About the place
The former goat farm Pianezola can be found high in the mountains above Lake Como in Italy. The old houses built out of stones are surrounded by Cestnut-Forest and steep terrain, which does not disturb the donkeys and goats that live around the place. Close to nature and with the tools and conditions it provides, we live a life similar to people who lived their already 150 years ago. As their is no road, we need to hike 40min uphill in order to reach the place.
Pianzola is 900m above sea level and from a rock near the village we can see the lake in the valley. In former times the place was used for goat-farming. Today many houses are left and a few local neighbours enjoy the beautiful place in sommer for holidays. All in all, we live in three stone houses that provide sleeping space for 10-12 people, a 3-5 person´s Tipi and two to three places for additional tents. Our dining hall is covered by a huge tarp and allows to sit together for eating but also for small seminar sessions.
Due to the Mediterranean climate it is most of the time comfortably warm from May – October when middays are even hot, while in April and November nights can get rather cold and we rely strongly on the warmth of a fire.
We use a common well, that provides us with fresh spring water. It is channeled to the bathroom and kitchen, where we can also heat water for a warm shower above the fire. Of course, we only use ecological soap. For a cool bath you can also easily jump into the river nearby or even swim in a river basin, which is 20min walking distance.
We mainly cook in our outdoor kitchen and sit around the bonfire outside, in order to avoid smoke in our sleeping houses. There we can provide six very comfortable mattresses and a bunch of basic isolation mattresses and blankets – everybody should carry a sleeping back though. The houses have a wooden floors.
For other human needs, we use compost toilets. A little outside the village, they consist of a whole in the ground and a self-built seat above. To create the wished privacy we cover those places with tarps. You will enjoy a beautiful view there :-).
Pianezola is cared for by the non-profit association Bergpfade e.V. which was founded in November 2015. According to our statute we especially support youth, students and professional education, sport (hiking) among others. We also welcome families!
During the last year main activities were hiking weeks – the Familienzeiten (family times) also aimed to allow families with children to visit Pianezola. Moreover, a part of the advanced training in wilderness/ experiential pedagogy by the N.E.W. institute (Freiburg) takes place in Pianezola. Frequently, also youths from children´s homes spend parts of their holidays here. For the first time we are planning educational weeks for students and volunteers (FSJ/BFD) next summer. We are currently still exploring the possibilities of the place and welcome ideas and visions for future projects.
Possibilities & Contact
As a member of our association you can freely be part of one of our hiking weeks, which also include the idea of care for the place. Each and everybody brings his or her talents and cares for Pianezola in those weeks. If you want to join, just send us an email and we will send you an application form. Also if you are interested in cooperation (e.g. for projects) or if you have any questions just send us an email via bergpfade(at)gmail.com.
We also would be very happy, if you like our facebook page, which will keep you updated about excursions, events and recent developments.