46° self guided hiking tours in Italy
46° doesn't exist without all the fantastic, hardworking people that run the accommodations.
There is Paola, for example; two kids and recently divorced, working for her new, independent life and her self-esteem.
Marco continued, together with his brother Lorenzo, the agriturismo his father set up. Two brothers, two families.
A livestock farm, a cheese factory, active in the Slow Food movement, an amazing agriturismo on top of a hill.
This spring Lorenzo suddenly passed away -cardiac arrest-, 56 years old.
Catherina was about 80 when I met her years ago. What means that she is about 95 right now, so I must be wrong...
After a career that brought her all over the world she couldn't sit still after her retirement and transformed the family estate into an accommodation. And since the property has acres of olive trees she's also head of the cooperation operating the local oil press.
Oh man...I admire her!
That is how everyone has a life and a story.
Second marriages that awaken sleepy places.
Children that take over and bring in new energy.
That's us, like the rest of the world, after all.
But... I can not escape from telling about myself.
Because the brand, the organisation, the core of 46° is me and myself ;-).
I'm the DIY type. One of those who are bored to do a job that they already know they can do.
Art school in Holland, a Master of Industrial Design in Milan, office jobs in some renowned Milan based design studios.
An office job in a big city...: That didn't make me feel good.
I was born in the Dutch countryside. In fact, everyone in my family is a farmer, except for my father and an artistically talented cousin.
As a little girl with blond braids I was running in the fields on wooden clogs. (I'll ask my father if there is a photograph showing this; it's true!)
I even had a tame magpie that accompanied me up to the school doors.
I was born in '65.
So I decided -I was about 32 by then- to go and live in the countryside again. The Italian countryside this time.
I did a lot of walking with my father when I was still living with my parents.
A 20 kilo backpack with a tent, pots and pans and food for two weeks and off we went.
We walked in Norway, Iceland, we even went to Svalbard in times that nobody but nerdy birdwatchers and fanatic photographers went to places like that.
And I remember that it felt good.
For some reason I had ended up in Italy instead of the North with its endless spaces, fresh air and reserved inhabitants.
But guess; also here, when you're at the top of a mountain the space is endless and the air is fresh and in the meantime I myself have become quite Italian. Moreover, there is lots of arts and culture and lip-smacking food in Italy!
So now, besides having a small farm growing berries and keeping a couple of donkeys, chickens and ducks, I am 46°.
I do the walking and the writing, I make photographs and do the website, answer you when you write me, handle the bookings and keep in touch with all the fantastic persons that run the accommodations.
And it feels good.
And if I can help making you feel the way I feel when walking, it feels even better!
So thanks for enjoying together with me, together with us!