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In the summer of 2084 my son will turn 80 and my daughter 78. Quite probably they will still own the Tuscan olive grove that has been in the family for centuries. A lot will have changed by then - but not the beautiful olive trees in that grove.

On my son’s birthday in August the family will gather and after a Tuscan lunch far too heavy for such a hot day, one of my great-granddaughters will quickly skip through the countless family photos on a worn-out digital storage device. Quickly until she gets to the pictures of the winter 2012.

“Grandpa, what’s this?”

Winter 2012 - igloo building in Tuscany
Igloo building in Tuscany

“Who are these guys? Are they mad?! Why are they building an igloo right next to a vineyard?” And one of her younger siblings will look at the next photo and shriek: “Grandpa is this how people lived in Italy when you were young?!”

Family life in a Tuscan vineyard - or is it an igloo?
Family life in Tuscany

It’s on that steaming hot August day, that my son and daughter will recollect the incredible winter 2012. When it snowed like never before. When roads were closed and villages cut off from the rest of the world. And they’ll remember how overjoyed they were yes, with the snow, but even more with the capitulation of the village school which closed down for a whole week! And how with all that snow their Tuscan father felt like a fish out of water - quite unlike their Swiss mom who felt finally at home.

And whilst the country was down on its knees battling snowstorms and icy roads, the Tuscan population rolled up its sleeves and put into practice what you learn in Italy on a daily base: improvise, make the best out of an uncontrollable situation and use creativity to deal with the unpredictable. To cut a long story short, this is how people specialized in designing heavenly swimming pools and Italian villas ended up building igloos in Tuscan vineyards.

Need to restore a house in Italy? Dream of an infinity pool or an igloo anywhere between Morocco and Tuscany? Get in touch with Cosimo Sesti and Paloma Barcella who work as designers and architects all around the Mediterranean sea. 

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