herbal Teas

img_1496As soon as we were back in Picinsco we went on our “herb walk” and picked some of the most beautiful fresh herbs to use as tea back at Sotto Le Stelle. Here you can see Melissa Balm, Verbena, Yarrow and Dandelion. To make this fresh tea all you need to do is bruise the herb, place it in a cup and add hot water. let it steep for 10 minutes before drinking. You can make your own fresh herbal infusion using a similar method for any fresh herb you choose – consider Nettle ,Mint and Sage as some easy fresh herbs to find ! Find our range of teas HERE.

Sotto le Stelle and Società Agricola I Ciacca Srl

p9150926The owner of Sotto le Stelle is Cesidio Di Ciacca, pictured here with Cath, in one of the buildings he is renovating on the family farm.
Cesidio is a truly inspirational man with a determination and dedication to reviving and then teaching about the traditional farming and production methods of the Frosinone region of Italy.
Read his ambitious plans HERE.

p9150943Cesidio and David are seen here tasting the grapes from the Maturano variety.
The grape, which may have been referenced in the Roman poet, Virgil’s writing, has been almost lost for the past fifty years. Now, a few winemakers are starting to use this fantastic grape once again.

Picinisco was known for Maturano in an agricultural survey carried out by the government after the unification of Italy and another survey in th 1560s speaks of the excellent quality of white wine from Picinisco.

p9150929These 2 photos above show the incredible salvage job Cesidio is undertaking on the restoration of the abondonned farmhouse on his property. The first is a part of the building as it is before restoration and the second shows a part where the work is nearly complete. Amazing.
If you want to experience this in person you can stay at the restored Bishops house in Picinisco where Cesidio has completed a similar restoration.

p9150922While staying at Picinisco we met another Aussie form Orange in NSW, which happens to be the nearest town to our own, Bathurst just 50kms away. An incredible coincidence.
Kelly and husband Paolo were leading a group of travellers around this incredible part of Italy on a gourmet wine and food extravaganza.
Check out what they have to offer HERE.

img_4136002Ron Stalman from the US has sent us this fantastic testimonial about the progress of his wonderful German Shepard Daphne.

Daphne’s Story

successstoriesDaphne is our 13-year-old German Shepard. She is a once in a life time companion to our family. She loves two things in life playing ball and her people. This girl lived to play ball. When she turned 10 her backend started roaching.

daphne1After Xrays she was diagnosed with arthritis and spinal stenosis. We tried several courses of Adequan and saw little improvement. We started looking for holistic alternatives. Daphne improved with light therapy and supplements. As time progressed it became more difficult for Daphne run. If she needed to cover some ground Daphne would bunny hop, stairs started to become an issue as well. Read more HERE.


Arrivederci Italy, we’ll be back!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.