Enter the world of Cà Del Buio Eco B&B with this exclusive interview with its founders, Rosa and Paolo. Discover how this unique accommodation in Perti (Finale Ligure) came to be and delve into the sustainable choices that brought the project to life. A 15th-century farmhouse transformed with dedication into an eco-friendly bed & breakfast becomes the ideal destination for those seeking unforgettable experiences in harmony with nature. In this corner of tranquility, away from the lights and noises of Finale Ligure, you can experience a deep connection with the planet and discover a territory rich in a thousand surprises, from prehistoric caves to Byzantine castles, from pristine beaches to millennia-old churches.

the founders and the house
Rosa, Cecilia, Paolo and Cà Del Buio

When and how was Cà Del Buio Eco B&B born?

Cà del Buio Eco B&B is a very young structure, just born, considering that our first guests stayed with us in July 2023. However, the idea was born five years earlier, coinciding with some factors that were leading both me and Rosa to various changes.

We lived in Genoa, in the city. Rosa, with a degree in Environmental Sciences, was teaching in elementary school in one of the most populous and chaotic neighborhoods in the city. She harbored the desire to break away from the dynamics of that environment. Meanwhile I was immersed day and night for twenty-five years in being an entrepreneur, producting and selling Natural and Organic Cosmetics. The brand was available in all supermarkets and hypermarkets of the Large-Scale Distribution, but the dynamics of this commercial channel were in contrast to the values we wanted to promote.

Furthermore, our daughter Cecilia was born shortly thereafter, and we were no longer kids. It was the right time to embark on a new adventure! We found in Finale Ligure the ideal place to try it out: the sea, which Rosa loves so much, is there, always present and has been awarded the Blue Flag of Europe for many years. Just behind the sea, however, there are woods and mountains that instead bring me closer to my personal “alpine dream”.

Finale Ligure, drone view
Finale Ligure, photo of CucombreLibre from New York, NY, USA

It is in this context that we fell in love with a beautiful farmhouse, abandoned for decades. Located in the very first hinterland of Finale Ligure in a small valley, surrounded exclusively by nature and an ancestral landscape. It’s the “Cà del Buio,” that after four years of planning, permits, and a complicated construction site, became our home. As well as a reception facility where everything, starting from its renovation, speaks of circularity, renewability, and sustainability.

La casa negli anni 40, nel 2020 e nel 2022
The house in the ’40s, in 2020 and in 2022

What sustainability features have you adopted?

We have tried to approach the project in a sustainable way right from the start. The decision to renovate an abandoned 15th-century building was guided by this principle: to recover what already exists, avoiding further land consumption and giving life back to a place that has seen many lives. We wanted those who already knew this house to recognize it even after the renovation.

room Legno
Room Legno

At the same time, we aimed to improve its modernity in terms of healthiness, efficiency, and energy performance. We started with the preservation of existing materials, recovering stones, roof tiles, beams, and wood. We used local suppliers for timber and stone materials, opting for natural materials for construction, such as hydraulic lime instead of cement. For thermal insulation, we ensured efficient insulation without compromising the appearance of the building.

room ferro at Cà Del Buio
Room Ferro

The windows were made by a local chestnut wood artisan company with double glazing, argon, and solar shading. A 6.5 kW photovoltaic system was installed to maximize energy independence. To offset the remaining energy requirements, we source 100% renewable energy, collaborating with the ènostra energy cooperative.

Room Pietra at Cà Del Buio
Room Pietra

Low-consumption LED lighting and light sensors help us reduce waste. The low-temperature radiant floor heating system, powered by a high-efficiency heat pump, ensures optimal thermal comfort. A Mechanical Controlled Ventilation (VMC) system contributes to maintaining air quality.

We have adopted measures for efficient water use, such as flow restrictors and rainwater harvesting systems. For furnishings, we followed the principle of the Three Rs (Recover, Reuse, Recycle), using materials recovered during the renovation. Today, while maintaining its original appearance, Cà del Buio has gone from a “very deep G” energy performance to class A4. We obtained the Casa Clima and Casa Clima Welcome Certification.

Even in the management of the B&B, we adopt sustainable practices, such as eliminating plastic water bottles and using reusable cosmetics. We chose to become members of Banca Etica to promote a solidarity and sustainable economy.

Casa Clima Welcome certificate
Certificate Casa Clima and Casa Clima Welcome

What are the experiences that guests appreciate the most?

As I mentioned, the location of Cascina del Buio is untouched territory. Even though it is only 10 minutes by car from Finalborgo (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy) and 15 minutes from the beaches of Finalmarina.

Finalborgo, one of Italy's most beautiful village
Finalborgo, one of Italy’s most beautiful village, foto via Canva PRO

I tell everyone who comes to stay with us or even just to visit us that you understand this place well if you sleep here because the experience of darkness is the first thing that strikes you. There is no light pollution, and the starry sky seems touchable. On moonlit nights, moreover, you discover that you can also give a name to the shadow of the blades of grass.

Ca' del Buio, bed & breakfast eco-sostenibile a Perti, Finale Ligure
Ca’ del buio

Another natural element that strikes is the silence. A silence that makes you discover the sounds of nature, the wind, and the forest. It’s magic, especially for those coming from the city.

All this can perhaps be summed up in a single word, a single experience: peace.

Another particularly appreciated element is the “centrality of the place” with respect to outdoor activities, of which the Finalese territory represents a capital.

adventures nearby

If you are looking for a place to practice outdoor activities, at Cà del Buio, you arrive, park your car, and if you want, you don’t touch it anymore for days.

From home, the path starts, which in a few minutes leads to some of the most renowned climbing cliffs. For example the Rocca di Perti, or Montesordo, destinations for all European climbers. This path then winds through a network of trails that allow you to immerse yourself in nature, glimpse breathtaking views overlooking the sea, visit caves inhabited by Neanderthals, Byzantine and medieval castles, and millennia-old churches.

Simply leaving the room, you can hop on your mountain bike and reach one of the largest and most varied networks of trails in Europe. Or you can buy a lift ticket for Downhill or Freeride, practice Enduro or Cross Country. Finale Ligure is an annual stop of the MTB Enduro World Cup.

What places and slow itineraries do you suggest not to miss nearby?

There is something for all tastes. If you are visiting these areas for the first time and want to understand the soul and meaning of the surrounding places, I recommend dedicating the first two hours of your stay to the Archaeological Museum of Finale, in Finalborgo. This little gem offers the visitor, in a short time, a simple understanding of the geological, natural, and human history that has shaped this part of Liguria.

At that point, the exploration of the territory becomes richer in meaning, fascinating, and engaging.

The structure is located in the area of the fraction of Perti. Its surrounded by simple paths that allow you to visit unique places in a short time. Among these, the Grotta della Pollera, inhabited by Neanderthals, the remains of the Byzantine Castrum Perticae, and the 11th-century Church of Sant’Antonino. Additionally, the Grotta dell’Edera and the many “Arme”. They’re caves used by man and characterized by walls and fascinating portals, made of Finale’s Pink Stone.

the area
The sorroundings

By moving a little by car or bicycle, you can reach Varigotti and walk the Sentiero del Pellegrino. It connects the Saracen fraction to the municipality of Noli, passing through symbolic places such as the Grotta dei Falsari.

You can also take a ring walk in Verezzi. It allows you to visit one of the most characteristic and panoramic villages in the area. You can encounter the Fenicio Mill and the ancient Quarries of Verezzi Stone, where shells and fossils are visible.

These simple routes become even more interesting with a local guide. In this regard, we can help guests organize their own excursions through collaborations. For example with Hiking Guides, Environmental Guides, and Botanical Guides.

During the summer season, many other activities are available, such as aperitifs on a sailboat or a refreshing swim in the Blue Dragonfly Waterfall (Cascata delle Libellule Blu).

What does it mean for you to be part of the Ecobnb community?

Ecobnb is the ideal partner for consistently promoting our small hospitality space. We have worked hard to ensure that Ca’ del Buio Eco B&B could become a project capable of being a player in the transition towards a more sustainable society in the tourism sector.

We are also certain that the approach to sustainability is a journey marked by many milestones. In fact, we don’t feel “done” at all: there is still much to do in terms of resource efficiency. Especially, there is the agricultural aspect that awaits us. Here the principles of organic and synergistic agriculture will be central to adding another step to Ca’ del Buio’s path towards self-sufficiency.

Ca' del Buio e il luogo magnifico in cui si trova
Ca’ del Buio Eco B&B and the beautiful area where it is situated

We have also found a sense of partnership in Ecobnb. Many small actions make a big one, and we believe it is necessary for those working towards safeguarding the planet and sustainability to increase their influence by networking with other entities. This is the true meaning of being part of the Ecobnb community for us.

Author: Viktoria Szabo

Sono una ragazza di 22 anni che sta vivendo il sogno d'infanzia studiando in Italia e facendo viaggi in tutta Europa mentre scoprendo se stessa e il nostro bellissimo pianeta. Ho sempre avuto una passione per l'ambientalismo, quindi viaggiare in modo sostenibile è sempre stato importante per me. Sono pronta a fare gite in bicicletta, cammini, dormire in tenda o prendere semplicemente un viaggio in autobus di quattordici ore invece di prendere un volo.
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