Above the village Isca sullo Ionio in Calabria, three kilometers from the sea is Il Garage. On our small hill with the river and the mountains behind it, the cottage overlooks the village and the sea. The place has 360 degree views. With the base of former pig pens that function as a bedroom with a double bed, the cottage has been extended with a bathroom with shower, sink and toilet, a living and dining kitchen and a terrace. Here the tranquility of nature and the buzz of the village meet.
Pig cows used to be in the most beautiful places: on land, not too far from the village and with a beautiful view. These buildings have often been out of use for a long time and have fallen into a pile of stones. From Blood oranges (see 'Books'):
It is high time to return to my Calabrese pig pen, my stone became freedom. When, twelve years ago, I bought the site with a wide view of the Ionian Sea, I did not even know it was the pig pen. Squeezed between two centuries-old olive trees, leaning against a lee-steep slope along which a brook rushes across the granite rocks to the sea from an elevation of 1100 meters.
There I suddenly stood in a place where I, as a city man, could not even dream of. That such places existed! In front of the porcile (the pig pen) was a spout with a stone wall around it that reminded of a medieval fortress. Here the beast thus chewed chestnuts and acorns, the potato peelings and the vegetable patches of the field a bit further. I took a deep breath - I remember it as the day of yesterday - and compared the quality of my urban supermarket life with that of the pig. There was no comparison.