Le Dimore del Quartetto is based on the exchange of resources, which returns benefits to participants in a circular economy. We have always valued the beauty of Historic Houses by organizing artistic residences and concerts by our Ensembles. But the Houses do not only offer places to enhance: many of them are extraordinary productive realities, with a fascinating story to tell. This is why we asked Maria Renata Leto – trendsetter, socialite and cosmopolitan expert in good living – and to Aloisa Moncada di Paternò – cultural designer, councilor of Sisema Museale di Ateneo of Univestità degli Studi of Palermo and vice president of Palermo Mediterranean Gateaway – to accompany us to discover the simple and extraordinary beauty of these places and the products of the land that surrounds them.
Our last newsletter talks about the houses and their gardens, it gives you ideas and advices on how to make your garden a magic place!
“I would like to plant an Aromatic Garden”
by Aloisa Moncada di Paternò
Surrounded by the plants of a garden, my life is certainly happier. For this reason, I would like to talk about my new project that I will carry out this February in my garden in Bagheria (a small town in the province of Palermo). I would like to plant an aromatic garden. This idea came to my mind after a short trip in Menfi, an enchanting place where nature is dominated by extraordinary rows of vineyards that reaches almost to the sea.
It is located in the south of Sicily and I arrived there from Palermo, through a road that holds pleasant surprises in each season.
At Residenza Planeta, where I stayed, the wine and good cuisine are the themes of the site and every morning I loved watching the chef personally choosing the best spices for his recipes and teas.
I have thought that giving importance to the spices could have been interesting. We are used to the home gardens where in some pots we relegate the flavors and seeing such a great land dedicated to these plants with order and beauty has inspired me to design one in my own house.
Back from the holiday, I began to work on the garden if Bagheria to imagine the future aromatic garden. I have identified a rectangle of sun-drenched soil which I will divide in stripes a meter wide and 2 meters long. The sections will be delimited by old blocks of tuffs that I will have covered in Sicilian majolica next summer.
Each stripe will have a type of plant in quantity for what concerns shrubby plants. I will reserve 2 squares for stripe to the seasonal plants.
To make this small garden more precious I thought to create actual collections of aromatics. Families such as sage, thyme, savory but also basil count many varieties, for example the African sage or the Jerusalem’s one, the Serpillo thyme of the Faustini one. Each variety has different perfumes, colors, and properties therefore other than the beauty and the aromas in the garden, one can also have fun in the kitchen.
Laurel and rosemary in large quantity together with the lippia which smells of lemon, will take up much space for their dimension and will be placed at the ends of the garden to protect the other plants from excessive sun and wind. Here in Sicily we have days of scirocco and the more delicate plants are at risk of drying.
I discovered 3 plants that really fascinated me in the collection Planeta, one is the incense, its perfume is very strong and the consistency slightly fleshy, the others are the oregano of Crete of silvery color great in salads and the Vietnamese coriander “ran ram” utilized both with vegetables and meats.
On each one of these plants there are beautiful stories which derives from mythology and their use in remote times.
As soon as the pandemic restriction will get lighter, I will be able to get to work to start the new project searching the new plants and choosing between the beautiful drawings of the Sicilian majolica by the artisan workshop of Maurizio Scianna. I can not wait to see the result!
Stay updated and discover the infinite beauties of historic houses
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ITS BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTS
A JOURNEY INSIDE
VILLA VALMY’S PRODUCTS OF THE LAND
VINSANTO AND OIL OF VILLA GUARDATOIA
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VILLA ROSSI DANIELLI
A STAY AT
ANTICA CASA BALSARI
CASA DELL’ABATE NALDI
GUIDED TOURS AT
CASTELLO DI LURANO
JOURNEY INTO THE TRADITIONS OF MASSERIA SPINA
CULTURAL EVENTS AT
CIRCOLO DI AVE
TO THE DISCOVERY OF PALERMO’S BOTANICAL GARDEN
THE GARDEN OF
THE GREEN “ROOMS” OF
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Treat yourself to a unique experience at Villa Rossi Danielli, Casa dell’Abate Naldi and Antica Casa Balsari, or delight yourself with the scents and flavors of Podere Marella, Villa Totti and Villa Ugo.
MARIA RENATA LETO TELLS ABOUT HER CHRISTMAS
It’s a complicated year, but I feel like starting to think about Christmas – like never before – can make us smile again, even for a while. Let me introduce myself, I’m Maria Renata, lifelong friend of Francesca Moncada, soul of Le Dimore del Quartetto: a passion for beauty and love for music binds us. When we met again some time ago in Paris on the occasion of a wonderful musical afternoon, we promised each other that sooner or later we would have done something together, and here I am telling you about how I will color my Christmas and that of my loved ones, despite everything.
Christmas is family, it is cooking together, setting the table with care using our most beautiful and dearest things, waking up without rushing… We have been spending it for years all together in Viterbo in our old family home. It is a way to meet again since life has spread us all around the world. My motto is not to stress myself: being together must be a joy, whoever arrives must be greeted by a festive atmosphere and must think “I’m finally here again”!
Our Christmas tree is a beautiful butcher’s broom that my husband gave me many years ago. It does not smell like a fir tree, but it is a blaze of colored berries. I decorate it only with tiny lights and it is wonderful in its simplicity. I like to decorate large bowls scattered around the house with moss, bulbs and pine cones, to fill vases forgotten on the cupboards during the year with colored balls, sow small bowls everywhere with pastel-colored dragees that immediately make a party. I believe that in this world where everything is homologation the most important thing is to stand out, we use our old table sets and if they are not enough let’s mix them with elegance! It is the right time to take the big, perfectly ironed crisp linen napkins out of the drawers, light all the candles, the flame makes us all more beautiful.
I like to pamper my family, remember their favorite dishes and decorate them with a little strawberry tree branch. We are lucky enough to have a small church in the garden, so after dinner we all get together for the Holy Mass and it is in the magic of these rites, always the same, that we must find the strength to go on in a period like this.
It is the essence of the holidays that must make us rejoice, the beauty of being able to be together, of the good fortune of being able to enjoy everything we have and jealously guard. We exchange small gifts, it is the thought that matters. I love to wrap gifts, carefully choose ribbon and paper, handwrite the card which is never, in my case, just a name, but a small letter. I love the smell of pine needles that lingers in the house in the morning as soon as I wake up, playing bingo and making tea on the 25th in the afternoon, when our closest friends come to visit us. Although it may seem perfect, I assure you that it is not, but the magic of Christmas makes everything possible and easier… I assure you!
Merry Christmas from me!
During such a complicated year like 2020, Le Dimore del Quartetto is committed to supporting the production of the Historic Houses through the value of networking. The journey to discover the beauty and history of our lands begins.