Yoga in Ebbio

About The Property

In Ebbio, a 14th century Tuscan Farmhouse, welcomes you with its spacious rooms full of fascinating history. Trying not to forget the old country ways of living you can still discover this feeling. Silence, earthy colors and fragrances are still prominent. Guests warmly welcomed, the food is vegetarian and mostly organic. Horseback riding, hiking, biking, donkey trekking or simply soak in an old wine barrel transformed into a unique floating pool are all wonderful ways to experience this Tuscan landscape already sacred to the Etruscans.

The Tuscan scenery developed as a result of many years of local, traditional labor which has slowly chiseled away at this fertile yet hostile agricultural land.

The farmhouse, like Ebbio, was the nucleus of domestic and working life. It had to be self-sufficient, using only half of the annual crop, as the other half was given to the land lord/owner as rent payment. The house was built close to the woods because of the proximity to sources of wood fuel, fruit, and plants.

History Steeped in Tradition

The Fireplace and the Oven
A grand fireplace was central to the kitchen of the traditional Tuscan country house. Here the family met Tuscan Fireplacetogether to prepare enormous meals in the evening, requiring a great deal of labor. The fireplace was large and from it hung all the instruments of the kitchen, like ladels and strainers, and free spaces for benches and chairs were available under the chimney in order to chat and relax. The oven was found either inside of the house like it is in Ebbio, or outside where it was used for making bread and was easier to fill up with wood.

The Cart
The wooden cart was the most common form of transportation. The wood used to make the cart was taken from trees on the property. The hub, the wheel's middle circle, was built according to what type of wood was available at the time.

The Yoke
The wooden yoke was needed to attach the oxen to the plows. The most common type was the double yoke, which was placed on the backs of the two animals and then tied with a rope around their necks. The central part had a hole for steering the plow.

The yoke was attached firmly if the animals were the same size, and flexible when they had different dimensions.

The Travaglio
TravaglioThe travaglio was a wooden structure used for shoeing oxen. It was made from four strong wooden poles fixed into the ground, limiting the movements of the animals. Once fixed the animal was lifted and shoed to strengthen his hooves for the continuously heavy work in the fields.




The Plow
The wooden plow was used to make ruts in the land before sowing the seeds. It was made up of a blade which cut into the ground. Oxen pulled the plow, harnessed by a long central piece of wood.

Chestnut Trees
Chestnut trees have always grown in the woods near the house. At one time chestnuts were a fundamental part of the traditional diet. After they were dried it was an excellent pastime during long winter nights to shell and prepare the nuts by the fireplace. Wood from the trees was used to make poles and benches, always very useful for the farm.

The Animals
There were many animals on the farm, such as: dogs, chickens, geese, sheep, oxen, cows, horses, and Horses in Tuscanydonkeys. The donkeys were often used for carrying goods from one farm to another. They were very important because they could walk in rocky places where horses and oxen had difficulty.





The preparation of charcoal was a distinguishing skill of the local Tuscan farmer that required a specific method. The charcoal was made out of a semispherical wooden pile placed in a circular clearing located near the trails in the forest. After a long, slow burning and cooling process, charcoal was ready to be transported home, with the help of donkeys, for domestic uses.

The carbonery was built between the end of the winter and the end of the spring. It was very important to avoid bad weather and windy days. To ensure good conditions, a cross was placed on the top of the pile.

Sculpting the Tuscany Landscape
Dry stone walls were an integral part of the Tuscan environment. Because the olive trees were to be planted on the naturally undulating land, dry stone walls were constructed to prevent soil erosion. The mezzaluna were built all along the slopes to accommodate the many trees, and were constructed exclusively out of stone.

The Courtyard
The "AIA" is an open space between the farmhouse and the hay barn. This courtyard was built and paved in a special way to prevent flooding. It was elevated above the level of the land and positioned in a sunny, airy spot to facilitate the drying of products. In the olden days the courtyard was used for grinding grains and as a space for dancing and celebrating.

The Hay barn and the Wicker Objects
After the harvest, the wheat stalks and other remains were used as food for the many animals on the farm. The straw was piled up into a large conical pile with a pitchfork and firmly pressed down to prevent rainwater from seeping through. Wicker collected from the woods was used to make bread baskets and other containers used to collect and dry various fruits and vegetables.

The Cantina
The infamous Tuscany wines were at the time prepared to satisfy a family's needs, but also to sell. It was one of the farm's principle commodities. The young vines needed a lot of attention, and selling the final product was only the last step in the long process. Some of the objects still in use today are the tinello, the bigoncio (barrels for collecting grapes), and the demigons with or without a straw cover and some funnels.

The Kitchen and Well
Close to the main house there was often a stone well where water for food preparation was collected. In the kitchen there were separate wooden racks for drying dishes and hanging the clay and copper pots and pans. The rack for drying dishes was located above the sink so excess water would not drain onto the floor.

The Bedwarmer
Big country houses didn't have heating, so they were built to receive the most of the solar energy and the natural rise of warm air; downstairs, the oven and the animals in the stable provided some heat. The bedrooms were usually upstairs facing south. Bedwarmers, small pans that contained embers and were placed under the covers, were also used to warm up the beds for the cold winter nights.

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