Casale del Pettirosso, a beautiful private protected area in the Ausoni Mountains

Project member Francesco Marcone with the landowner Gigliola Magliocco
The Agriturismo il Casale del Pettirosso is an old rural farmhouse made from local stone in the municipality of Sonnino in the Lazio region. Inhabited since the early 1900s and recently restored by the owners, the farmhouse welcomes guests from all over the world. As well as looking after their guests, the landowners work hard to preserve the local rural biodiversity.
Casale del Pettirosso, a beautiful private protected area in the Ausoni Mountains
The project began in August 2014 with the acquisition of the first land: an olive grove in the mountains, with no roads, lying on limestone clumps softened by terracing and abused by the use of pesticides. Only the brown earth, stones and a few leaves on the olive trees were visible. However, the landowners recognised the potential of the place: somewhat like the robin, helpless in appearance, but strong and powerful in being, and most importantly, present! Right from the beginning, the new landowners decided to convert the farm to organic farming. This choice initiated a recolonisation of the whole land with beautiful blooms and the presence of many insects, pollinators, birds, foxes, beech martens, badgers, porcupines… Today it is spectacular!” says Gigliola Magliocco, owner of the land.
The certified organic farm is located on the border of the protected area of Monti Ausoni and Lago di Fondi, and in the SPA -Monti Ausoni e Aurunci- IT6040043. The area consists mainly of olive groves and orchards arranged on terraces contained by dry stone walls. The variety of olives grown is the Itrana, a local characteristic recognised in 2009 as the ‘Colline Pontine’ PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) area. The orchard, immersed in the olive grove, is rich in species and ancient varieties. The stone farmhouse was renovated with EU funding from the RDP, respecting the guidelines of conservative restoration and energy sustainability.
With years of experience in protected area management, the landowner is focused on the conservation of the biodiversity. and aware that this value is appreciated by all those who deeply love nature and know how to grasp its essential beauty, regenerating themselves in the silence, scents, colours and spectacular sunsets.
The visit we made in May confirmed once again that managers of private natural areas bring new, sustainable and coherent tourism ideas to the area’s identity, enhancing its natural, landscape and cultural heritage.


The news items collected on this blog have been written by project partners of the LIFE ENPLC project.