That led to his
idea to convert his family's farm into a different kind of agriturismo —
not a resort or an inn that emphasizes gourmet meals, but a working farm where
travelers can take a break from the cities and spend a few days hiking, learning
to make pasta or just getting a taste of rural life.
family makes or grows everything it serves — asparagus, beans, figs,
honey; even the grapes Antonello's father, Giuseppe, uses to make his wine.
was started in March 2005, by the energetic Antonello Siragusa, 28. After
earning a degree in English and Spanish literature, and working as a waiter
in San Francisco's Castro District, he returned home to southern Italy wondering
what he could do to make a living there.
Antonello's mother, Maria,
doesn't speak much English, but she's learning, and these are the three words
she considers key to making homemade pasta.
and roll. Stretch and roll."
Siragusa started his farm as a hobby so his family could enjoy healthy food.
Antonello's mission is to teach guests a little about where that food comes
from and how it's produced.
Maria showed us how to fold
the dough in layers, slice it and unravel it into long, flat strips. The noodle,
enough for eight, and the ragu sauce cooking on her stovetop, became that
sister-in-law, Nancy, and I signed up for one of her cooking classes, and
we spent a couple of hours in her kitchen one afternoon, cracking eggs laid
by the chickens that morning, kneading dough and stretching and rolling it
until it resembled a thin pizza crust.