Spirit of Place
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Just outside Capua, there is frenetic activity at La Colombaia, a biodynamic farm with two souls. Joined by an umbilical cord, one is set in the valleys and hills, busy with the sustainable rearing of black pigs and Marche cattle, with Barone, the young bull, watching over the cows; the other, covering 100 hectares, slumbers down on the plains, producing cereals and winter vegetables exported all over the world: lettuces, cabbage, fennel, spinach, maize, chard, strawberries and pumpkins. “Our business began 30 years ago,” says Francesco, “through the inspiration of three siblings, Enrico, my mother Orsola and Pasquale.” Two souls but a single structure. “Our goal is not so much livestock rearing in terms of meat production, but rather the manure produced by animals that eat only our own produce, light years away from chemicals and pesticides.
Sixty hectares of green shimmering with a thousand shades. A corner of England in the Capua countryside. It looks like the home of the Windsors, but instead, tractors and workers are in operation on the farmstead. “Joe Sole,” says Nicola, “has been a multifunctional farm for 30 years. We work on agricultural crops, processing raw materials, running rural tourism activities, and producing electricity using photovoltaic systems. The largest of the latter, 1,000 kW, was installed on the agricultural greenhouses where nectarines are grown. This plant makes the company independent in terms of energy use.
B&B Le Fontanelle
Set next to the rural tourism venue, Le Fontanelle B&B is managed by Maria Luisa and overlooks a green heart surrounded by a ring of mountains: Friento, Maiolo, Maggiore, Fallano. The spacious and comfortable rooms, three doubles with the possibility of additional beds, with en-suite bathroom, along with an authentic family welcome, contribute to making this structure an ideal place to relax, and for travellers wishing to explore the area.
Masseria Le Zavattole
The stone with the carved initials has been hidden behind a cascade of lemon trees since 1922. S.A. stands for Antonio Scirocco, the family founder. “It was he,” explains Maria Grazia, “who bought the 19th-century farmstead where the steam threshing machines clattered. He passed it on to grandfather Biagio, who left it to like-named father Antonio. In the farmhouse that became a rural tourism venue some 20 years ago, apartments have been created with names linked to the history of the farmstead: ‘Suite Mazzarino’ from o mazzarina, the attic where grain was stored, ‘Donna Tommasina,’ the grandmother, ‘zio Gianni,’ Dad’s brother, and the ‘Antico Pagliaio,’ the old hay-barn.
Pepe in Grani
In addition to the à la carte menu, the tasting menu is highly recommended: a real experience. For special occasions try Authentica, a table for 8 people in a private room with Franco Pepe who will prepare and explain the pizzas for guests. Prices range from a few euros for traditional pizzas to €100 for person for Authentica.
Bacco e Bivacco
Sara and Marco live in symbiosis with the Matese environment and perfectly cater to the passion felt by those who love outdoor tourism. Hiking on the Matese trails, but above all a reference point for fans of cycling tourism. Here, it is possible to set out to discover the most beautiful routes on both bikes and e-bikes, whether independently or with a guide. And finally, it is the chosen destination for paragliding enthusiasts who make their base here and then go off to discover the skies, walls and currents that make the Matese area a paradise in the air.
In the 1960s at the farmstead I Cacciagalli, not far from the emanations of the Roccamonfina volcano, grandfather Florestano uprooted native vines in order to plant international grape varieties. The decision was dictated by economics: at that time, the core business was selling grapes. When his granddaughter Diana, an agronomist, took over the family business 20 years ago, she decided to go back to her roots. She uprooted her grandfather’s vines in order to privilege terroir. “We wanted to make a new start from the vines that identify our land. The whites Fiano and Falanghina, and the reds Aglianico, Piedirosso and Pallagrello Nero.”
While waiting for Alice, who is one year and one month old, to take over, Cesare and Monica are running the winery set up seven years ago on the edge of the three-hectare vineyard. It took the place of the farmstead owned by Antonio Melillo, Cesare’s great-grandfather. On the paving of the courtyard, where the cows and barn once stood, there is a foundation stone with the year and initials, M.A. 1934. The newlyweds started from scratch. They put their identity and sweat into it. This is not far from Monticelli, where the sweet wine Pallagrello that intoxicated King Ferdinand IV of Bourbon was made. Rivers of this wine flowed during court feasts.
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