I left Potentino after 5 weeks. I was able to begin to relate and empathise with a way of life that was so foreign to me only a few months previous. I engaged in a hard working community in a beautiful inspiring setting. It was quiet and detached, the background noise was a slight whirring of insects, the flowing of the river and the gentle breeze running through the valley. Potentino had its quirks, its own way of doing things; but now having emerged through the other side it is as if I can see that all the quirks were necessary for it to be what it is. Having candle lit dinners outside for 25 people, rising at 6am to prune some overzealous vines, spending the weekend at the waterfalls these are the experiences which slowly add up to what it is like living there. One thing by itself isn't enough to explain it but by slowly immersing yourself into this unique community you will be changed and as I retreat back to civilisation I have a different outlook on my old routines and patterns.
|View from the Potentino garden|
Pisco had over 50 people living in its dusty walls. Potentino was more intimate and intense. Small changes instantly affected the dynamics. It was a conflicted but enjoyable contrast between the tranquillity of the vineyard and the changeable group dynamics between the many people who live and work in the castle walls. You were working under a system with authority but around the obligations of work people found a way to express themselves. Some people wrote, others spent the early evening light running in the surrounding estate, a few displayed their cooking prowess.
I had a break from updating thoughts on here and focussed on the little black moleskine that contained my thoughts from the previous 9 weeks. I enjoyed reading again. I listened to the guests, friends and workers who would come in and out of the castle. People from the city who were escaping the noise and artists who came looking for new ideas. I had that special, rare realisation that this place was significant and it will be somewhere which I will continue to look back on.
I am in Chester now taking a few days to sort some things out and plan for the next couple of months. Till next time, Italy
For anybody wanting to see what life is like on a vineyard, join WWOOF Italia and find Castello di Potentino in Grosseto, Tuscany