My internship at Bon Dea Colle Lupo was an exercise in farming, patience, appreciation, hard labor, and human connection. Intent on combining my research interest in agritourismi in Tuscany and my personal desire to spend time on a farm, I sought an agritourismo property owned by a foreign-national. I found a German farmer, teacher, caregiver, husband, friend, neighbor, and unofficial ambassador for Campagnatico, a small hilltop village in the Maremma region of Tuscany. For two weeks, I was able to catch a small glimpse of a farmer’s life. I woke early in the morning and worked until it was too hot to do anything outdoors. I learned about the region, composting, gardening, planting, wine, olives and occasionally, relaxing. I watched as my farmer-supervisor made sure to not waste a drop of water, a piece of food, or an ounce of grass clippings. I took notes on the sustainable ways that Bodo kept his farm, and the pride he showed in the various nests that birds made around his house. Bodo was famous in the village of Campagnatico, evident in the many people who would stop to chat with him in the café, at the sagra and even on the road. If rural development relies on nexogenous connections, Bodo actualizes this through his urban-rural sister-city partnership, fusing his old home in Germany and his new one in Italy.
- Nora Hartmann