By Paige Lunde
Castello di Spannocchia is a sublime castle, with an 1100-acre organic agricultural estate on a remote hilltop in Tuscany. Need I say more? Yet the structure is more than a castle or an estate; it’s a living network. The value of this is in the dynamic, interdependent system of people and natural surroundings that sustain it.
It’s ironic to think of Spannocchia as a network, the idea of a solid, brick and stone historic building signifying a system. The site, however, sustains memories of another time and the space forms a complex, shared exchange between man and nature. The castle holds relics of the past, traces of another place. And although it has transformed along with humankind’s evolving consciousness, it once was alive serving a feudal system that pulsed with the reality of patriarchal power and dominance.
The castle, as object, has existed through transformations, from feudal to capitalistic societies, from aristocratic landowners to valued caregivers. Man’s politics of self has changed over time – I imagine, the beauty of the estate has not. My experience of it is a living dream. The color, the light, the ideas and people that pulled my consciousness away to this place showed me an elevated sense of reflection and the rich experience of pursuing knowledge. I realize looking back to my time there: we do have the capacity to experience a sense of beauty that surpasses our everyday routine bringing us to a place of intuition in our search of understanding the world.