The historic owners were able to maintain the estate based on a sharecropping system. The owners got 70% of what their workers raised and the workers got 30%. After WWII the sharecropping system was banished and the family could no longer afford to maintain it. A local working-class family had a dream and took a chance. They purchased the estate with massive loans which they paid back over 10 years at 17% interest. Everyone pitched in, reconstructed the war damage and today manage this welcoming oasis.
Saturday morning we traveled a short distance to Siena to visit this charming town. It is most famous for it's twice annual paolo, a horse race 3 times around the city square where the 17 neighborhoods compete for the glory of winning for the Virgin Mary.
Of course, we weren't there during the paolo, so here's a photo from the internet.