A forest that hides a special story, an ancient ruin transformed into a welcoming country house and a couple ready to welcome tourists as friends: Ca ‘del Riccio Silvano is a perfect destination for an eco-friendly holiday, a few kilometers away from Venice and Treviso. We talked to Roberta Micheletto who told us about its story.

Ca ‘del Riccio Silvano was born from a natural need, changing life and living in contact with nature. I worked in the tourism sector in Venice, my city of birth, and tired of that low-quality tourism I began to search with my partner for a place that was quite green, not far from Venice and accessible by public transport, considering that I don’t have a driving license (I’m really ecological!) It was not an easy search and after a year we were hopeless, but one day returning to Venice we accidentally found a property for sale, at the end of a dirt road. It was a real ruin, but there, in the woods, there was something beautiful and magical.

Venetian woods

The forest that borders the country house has a very particular history. It is in fact the place where the hermit Ernesto Girotto, known as “A man without desires”, has spent his last forty years, of any modern technological means, living only on the products of the earth and in total solitude, not allowing anyone, not even family members, to cross the borders of his land. He died in 2003, when his harvest was not enough due to the drought. The hermit, portrayed by the photographer Fulvio Roiter, and his forest also inspired the documentary film Terra Madre directed by the director Ermanno Olmi.

The sustainability practices of the country house

We asked Roberta to talk to us also about the renovation and what they did to make the building more sustainable. After a difficult restoration, the house is now supplied by a photovoltaic panel that supplies the house with electricity, the taps have a water filter and Roberta also collects rainwater to wet the plants and the biodynamic vegetable garden, still in the experimental phase.

What aspects are appreciated mainly by your guests?

Roberta replies: “My guests enjoy the colors of the countryside, the open air, the history, the fireflies, the starry skies and the birds singing in the morning.

What green itineraries do you recommend?

Sile Natural Park
© Paolo Tonon via Wikimedia

A few kilometers from the country house there’s Sile Natural Park, perfect for walking or cycling. In the surroundings there is a riding school that organizes trekking between vineyards and wheat fields. And always near the house (three kilometers away) there’s the Quarto D’Altino railway station, from where you can go to Venice in 25 minutes at a cost of € 3.50. For lovers of archeology there is the museum of Altino and from here a boat navigates the Dese and flows into the north lagoon to the island of Burano. Fantastic and little known trip!

Sile river

What does being an Ecobnb mean to you?

It means offering a different, slow tourism. Not what I experienced as a tourist guide in Venice where people run and become unable to grasp the beauty of the places. It means having a common mindset with guests, it means experiencing nature.