The farm, built in 1938 and recently restored, is set in a fruit orchard with many rare varieties of apples and pears. The farm is in the shadow of the wonderful church of Santa Maria Bressanoro.
The colours, taste and perfumes within the walls of the farm change with the changing seasons. In spring there is the blossom, late summer the fruit and in autumn the colours of falling leaves.
The farm is situated in Castelleone, 2 km north of the centre of town, near the beautiful 15th century church of Santa Maria Bressanoro. The farm area was used as the kitchen garden of the Franciscan monks until 1810. Napoleon confiscated church property in that year. In 1838 the farm was bought by the family of the current owner. The fruit orchard was planted in 1936, the first one to be planted in the Po valley. The orchard was involved in studies and research run by the UniversitÓ di Agraria of Milan and the UniversitÓ Cattolica of Piacenza.
There are still trees growing that are by now very rarely cultivated, such as the White Winter Calvilla apple, that produces a delicately flavoured apple much appreciated by the Tzars. It contains as much vitamin "C" as citrus fruits.
As well as the fruit trees there are vines growing along the old wall that surrounds the farm. There is also a rose garden with hundreds of roses bushes of all colours and perfumes, many varieties from the very oldest to the most recent. A fish-pond is shaded by a centuries old walnut tree and there's a museum of old agricultural implements.
Chickens, rabbits and ducks are raised.In a room that was part of the old cow-shed you can buy the produce of the farm as well as that of the other farm owned by the family, Fustagno, where fruit grain and milk are produced.
Both farms respect the guidelines set down in the European Community Law No A1-CEE2078 that regulates reduced levels of chemical fertiliser, herbicides and insecticides. This is to limit the impact on the environment.
Walking through the farm through the avenues of trees you come to three small chalets built over two streams that flow through the orchard. They were built at the beginning of the last century and are shaded by Linden trees and Sophora Japonica. On the far side of the orchard there is an old room, next to the church, where you can admire 17th century frescos that have recently been restored. They depict episodes in the history of the Franciscans.
A large room with big windows is available to guests. It can be adapted for art exhibitions, conferences, seminars, study groups, meetings (seating for max 50) or ceremonies (seating for max 80). There is a room that has been adapted especially for teaching and workshops. The area, including toilets, is accessible to disabled guests.
The five rooms and the two junior suites have been furnished in 19th century style and each has been given the name of one of the varieties of fruit cultivated in the orchard. The furniture is different in each, and all rooms have a bathroom, air-conditioning, a hair-dryer, a telephone, TV with video and DVD machines and an Internet connection in each room.
Abuffet breakfast is served, including products of the farms. There is a reading room with an internet connection. The farm has bicycles that may be used to visit the surrounding district.
Activities and surrounding
The Agritourism is in an excellent position for day trips to the main artistic cities of Lombardy and Emilia. It is less than one kilometre from the trais station, which is one the Milan-Cremona line, connecting at Treviglio. It is an easy walk, following a bike-track, away from the traffic.
In the surrounding countryside you can visit part of the Serio Valley National Park. Part of this is in the administrative area of Castelleone. Fustagno farm (belonging to the same owner as Santa Maria Agritourism) is within this park as well. There are many lovely walks and bike-rides that can be followed in and around the park. The Serio National park is only a few kilometres from the Adda National Park
Activities: walks and bike rides around the district. Guided tours of the 15th century church of Santa Maria Bressanoro, tours of the 100 hectare Fustagno farm established in the 17th century, with it's dairy herd still producing high quality milk. Visit the museum of agricultural equipment at the fruit orchard.
During the year different courses and activities are organised. These include painting, cooking, wine appreciation, and had-crafts. For groups of children, workshops teaching "From Grains of Wheat to Bread" and "From Fruit to Jams and Marmalades" can be organised by appointment in autumn.
Castelleone, the 15th century Church of Santa Maria in Bressanoro, the Renaissance Church dedicated to Beata Vergine della Misericordia, the 11th century Isso tower, the Archaeological museum, the Educational Woods, the Antiques Market (every second Sunday of the month), the Sanctuary of Marzale, which is 10 km away in the park surrounding the river Serio.
Crema: 10 km from Castelleone, with the Cathedral and Cathedral square, many beautiful villas, the Museum of Sant'Agostino, the Church of Santa Maria della Croce, Soncino, 15 km from Castelleone, with it's Castle, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Museum of Printing and the original walls still surrounding the fortified city. Pizzighettone, 16 km from Castelleone, is a fortified town on the river Adda, surrounded by a large wall and moat. Abbadia Cerreto; 16 km from Castelleone with a Romanic Church dedicated to San Pietro. Palazzo Pignano, 20 km from Castelleone has a Romanic Church and the remains of a Roman Villa, with an antiquariumPandino, 22 km from Castelleone has a Visconti Castle.
Cremona, 27 km from Castelleone, has one of the most beautiful medieval town squares of all Italy and the Church of San Sigismondo, which has historical and artistic connections with the church of Santa Maria in Bressanoro. Lodi, 27 km from Castelleone, has the Piazza della Vittoria, palaces and villas, the Church dell'Incoronata and the Ceramics museum. Caravaggio, here you can visit the famous Santuario.