• Sani

Azienda Agricola Saxu

Updated: Jun 6

#Italy #workaway #myfriends #firststory


Υπάρχει και Ελληνική έκδοση του κειμένου,

αλλάζοντας τη γλώσσα στα Ελληνικά (κουμπί στο τέλος της σελίδας)


I can’t go any further with my writings before I address the very first journey I did, to meet my friends Rosa and Paolo in North Italy, near Genoa. Their farm is called Azienda Agricola Saxu.

A short train trip with from Milan Centrale, who doesn’t enjoy a train time vacuum and my lovely friends are there to pick me up.

And Pita of course. She sniffed me good and quickly accepted as part of the pack.


We enter the car and a few moments later we are wiggling up a narrow mountain road that Paolaki horns on every turn. This road is called Brinia and just the thought of going through it, emits anxiety. Not the case for the locals who can go up and down even in the worst weather conditions. This road is cared for by the locals, so if you see a tree that blocks your passage, you just open your trunk, take out the mini petrol saw and take care of it. It’s like swiping your front bit of pedestrian road, in urban terms.


We are there! We pick up the luggage and supplies on our backs and go down a little dirt road too narrow for the car to go through.

Oh here is the tree that fell on Paolo’s leg and broke it. Cool.

We reach the house, old school big rock two story house. One part of it is recently renovated by them to be habitable and the rest of it remains to be worked on. All but my room that has fresh wooden floors, clay plastered walls and cozy feeling. And a beautiful central window. It’s magic to wake up to that image.


I was there. Ready to be introduced to what would be a life changing time.

My first visit to saxu was for two weeks only.



I got to see what it means to live with environmental concerned people. Motivated to make it work. Live by their principles. Hard working people and a couple that has learned to address issues that arose and work through them. They still do.

There are no words to describe Rosa and Paolo and anything I write about them is just pale to what they actually mean to me. Two sun rays of hope and beauty.




A lot of things happened for the first time for me:


Went out of the house and collected food for our daily table, watched and helped the process of creating the veggie garden. Making beds, enriching them, assisting processes that will ensure that the plant will have everything it needs to grow and formulate all the parts that make it delicious and nutritious. We even ate flowers (first timer on a Nasturtium flower, mind blowing experience).




Compost toilet!

What a thing! I switched from a clean water flushing machine to this brilliant dry, easy to handle compost toilet where you just do your number two and put some wood chips on it. Then you take it out to the compost pile and it manifests, after a good period of time, into golden nutritious soil.

and there is is this book to go through about it: humanure handbook.


I gathered so much from my first short trip that i decided to return later that year, this time for a month, October 2018.

Paolo had progressed so much for the garden and for home renovations. We were working hard to make the rooms and main living room ready for them to move in as soon as possible.




I was there when we plastered the cellar and the office/guest room.

On this second visit, I very much enjoyed the new bathroom and got to use it first! What an honour.


Of course it wasn’t all work work work but we got to explore the beautiful area by taking small trips here and there.

Like a walk in the woods, meet the neighbours, a drive to the Tierra and so on.



Fun facts about Italians:

They eat salad after the main course.

The are very precise with the pasta boiling time.

Got some useful cooking tips!

Everybody speaks Italian when they get together, even when they know English..!


In Italy I have experienced what it means to be against the weather. Maybe not against it but in it’s mercy. In the middle of great storms and nature just being unpredictably furious.

There was one night that the wind was blowing from the sea, up the hill and glazing the house. I could feel that it’s as a matter of seconds that the glass window would shatter from the pressure and wet wind would burst into my room. Of course, I hid under the blanket like a hero but it did not help. Soon after this, I realised that rain was coming in the room from the ceiling. Next day we found out that a part of the roof had been blown off. Noone was hurt and noone to blame. This is when I learned the lesson of you build a home in such a way for when the weather conditions go to the extreme. You need to be prepared and these conditions are more and more often to the mediterranean.



I will never forget the abundance of produce and how neat all the crops looked!


Latest addition to the saxu farm were the chicken. With their cute movable coop. The rooster is known by his double comb. What a guy! One time, we heard some riot down where the chicken were fertilising the land and soon we figured that there had been an eagle attack. Few of them missing and the rest tucked in their chicken coop! We build a scarecrow, that we pretended was my blond girlfriend and monitored the situation. Few of the chicken came back from the neighbouring woods but I think at least one never returned. It felt like a scene from the Jurassic Park.





I tried to show off by building some stairs to connect the terraces but to my frustration it was way more difficult than expected. I could not figure out how to make them stable and they seemed fiddling.

Some of them made it through time and I guess it’s more stairs than what they had before.



Practiced my wood splitting technique.. eh need some more practice but I enjoy very much helping Paolo with his carpentry projects.




Overall, during my few visits in Saxu farm, i got a warm and hopeful feeling of things flowing in the right direction. I felt the thirst of facilitating those processes that benefit the world and a vibrant connectivity between the families there.

Open people, dedicated to what they do and extremely giving and sharing.

It is a live example of a healthy and happy community.


For more pics don't forget to check out my insta account.


Cheers to them!

Keep spreading the light!